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Director, Operations

Date: May, 2011                             GRADE:  USG 16
Reports to (Job Title): Executive Director
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Operations Manager, Service Manager, Program and Process Manager, Technical Services Manager
Location: Waterloo Campus

Primary Purpose

Director, Operations is accountable for the provision of business and technical infrastructure and services for all areas of CECS. The incumbent ensures that field and on campus staff are well and cost-effectively supported with respect to processes, systems, tools, and infrastructure, and provides leadership in the development and deployment of business management tools and approaches. The incumbent also ensures that services to students and employers in support of the core employment process are carried out effectively and efficiently in a service-focused environment. Services include interview day services, job postings, scheduling interviews and student advisement appointments, operational communications, problem resolution and records management, among others. Interview days are busy and stressful for employers and students and service provided to them can strongly influence their perceptions of CECS and Waterloo. The Operations unit leads the department in defining and delivering service excellence.

Key Accountabilities:

1.Drive CECA core employment process and support each and every term, ensuring that all members of CECA are participating in processes as needed. This includes:

Ensuring that support to students and employers is carried out effectively and efficiently in a service-focused environment.

Ensuring service is delivered to clearly defined and agreed-to standards (e.g. impression management, ease-of-interaction, triage excellence, one-and-done, response time, accuracy, completeness, consistency)

Ensuring the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the core employment process and its variants for all users

Ensuring tight deadlines of CECA’s core employment process are met

Assuring the integrity of the core employment process and associated data.


2.Ensure excellent service to students and employers, in reception, request and problem handling, and interview day services, through:

Scheduling and supporting employer/student interviews conducted face to face in the Tatham Centre, by phone and by video conference.

Ensuring that all appropriate rooms and audio visual equipment are scheduled correctly, and that the administration of the interview process works smoothly for both employers and students.

Assisting students and employers with questions or problems presented on site.
Ensuring appropriate staffing, and managing a pool of casual staff to handle work load peaks cost-effectively to high standards of service.

Providing a welcoming interpersonal and physical environment.


3.Defines and nurtures program and process management skills and practices for the department, and leads in establishing a culture of continuous improvement. This includes:

Providing process and project management support and coaching to all of CECA

Facilitating collaborative development and process management activities

Ensuring that standard operating procedures are appropriately documented and communicated, and that staff training is provided.

Providing leadership in the practice of systems thinking and tools to enable reliable, efficient and user-focused systems and processes.

Benchmarking and researching to identify opportunities for process improvement and innovation.


4.Ensure the integrity, reliability, security and appropriateness of technology for the department including:

Identifying, acquiring, testing, implementing and supporting the employment management system (currently JobMine) developed and supported in partnership with IST; desktop hardware and software for on campus and off campus staff; audio visual, printing, paging and other shared equipment for use in the Tatham Centre; mobile and handheld devices, online collaboration tools; the functionality of the CECA web spaces, internal to the department and external.

Ensuring systems are user friendly for students, employers and the university community.

Providing cost-effective and timely support for about four dozen off-campus staff, including business applications software, laptops, handheld devices, phone and any other technology. This is a unique requirement at Waterloo, and requires innovative business and technology practices.

Ensuring trends and opportunities in university and work place practice, as well as developing technology trends and issues, are incorporated into business and technology planning. Examples include the need for technology and business support for UW’s multiple campuses as well as team collaboration from multiple locations.


5.Lead and manage direct reports and ensure the delivery of results in support of CECA mission, vision and guiding principles including:

Providing information and context needed for employees to be effective

Hiring, developing and retaining the best qualified staff available from inside or outside CECA.

Setting goals and expectations and helping employees create clear paths to success

Developing effective work team dynamics

Ensuring appropriate back up, support and cross training to manage capacity
Holding employees accountable for performance including consistent application of CECA business processes

Managing performance through both formal (performance appraisal) and informal methods such as regular feedback, coaching and one-to-ones.

Identifying development opportunities in others and co-creating with the employee a development plan; regularly following up on the progress of development

Planning and managing the Operations budget


6.Provide overall leadership to the organization by:

Personally championing mission, vision and guiding principles and playing a leadership role in bringing them to life

Providing leadership, direction and strategic planning for CECA

Monitoring business practices to ensure that CECA has the appropriate practices and processes to work effectively internally and represent Waterloo externally

Leading the development of new capabilities required by the introduction of new systems, tools or processes

Developing productive, collaborative working relationships across CECA and uWaterloo

Leading or contributing to the identification, development and implementation of projects to improve service quality, relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff capability and performance

Developing internal/external customer service standards, monitoring satisfaction with service delivered and taking action to restore and enhance service quality





Over 15,000 employer/student interviews are conducted in each of the three academic terms. Systems are accessed around the world and students and employers would like to access them around the clock. The employment system provides a face to Waterloo’s technology reputation.

Position Requirements


University undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Operations Management or related field


Minimum of 10 years of management experience in a service-providing organization

Proven expertise in developing and successfully implementing strategy including process re-design

Ability to adapt skills and experience to a new environment

Understanding of Waterloo and CECA co-op processes, supporting systems and infrastructure

Proven skill in relationship management and achieving results using a collaborative approach

Demonstrated success in leading change efforts

Excellent verbal, written and presentation communication skills

Demonstrated high level of organization and ability to manage high volumes of activity and change


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Average Average Average High degree of competency required on core employment systems (e.g. JobMine) and processes

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The incumbent is adept at problem solving and process thinking. A strong written and verbal communicator, the Director is service focused and committed to continuous improvement. The incumbent leads a fast-paced complex process, and is required to balance multiple competing priorities. Student input to systems and processes must be sought, considered and responses made. Negotiating deliverables with CECA staff and IST partners requires sophisticated relationship skills as well as an unrelenting results focus.

Level of Responsibility:

Four managers report directly to the incumbent. Full and part-time staff report indirectly, and a roster of casual staff is maintained to handle workload peaks.

Problem solving
The incumbent engages others to collaboratively solve systemic problems ranging from lack of compliance with department policy or procedure to ineffectiveness of department processes or systems. Solutions to such problems can include development of new systems, acquisition of software or hardware, process or systems changes that affect the department, and the participating students and employers. Problems are often complex and require balancing competing priorities and competing needs of stakeholders.

Financial Accountability
The incumbent is accountable for staffing, limited travel and associated costs for the unit, and hardware and software acquisition and maintenance costs for the department. In addition, the incumbent will provide business direction for systems development and maintenance through IST. The incumbent approves staff travel expenses and signs off performance evaluations and ratings for indirect reports.

Internal and External Contacts
Leaders and staff in Information Systems and Technology, the Registrar’s Office, Alumni Affairs, and the Development Office; Communications and Public Affairs staff; Associate Deans, Co-op in each Faculty; CECA Executive team; students; student representatives

Senior through to front line leaders of international and domestic organizations (employers); IT and operations managers in external organizations; Waterloo alumni; software and hardware vendors; business process consultants.

Decision-Making Authority:

The incumbent is fully accountable for decisions within the unit, including hiring decisions and performance evaluations, and uses judgment to determine when and how to escalate issues to the Executive Director or elsewhere at Waterloo. Many decisions impact the outcome of the employment process.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

This role involves moderate psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. This role involves exposure to emotionally disturbing experiences and/or interactions with people who are upset, angry, abusive, aggressive, unstable or unpredictable (e.g. dealing with employers who have escalated an issue), lack of control over work pace due to control by machine or work process (e.g. working with a system with limited functionality to meet employer needs) and constant interruptions (e.g. employer issues). Service support during main interview periods may require work outside of core business hours.