Director of Talent
Four Kitchens is searching for a full-time, highly motivated Director of Talent — a manager of people, teams, and skills — with a passion for open-source technologies and making cool, innovative stuff for the web. Do you have proven experience managing a team of designers and developers? Have you crossed the boundary from "maker" to "manager" — and prefer management? You may be our next Director of Talent!
This position is similar to a Managing Director, Director of Technology Operations, or Studio Director.
About Four Kitchens
(tl;dr: We make BIG websites, we contribute tons of code to open-source projects, and we're doing lots of forward-thinking stuff in the mobile space.)
We are not your typical web shop.
First, we only work with open-source software. Why? Because open source is the future, and setting knowledge free makes the world a better place. Software should be free to use, modify, and distribute so that people all over the world, regardless of economic status, can have access to technology and a better future.
Second, we're a lot of fun. And we have style. We not only do cool stuff on the web — we do cool stuff in real life, too. Four Kitchens is home to the Web Chefs, some of the most talented and interesting people you'll ever know. Our hobbies include sketch comedy, cycling, car racing, rock climbing, yoga, writing, and home brewing. We also actively participate in various charities, community meet-ups, and volunteer activities.
Third, we deeply value our coworkers. We believe in the power of individuals coming together to do something bigger than they could aspire do alone. Four Kitchens is not just a company — it's a closely knit team. And although we work hard, we strive to maintain a good work-life balance. This is why we have an unlimited paid leave policy, encourage time off, and look for fun, creative projects outside of client work to expand our abilities.
We do everything in-house: design, usability, development, information and systems architecture, performance tuning, and project management. Though we're all in Austin, Texas, our clients — major media outlets, universities, non-profits, and social reformers — are global. Our projects are mostly large-scale, and they require extensive client collaboration and occasional on-site work.
Though we handle (very) big projects, we're a small company, and we plan to stay that way. Our Web Chefs bring much more than their professional skills to the kitchen, and we encourage everyone to help guide the direction of our company. Everyone has a strong say in what we do and how we do it.
We hope you'll join us.
Responsibilities (or: What is a Director of Talent?)
The Director of Talent is responsible for ensuring that our team is happy and productive, projects are adequately staffed, and that we are constantly improving our skills and workflows. Specifically, you will:
- Monitor professional health and guide professional development. The Four Kitchens Web Chefs are incredibly smart and motivated people. They require constant challenge and exposure to new technologies and techniques. You will be responsible for maintaining professional morale, preventing burnout, and creating short- and long-term plans for professional growth.
- Advocate for the team. You will be the voice of the Web Chefs during all high-level discussions: who to hire, which projects we should take on, and overall business strategy.
- Coach the team. You will be responsible for bringing out the best in the Web Chefs by cultivating their strengths and talents.
- Manage resources. You will be responsible for assembling teams for new projects, modifying teams based on the changing needs of projects, and ensuring that everyone is working on projects that both match and build their skill sets.
- Find, select, and onboard new talent. You will help us recruit and train new Web Chefs. You may also help us select partners and subcontractors to assist with specialized tasks or to augment our team on large projects.
- Improve our design and development workflows. Designers and developers need large, uninterrupted blocks of time to focus on their work and tackle complex problems. You will be in charge of identifying and resolving the inefficiencies and distractions that impede their progress.
Responsibilities do not include managing clients and projects. These responsibilities are handled by other directors.
At other organizations, this role is often referred to as a Managing Director, Director of Technology Operations, or Studio Director. We prefer Director of Talent because it better reflects our culture and how much we value our Web Chefs' creative and technical skill.
Currently, our team consists of designers, frontend developers, backend developers, and systems administrators. In the future, our team may also include user experience architects, interaction designers, content strategists, and so on.
- Unlimited paid leave.
- $2,000-$3,000 annual professional development and education budget. This can be spent on conferences, seminars, classes — anything that advances your professional goals.
- Flexible scheduling and occasional telecommuting.
- 50% paid medical insurance.
- An excellent working environment filled with smart, funny people who love what they do.
- Experience managing a team of designers and developers in the web, software, or related industries.
- Experience designing or developing in the web, software, or related industries. We're looking for someone who has crossed the boundary from "maker" to "manager" and has found they prefer management.
- Experience in a client services environment supporting multiple clients and projects across many different industries. (Our clients include multinational media conglomerates, educational reform nonprofits, and world-class universities — lots of different personalities and cultures!)
- Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken. As the team's voice, you will need to clearly articulate their wants and needs; as their confidant, you will need to express empathy and compassion.
- Excellent organization and time-management skills.
- Initiative, follow-through, and attention to detail. You must have a proven history of delivering high-quality work.
- Desire to continually learn new management techniques and apply them where appropriate. We are always refining our methods, and we will expect you to show us The Better Ways!
- Professional, yet personable, demeanor. You must be able to represent yourself and Four Kitchens to our clients, your teammates, and to open-source communities at large.
- Enthusiasm for open-source philosophy and community involvement.
- Intellectual curiosity and passion for making really cool stuff for the web.
- Proficiency in the standard computer programs — Word, Excel, etc. — and internet-based applications like Google Apps.
- Familiarity with the Agile/Scrum project management methodology. While this position does not involve managing projects, we use Scrum, and familiarity with our process is helpful.
- Bachelor's degree or higher. (Why preferred rather than required? Because we don't believe that college teaches people how to be good at what they do. Experience and passion are more important, and being a constant self-educator is essential.)
Super-duper bonus points
- Excellent writing skills. As you become familiar with our processes, and talents, we will likely need your help drafting proposals, project plans, and other public- or client-facing documents. Business and technical writing skills are especially helpful. This includes copywriting (writing convincing promotional copy).
- Technical savvy. For example, a basic understanding of popular web programming languages, database schemas, and content management systems (CMSs). We won't expect you to program anything, but understanding what the terms "MySQL," "PHP," and "Drupal" refer to would be helpful. Our team would deeply appreciate working with someone who understands the underlying technologies of web development.
Please email the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include "Director of Talent" and your name in the subject line.
- Cover letter. We'd like some insight into your personality, hobbies, and interests beyond work.
- If you have business or technical writing experience (described above), please include some writing samples.
This position is not eligible for remote work. We can offer relocation assistance to those outside of Austin, Texas.
Because we're very busy, please do NOT call or visit us in person. Email is the best (and only) way to contact us.