Head of Operations for the Small Business Commissioner

Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy
West Midlands
01 Jul 2017
20 Jul 2017
Contract Type
Job summary:

Are you an inspirational leader? Are you looking for a challenge where you will have direct influence in shaping the delivery of a new, influential body in a sector which generates strong media and political interest? If so, this newly-created role is the role for you.

We are recruiting a Head of Operations - a newly-created role that will be critical to the success of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC).

The Head of Operations will have responsibility for leading on all aspects of operational delivery for the SBC's operations. This will include setting up the office, corporate governance arrangements, financial control, recruiting staff and ensuring the organisation operates effectively so that the Commissioner is ready to carry out their functions. The SBC will be supported by a small team of staff: you will manage a G7 Head of Policy and a G7 Chief Communications Officer.

We feel this is an exciting opportunity, and we hope you will agree.

About the Small Business Commissioner:

The Small Business Commissioner (SBC), a new statutory body and 2015 Government Manifesto Commitment, covers the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and was established under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2016. The SBC forms part of a comprehensive package of measures to tackle late and unfair payment practices, helping to improve the business environment for the UK's 5.5m small and medium businesses.

The SBC will enable small businesses to resolve payment disputes with their larger customers, and avoid future issues by encouraging a culture change in how businesses deal with each other. The SBC will provide general advice and information to small businesses to prevent disputes occurring in the first place, building the confidence and capabilities of small businesses to help them assert themselves in contractual disputes and negotiate more effectively. The SBC will also direct small businesses to existing support and help them resolve their complaints about payment issues.

Applications for the UKs first Small Business Commissioner closed on 27 March 2017. The final appointment decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, supported by a selection panel.

Information on the recruitment for the Commissioner can be found here:

Further information on the SBC can be found here:

About the job:

You will have overall responsibility for learning and development and resource management. This will include managing the recruitment process to ensure a pipeline is maintained to deliver in accordance with service demand. You will lead on developing and maintaining streamlined HR processes. This will include managing pay and conditions and putting in place effective performance management processes and procedures.

You will be responsible for ensuring appropriate monitoring arrangements, including spend and forecasting, are in place. This will include establishing effective internal controls and budgetary discipline, so that the SBC can live within its budget allocation, deliver its objectives and report accurate and meaningful financial information about the SBC's performance.

You will also be responsible for ensuring adequate systems are in place to monitor and track opportunity and risk, providing adequate insight into the business of the SBC and its use of resources. This will also include informing colleagues from the Departments of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (sponsor department for the SBC) on relevant matters and other significant issues and concerns.

This is an excellent opportunity to shape a high profile, pioneering body from the start. You will be able to influence the body as it develops and gain excellent exposure to the small business sector, which generates strong media and political interest.

You will gain unrivalled exposure to a whole range of responsibilities required in running a small office. It will also give you the opportunity to provide leadership and guidance on all aspects of SBC delivery and other internal procedures and guidance, including designing and implementing KPIs which monitor key aspects of operational performance, and developing and maintaining appropriate procurement strategies.

Person specification:

This will be a challenging role which will suit an individual who is highly organised, pragmatic, has an eye for value for money, and can work flexibly to ensure a proportionate and fit for purpose approach to operations and the SBC's responsibilities.

It will suit an inspirational leader who can recruit and motivate a team of skilled staff ensuring they deliver to a high standard. Using your initiative to problem solve is essential to this role.

Essential criteria:

• Experience of recruiting, building and motivating a diverse team;
• Proven ability to manage a busy and diverse workload, and deliver high-quality work on time and be confident taking decisions;
• Highly developed written and communication skills with confidence engaging senior stakeholders in a range of settings;
• Strong operational experience, particularly in governance, finance and procurement and implementation of policies and procedures related to office operations, so that you can set up the office functions and processes to ensure effectiveness from day one

Desirable criteria:

• Experience of leading and delivering change, driving continuous improvement initiatives throughout all operations, ensuring productivity and profitability through operational improvements;
• HR qualification or experience;
• Accountancy or finance qualification or experience

The Small Business Commissioner will be based in Birmingham, West Midlands, B2 4AJ. Some travel to London will be a requirement for the post-holder, particularly whilst the office is being set up.

We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
Managing a quality service Making effective decisions Collaborating and partnering Delivering at pace Civil Service Competency Framework


Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know

Successful candidates must pass basic security checks .

Nationality statement
Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules .

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details
Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift will be conducted using the lead competency - Managing a quality service. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the essential role requirements within the application competency responses.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the essential role requirements within the application competency responses.

Applicants invited to interview will be required to give a 5 minute presentation (precise question to be issued) and the focus will be on the key challenges of the role and how they will be addressed.

At interview we will be looking for assurance that applicants have discussed the secondment opportunity with their existing employer.

The successful candidate will be seconded into the Small Business Commissioner, either from the Civil Service or an external organisation.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements
Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here .

Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Salary: . Date posted: 30/06/2017