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Operations Manager

Join the team at SCHQ

Secret Compass is a Bristol-based expedition and adventure travel company, our ambitious projects seek to achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Over the last decade we have completed world-first trekking, packrafting and mountain biking expeditions across the globe, in locations as diverse as South Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, DRC and Panama’s infamous Darien Gap. 

As a dynamic, growing company, Secret Compass are recruiting an experienced Operations Manager to coordinate, prioritise and oversee projects across the range of Secret Compass departments, including adventure travel, TV and Film Risk Management, and film production. 

Applications have now closed, check out our current vacancies.

Outline of Role

The successful candidate will tie together the different product lines of Secret Compass – supporting the Managing Director and TV and Film Director, and taking responsibility for the delivery of the adventure travel department from the company offices in Bristol, UK.

This role is responsible for coordinating a team of Project Managers – ensuring the company’s high standards are consistently met across a busy and varied workload – as well as supporting the customer-facing communications team and ensuring efficiency across the business. In addition, the Operations Manager is expected to manage their own portfolio of projects with the opportunity (for a suitably experienced and qualified candidate) to deliver these overseas, if desired.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Operations Management. Project tasking and deconfliction of workloads across the Operations team, project oversight and signoff, target monitoring and reporting, staff reviews and performance management, contracting consultants/freelancers, policy and compliance reviews, Operations Room coordination, liaising with communications team/suppliers/partners/industry.
  • Project Management. Manage own portfolio of projects across the team expeditions, bespoke adventures, brand projects and TV risk management segments including research and development, budgeting, invoicing, risk assessments, briefings etc.
  • Office Management. Staff recruitment, induction/onboarding of new hires, coordination of staff training and CPD opportunities, deconfliction of annual leave, expenses management and signoff, oversight of data management processes including troubleshooting, compliance, improvement and training.
  • Communications. Client communications, coordination of Communications team cover, process management and improvement, systems training and updating, management of and response to client query escalations.

The successful candidate will have experience of managing a team delivering a variety of projects and have extremely well-developed organisational skills. It is expected you will have a working knowledge of project / task management tools and experience utilising them to prioritise and coordinate projects. You need to be able to continually reassess priorities as situations evolve daily and be able to communicate with, motivate, and manage the operations team to deliver in a changing landscape. A flexible, objective-orientated outlook is required. 

On-the-ground experience and understanding of the type of projects we deliver is desirable for this role. This could be from the expedition or TV and Film / security sectors and we welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds. A demonstrable understanding of practical risk management is also highly advantageous, along with working knowledge of ISO 31000 and / or BS 8848. In addition to being highly personable and client-facing, we are also looking for candidates who possess excellent time management and attention to detail, and are highly organised and efficient.

Life at SCHQ

We’re a fun team at SCHQ, fuelled by tea and biscuits – and the occasional G&T! We’re busy, with sections of the company spanning the adventure travel, TV and film, risk management, creative production and magazine industries, there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ day. The dog-friendly office is situated in South Bristol within walking distance of shops, town and a park with many of the team choosing to walk or cycle to work – not exactly a hardship in the South-West’s adventure capital and ‘Best Place to Live in the UK’! Our informal office is populated by ‘outdoorsy-types’ with hobbies ranging from climbing to cycling, horse riding to hiking, and surfing to skiing – and our annual staff days out often reflect these interests with previous trips including coasteering, SUPing and a mountain-bike pub crawl. You can see more of our antics on our ‘behind the scenes’ social highlights

 Key benefits include:

  • Competitive salary dependent on experience
  • Comprehensive onboarding and training programme including CPD opportunities
  • Overseas project-based opportunities for the right candidate
  • 20 days leave (increasing each year) plus bank holidays and Christmas close-down
  • Generous staff expedition policy and kit discounts
  • Flexitime or remote working options
  • Pension, cycle to work scheme and options to request specific benefits
  • Relaxed dress-code, dog-friendly office, in-house bar, unlimited tea, coffee and strange international concoctions

To apply

Applications have now closed, check out our current vacancies.

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