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Business and Research Operations Director

The Business and Research OperationsDirector plays a critical role at bswing, reporting to our CEO Jen and working shoulder-to-shoulder with her, our Chief Product Officer, Eric, and Program Operations Director, Meg, to support our fast-moving, client-focused team so they can focus on excellent product delivery.

This position requires deep hands-on experience in business operations, including HR and finance, as well as flexibility, relational intuition and diplomacy, strategic discernment, and entrepreneurial ambition. We are a small, hands-on organization, and a successful director will be able to zoom in and out from big-picture strategy down to the details of financial transactions.

Our culture is friendly, responsive, curious, and focused on results, and we are looking for someone who will build, maintain, and refine smart and flexible business structures and processes to help us streamline and bring our innovative approach to more clients.

bswing is nearing its 25th anniversary, and we are in a period of growth, where we have significant opportunities to optimize our business systems to serve our growing team and diverse clients.Our co-founders, Jen and Eric, continue to lead across the business, and we are currently working to move Jen out of day-to-day operations towards a focus on vision, strategy, partnerships, and sales. We are especially interested in candidates who are interested in growing with the organization.

This might be the role for you if you:

  • Are constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of everyone you work with and for. We are a team of brilliant, caring, practical, and creative doers who like to get things done. We are looking for someone who is similarly proactive and people oriented.
  • Can build trusting relationships and manage diverse, changing teams, including across our research, design, technical, and operations staff, and across full-time staff, contractors, clients, and vendors. You will be a good fit if you are able to bring together different personalities, goals, and needs, to move towards business alignment and growth.
  • Lead with a mix of structure and flexibility. The nature of our work means the landscape of our team and environment are constantly shifting. You will thrive if you can help build and maintain structure that allows us flexibility to adapt to a changing and growing team and environment.
  • Understand big picture strategy and love to translate this into business systems. This role requires a birds-eye view of the business, and an understanding of where we’re headed, as well as the ability to attend to the details of finances, project operations, and office life. You will love this role if you transition from one to the other with ease.
  • Understand and value human-centered design and feel energized and curious about new technologies and new issue areas that affect human flourishing. This is the bread and butter of what we do!
  • Have at least 5 years of experience in business operations, including experience with HR and financial management.

key responsibilities:

Lead Firm-wide Business Operations

  • Identify, prioritize and implement internal business processes to support effective leadership across all levels of the firm, including designing systems for gathering internal and client feedback;
  • Manage key planning functions within the firm including quarterly planning off-sites, and 90-day-plans;
  • Partner with the CEO, CPO, and Project Ops Director in active management of the business including firm-wide project forecast estimates and staffing estimates;
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with partners and vendors, including creative headhunters, consultants, benefits management, and finance, accounting, and legal support.

Financial Management and Accounting

  • With the CEO and CPO, develop and maintain annual budgets;
  • With our CPA firm, oversee and coordinate all financial transactions for the firm;
  • With CEO, CPO, and CPA firm, consider our overall financial position, and provide leadership around financial strategy;
  • Support Project Operations Director in pricing, proposal development, financial system set-up, contract execution, and invoicing across all projects, including improving processes firm-wide.
  • Contract Compliance:  Review new contract terms, identify gaps in our operating infrastructure, and support team in negotiating changes or operationalizing processes for contract compliance;
  • Manage office expenses.

Payroll, Benefits and Staff Administration

  • Support CEO and CPO to identify priorities for new hires;
  • Oversee hiring processes for all full-time hires and contractors;
  • With our HR firm, manage all employee payroll and benefits;
  • With our HR firm, lead new hire onboarding and benefit enrollment process;
  • Maintain and optimize employee handbook;
  • With the Project Ops Director, manage contracts and agreements for all contract staff.

Office Management

  • Manage the office’s day-to-day operations (calendaring, hospitality, logistics, supplies) to create an efficient and enjoyable environment conducive to great teamwork;
  • Work closely with key vendors and identify new ones that support best inclass automation of highly manual tasks. 

Research Operations

  • Lead project operations for Research team, including
  • Hire and manage contractors as necessary;
  • Define project plans and manage workflows and project details including timing and budget;
  • Identify and build processes and systems that will support bswing staff and contractors, including developing standardized templates to support key business activities; and
  • Track overall capacity of the firm by research type (usability, qualitative, recruitment, incentive provision, transcription, standardized templates).
  • Support research participant recruitment and management efforts.
  • This includes setting up screener surveys for specific studies, interacting with participants to support successful research completion.
  • Interview scheduling, task completion tracking for study respondents, and data management.
  • Support research data collection & analysis.
  • Support note taking, record-keeping and data formatting for specific research studies.
  • Build templates and tools to support the work of the research team.
  • Partner with the Project Ops Director to drive operational excellence in the organization through identification and execution of opportunity areas that create efficiency, remove obstacles, and create improvements across the business.

organization description

bswing is a small and mighty strategy, research, innovation and design firm that creates products, experiences, and services to promote human thriving. We listen deeply, frame problems, do research, prototype, and build user-focused solutions, often using technology, that solve real life challenges. Our work spans sectors, but some recent areas of deep focus have been healthcare, education, and finance. We are currently at seven full-time staff; our team of contractors regularly expands and contracts according to our client’s needs.

equal employment opportunity

bswing is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

salary and benefits

Compensation will depend on experience; for someone with 5-7 years of relevant experience, we expect a range of $70-$90K. We offer a suite of benefits dependent on employment status.

We are looking for candidates who are local to the Twin Cities. All our staff have flexible working arrangements, and we expect that this staff person will generally come to our downtown office 2-3x / week (more if desired) likely aligning with staff meetings and office management.

how to apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to In your application, please feel free to note your pronouns.

We will begin reviewing candidates on a rolling basis with an intent to make an offer in March, with an option for a flexible start date. The interview process will include a video call screen, small work product and in-person interview for final candidates.