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Head of Despatch (Web and Postal Services)

Location: Brentwood (with flexible home/office hybrid opportunity)

Salary: £42k- £47k (depending on skills and experience)

Department: Data Collection

Contract: Permanent

Application deadline: 10 December 2021

At the National Centre for Social Research, we're driven by the belief that social research has the power to make life better. Our research influences policy makers, practitioners, academics and the media, shaping our understanding of the world we live in and how it is changing.

NatCen’s Despatch Unit is at the heart of our data collection provision. The team deliver all warehousing, printing, mailing and participant incentive services for our UK-wide data collection activities.

We are looking for a capable leader to drive the evolution of despatch in addition to managing day to day operational requirements. Commercial acumen and the ability to independently promote the departmental service offerings and new initiatives to internal stakeholders are key requirements of the role.

You must have excellent management and leadership skills and a track record of successfully delivering against KPIs in a despatch or warehouse environment. You must also have experience of leading, motivating and driving high performance across a remote based team. A robust understanding of supplier management is required, as well as experience of contributing despatch cost elements to new project proposals.

This role forms part of the Data Collection management team.

Key activites

  • Planning and implementing the optimum communication/mailout strategies, including printing materials, procuring equipment to support surveys
  • Ensuring we offer an appropriate range of incentives across all our survey types, liaising with providers, managing procurement/payments.
  • Leading NatCen’s strategic transition into high-quality online and postal data collection
  • Interpreting research teams’ and customers’ despatch requirements, producing plans for how they will be implemented in practice, assigning the resource required, and ensuring those plans are completed on time
  • Monitoring the market and hunting for technological and methodological developments which might improve the quality and commercial competitiveness of NatCen’s online and postal surveys offer.

The candidate

This is a fast-paced role working in our Data Collection team. An ideal candidate will have:

  • Demonstrable management experience in a despatch/supplier management environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to drive performance by motivating and leading a team
  • Strong internal and external stakeholder relationship management skills
  • Experience of managing and motivating a team of freelance workers
  • Proven ability to deliver under pressure against KPIs and to tight deadlines, in a despatch environment
  • Commitment to leading change, process improvement and fostering a positive working culture
  • Strong financial awareness and business commercial acumen

Additionally, although not essential we would love to receive applications from candidates who can demonstrate:

  • Prior experience in a research data collection environment
  • Knowledge and experience of survey research processes

For further details and information about the role please download the job description (docx).

About the National Centre for Social Research

At the National Centre for Social Research, we're driven by the belief that social research has the power to make life better. Our research influences policy makers, practitioners, academics and the media, shaping our understanding of the world we live in and how it is changing.

Why work for us 

As well as a competitive salary and excellent working environment (including home/office hybrid) you will be working for the largest independent social research organisation in the UK. We are proud of the benefits we offer our employees which include:

  • 25 days holiday, rising to 30 days after 3 years’ service (plus 8 bank holidays) and flexible working
  • generous company pension scheme;
  • life insurance and health cash plan;
  • Cycle to Work scheme and season ticket loan;
  • career development, professional subscriptions support and mentoring support from industry-leading experts.

The application process

The National Centre for Social Research is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment and committed to equality of opportunity. We particularly encourage applications from underrepresented and marginalised groups.

We therefore ask that you follow the recruitment application process below:

Job reference: HR/HOD

Please note: We will only consider applications which are accompanied by a tailored covering letter.

All short-listed applicants will need to demonstrate proof of right to work in the UK. At NatCen we receive a high volume of great-quality applicants, we therefore may close a vacancy earlier than the advertised closing date, early applications are therefore encouraged.

We are committed to employment practices that promote diversity and inclusion in employment and welcome applications from qualified applicants regardless of age, disability, gender identity, sex, marriage and civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity status, color, race, religion or belief.