Product Manager
Reporting to: Senior Product Manager
Direct reports:  Website Content Manager
Term: 1-year FTC
Salary Range: £42,000-£45,000

Our mission is to prepare and inspire young people for the fast-changing world of work. We were established in 2015 to help link schools and colleges to employers. The Government’s Careers Strategy published in 2017 expanded our role and the team is growing.

Our role now is to link schools and colleges to employers and help them to deliver world class careers support for all young people. We do this by:

1. Building Networks: we link schools and colleges to employers and other external careers providers through the Enterprise Adviser Network and 40 Careers Hubs.
2. Supporting Careers Leaders: we provide training and support to Careers Leaders in schools and colleges.
3. Backing the Gatsby Benchmarks: we support implementation of a best practice standard for careers support, the Gatsby Benchmarks, with tools and targeted funding.

We’ve worked with Local Enterprise Partnerships to build a national network which now links 2,000 schools and colleges to employers. We’ve also funded 150 programmes to provide high quality employer engagement activities to young people where they are needed most.

We’re beginning to see evidence of progress in careers education in England. Employer engagement has increased by 50% among schools and colleges in our network. We’ve supported 540,000 young people through our investment funds. And schools and colleges are reporting steady progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Young people are reporting improved career readiness, employability skills and resilience and 94% of schools and colleges would recommend our network. Ofsted have recently noted that careers advice is improving in England.

Our organisation has a privileged opportunity to make a difference to the lives of millions of young people, helping to inspire and prepare them for the fast-changing world of work.

Thank you for your interest in this role. You can find out more about the work we do by checking out

Role Summary

The CEC is developing an administrative system for schools to plan for and track students’ careers readiness progress—from Higher Education visits and encounters with local employers to their post-graduation destinations. The system supports Careers Leaders (Objective 2 above) and helps to grow the Network (Objective 1), which, in turn, drives performance on the Gatsby Benchmarks (Objective 3).

This system includes various applications that provide support for and evaluate:
• each institution’s progress towards achieving the Gatsby Benchmarks (the national standards for preparing young people for the world of work),
• web-based resources to help ensure employers’ work with young people is meaningful,
• students’ individual skills’ journeys towards employability,
• the efficacy of the careers activities delivered in schools (30-student seminars with an inspiring employer are not enough—individuals must have individualized employment encounters).

The CEC is looking for an enthusiastic, fast-moving Product Manager to help complete the specifications for this complex set of applications, and see them through the product life cycle.

The Digital Team is comprised of in-house Product Managers, marketers, developers and researchers, as well as remote developers and designers. Thus, the new Product Manager should be able to scope out multiple products and with different team members at the same time.

The right individual for this role will also be able to make decisions based on both quantitative and qualitative data at pace, ensuring that both user need and business strategy are satisfied in the delivery of each product. The Digital Team currently uses Jira/Confluence, Slack, Dropbox, Testrails, Browserstack, Balsamiq, Github, Crazy Egg, Google Analytics, Figma and various other tools to assist in this process.

Key Responsibilities

Examples of projects/products you will be assigned to:

‘Clean Website Project’
– Define KPIs for our project to refresh the website look/feel and clarify the user journeys for major stakeholder groups with clear calls-to-action
o Manage tracking and communication of these KPIs to wider team(s)
– Restructure our current site map to make it easier for our users to find the content that they need
– Wireframe the key changes to existing pages on the website, new templates for the website, and new features
o See these through the product lifecycle, prioritising pages and changes with highest ROI first, and tracking progress against KPIs
– Work with the Digital Content Manager and MarComms team to start to share our impact more clearly on our website – integrating case studies to demonstrate our work, integrating statistics, videos, and data visualisations to bring this to life
– Manage the Jira board for the website, ensuring that developers and digital team are clear on priorities

‘Compass PLUS’
– Work with your line manager and the other Product Manager to iterate on specs for and execution of the MVP, as we work through Alpha & Beta testing in June, July, and August
– Work with the Product Marketing Manager to develop user-driven collateral for 4 identified user types, assist in product launch and training events

Line Management
– Manage the Digital Content Manager, and support with the following tasks where necessary:
o Support uploading content on the website and day-to-day management of the content calendar
o Support with regular reporting on the website, ensuring that Google analytics is used to inform teams’ requests of the website so they can see the benefit of Digital ‘best practices’
o Create guidance documentation on best practices in developing and releasing content for the website
o Suggest how Digital content on the website can be improved to meet user requirements
o Application of SEO across content

Qualifications and experience required

• 1-2 years’ experience as a Product Manager in an agile, preferably SaaS, organisation.
• Previous experience working with and across cross-functional remote and co-located teams. Should be able to tailor communication style depending on audience
• Previous experience working directly with technical team members, and creating user stories that clearly define product requirements and give context about the user or business need that led to the ticket
• An ability to envision and help design high-quality, innovative products that meet the needs of multiple end-users simultaneously
• Cares about product discipline and improving practices to bring efficiency and consistency to the end-to-end product development process
• Can think through complex use-cases and create ironclad product testing plans, such that potential technical issues are often caught long before release to production, and even before development begins.
• Understands how to build new products and iterate on old ones based on user research—i.e., stakeholder input is not translated literally, but considered thoughtfully and addressed with creative solutions.
• While you don’t need to be able to read or write code, you should have a solid understanding of how APIs, databases, single-page applications, and so on work…or be excited to learn.
• Demonstrable experience of working within teams based on agile or lean project management methodologies

• An understanding of at least one of: school culture and the challenges faced by schools in delivering careers and enterprise, the current careers education and corporate social responsibility landscape, or the early careers recruitment landscape.

Skills and core competencies

• Collaborative: Able to work effectively in a cross-functional team, and take the lead where necessary.
• Clear communicator: you can tailor your communication style dependent on audience, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and excel at writing clear requirements that can be understood by different parties.
• Organised: you are great at managing your time and juggling parallel priorities.
• Technical understanding: Good digital and technical understanding, able to work
with external partners, freelancers and in-house teams. Must be able to communicate complex technical ideas to general audiences.
• Adaptable: Able to respond quickly to internal and external directional changes. Can deal with ambiguity and work in a rapidly scaling organization.
• Creative: Has the ability to generate ideas and deliver products and services in coherent programmes that are compelling to the users they are intended for.
• An understanding of stakeholder and user research, and general UIX best practices.
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: the ability to persuade a variety of audiences and encourage others to use new ways of working.
• Collaborative: Good at building relationships both internally and externally. Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues across all areas of the organisation and beyond to achieve one mission.
• Confident in scoping new ideas for development, with the ability to challenge others and to be challenged.
• The ability to help turn requirements into reality in the Digital world.