The Duckbill Group is seeking a Head of Consulting Services to improve and scale our consulting services. This role will have a significant impact on Duckbill through overseeing and improving the execution of a major line of business.
You have a background in consulting service delivery, engineering project delivery, operations management, or something along those lines. You may have experience working in technical professional services, managed services, or IT/software engineering consulting firms. Big bonus points if your professional background is in infrastructure/DevOps, even.
You have at least five years of experience in leadership positions. You have a track record of building, leading, and coaching high-performing, distributed, diverse teams. You excel at cross-functional coordination.
You have ample experience in building and iterating on processes and systems that can support successful, repeatable client engagements.
You have experience at, and are comfortable with, working at a small company. We’re only a couple years old, nine people in total, and there’s a whole lot of stuff we’re still figuring out. If you expect lots of existing processes for you to run, this ain’t the job for you. You will, more often than not, be building systems and processes for Duckbill from nothing.
You are comfortable reporting to new founders. While each of the founders have nearly 20 years experience in the industry, we’re still learning how to run a company of this size.
While our consulting business is in the AWS space, you don’t need to have a lot of experience with AWS to excel in this role. The Head of Consulting looks a lot more like a business-facing role than a technical one. If you do happen to have lots of experience with AWS, major bonus points.
About The Job
The primary responsibility is a bit of an operations role: ensure efficient and effective operations of our consulting practice. This may include quality assurance, customer satisfaction, staffing decisions and development planning, engagement process changes, engagement scope changes, and more.
The secondary responsibility is a bit of a product role: work with your fellow Leadership Team members and your Cloud Economists to identify new services for Duckbill to offer and ensure the creation of effective delivery processes. The Head of Consulting is not necessarily doing this work but will be responsible for its successful execution. Smart delegation is an important aspect of this role.
- You will be responsible for leading a team of individual contributors, forecasting future hiring needs, and building a recruiting pipeline of qualified candidates for the Client Services team.
- As Duckbill grows, you will be responsible for identifying areas to further delegate and hire new roles, which may include both managers and ICs.
- This role will be a member of Duckbill’s leadership team and reports to the CEO.
- You will have responsibility for the happiness of our clients, which will include overseeing the engagement delivery process and resolving thorny client issues.
- Excellent verbal, written, and client-facing communications skills.
- Allow us to reiterate that ‘written communication’ bit: we write a lot at Duckbill. You will too. If you’re not comfortable writing at length, you won’t enjoy the job very much.
- From time to time, Duckbill will identify a new standard services offering we can provide. In conjunction with the rest of the Leadership Team, you will have the responsibility for helping flesh out what the service is, who it is for and isn’t for, the outcomes, and the pricing strategy.
- You will actively participate in quarterly business reviews and annual planning.
- You will have responsibility for continually improving how we deliver engagements.
- You will be collaborating heavily with Sales and Marketing on ensuring we are bringing in the right clients for us and regularly iterating on the messaging we present to prospects and clients.
We currently use three KPIs for the function you will be responsible for:
- Margin – How profitable is our consulting? As you will be responsible for how we deliver engagements, improvements to the process may result in improved margins.
- Client satisfaction – How satisfied are our clients? We currently use surveys and NPS. Happy clients lead to more happy clients.
- Employee satisfaction – How happy is the team? This is a balancing metric: it’s possible to improve margin at the expense of our team, which is definitely bad. We optimize for both.
These are non-negotiable for the role.
- Prior experience managing an engineering team of individual contributors
- Prior experience managing and working in a small startup (“small” = less than 30 people)
- US-based and legally authorized to work in the United States (sorry, Legal requires it 🙁 )
Compensation & Benefits
The compensation budget for this role is $180,000/yr, as well as bonuses and/or profit sharing for hitting specific goals. There is no equity or stock component.
We provide a 401(k) with a 100% match up to 6% of your salary. The 401(k) match vests immediately, too.
We provide healthcare, vision, and dental with premiums fully covered by the company. Of course trans benefits are covered; trans rights are human rights. Dependents are covered 50%.
“Unlimited PTO” is often misused to pressure employees into taking less vacation than they should, so we offer 3 weeks of PTO that accrue monthly, plus unlimited sick leave.
“Paid parental leave” is challenging for a small company. Being a parent is far more challenging, so we of course offer paid parental leave for new parents of any gender.
We provide an allowance of up to $3,000 for setting up your home office, or we’ll cover the cost of a membership at a coworking space.
The Duckbill Group provides consulting services to enterprise companies aimed at optimizing their AWS bill. You can read about our services and our clients on our website. Additionally, we operate several media publications in the AWS space, including our flagship publication, Last Week in AWS.
We are a fully remote company with team members in San Francisco, Portland, NYC, and more. We’re a company of nine employees currently and just over two years old. We’re building the company we’d all want to work for. After all, companies are built around people. We’re not in the constant 50+ hour grinds here.
We are not venture-funded, and have no intention of becoming so. We’re financed instead by the magic of revenue and profitability.
We believe in a different way of doing consulting:
- We believe there is nothing more important than protecting the client.
- We don’t bill hourly or percent-of-savings, because both create misalignment. Fixed-fee only here.
- We optimize for short, in-and-out engagements over long-term engagements. Our average client engagement lasts only eight weeks.
- We don’t do engineering-level implementation work. We stick to higher-level engagements where our value is clear to everyone.
- We don’t do custom engagements, period. Our consulting services look more like a product than a service, in that they are fixed-scope, defined-outcome, defined-process, and standardized pricing.
We have a lot going for us, too:
- All of our clients come to us by way of referral, our media publications, or organic search.
- We’re very, very well-known. The (in)famous Corey Quinn is our Chief Cloud Economist and cofounder, and has a full-length profile in The New York Times. We’ve been cited or interviewed in dozens of major publications.
- We employ some of the best people in the world at AWS cost management and our recruiting pipeline is strong every time we announce a new opening.
- Our clients love us.
Diversity & Inclusion
We’re building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other. We hire adults. We value transparency, autonomy, experimentation, and kind, direct feedback. We welcome nontraditional candidates, and people of all backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We’re an equal opportunity employer and our hiring process is structured to put you at ease and help you demonstrate your best work. If we are doing a poor job of this at any time, please let us know. We hire for strengths, not absence of weakness. Come do great things with us.
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