Over the last few years, the demand for business operations (BizOps) roles has grown exponentially.
It started as a role only fast-growing tech companies had — Slack, Dropbox, Cloudflare, Stripe, etc. — but now companies of all types are hiring BizOps professionals.
Using a combination of technical and business acumen to bridge the gap between execution and strategy is something we’ve seen in the past, but having a dedicated business operations team is a new concept that's transforming the way companies manage their operations.
Hiring BizOps isn’t just for the Googles, Yahoos, and the like. You can do it too.
But hiring well for BizOps roles requires careful consideration, as you want to ensure you have the right mix of technical skills in your team.
Read on for everything you need to know about successfully hiring for BizOps roles.
What is the Role Of A BizOps Professional?
BizOps professionals are hard to describe without using business jargon. An easy rule of thumb is to steal a page from Google’s book and say that BizOps professionals are like internal consultants.
But they don’t just find solutions, they execute them, which sets them apart from your typical consultants.
BizOps roles are naturally cross-functional, involving a range of roles and responsibilities, including project management, data analysis, process optimization, customer success, and many more.
Where BizOps professionals thrive is in bridging the gap between technology and business functions. They act as the “glue” between departments to ensure that operations are running smoothly and goals are being met.
From optimizing a company’s operational processes and systems to improving the customer experience, BizOps professionals work with data to identify trends, develop insights, and drive decision-making.
What Skills Do BizOps Roles Need?
Most BizOps roles require a combination of technical and business skills, so it’s ideal to look for candidates who possess both.
Common skills to look for in BizOps roles include:
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Since the role involves identifying and resolving operational issues, it’s crucial to have someone who can think through a problem and develop creative solutions.
When a product doesn't comply with standards, for example, a BizOps professional must be able to determine the root cause and develop an appropriate response, either by coming up with a workaround or completely redesigning the process product teams follow to ensure a product meets requirements.
As Amanda Swim, Director of Business Operations at Zendesk, frames it, “It's easier to teach someone a framework or get them up to speed on industry lingo than it is to teach them how to manage complex and fraught situations.”
To evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving skills, you can give them a take-home case to solve. Often, these cases focus on evaluating a current process, determining the bottlenecks based on data, and proposing some solutions to improve the process.
As BizOps professionals are often tasked with driving initiatives forward, they need strong project management skills in order to ensure the successful completion of tasks on time. These skills may include managing resources effectively and staying organized while juggling multiple projects simultaneously.
For example, if developing a new product, BizOps professionals need to know how to manage the development process while coordinating tasks with different teams like Marketing and Legal.
To test candidates for this skill, you should ask about a complex project they’ve managed in the past, what obstacles arose and how they were resolved, and whether the project ended on time and under budget.
Data Visualization and Analytics
The ability to analyze data from different sources and draw meaningful insights is essential for BizOps roles. They need to identify trends and patterns to inform decision-making and create reports and dashboards that can provide visibility to a company’s performance metrics.
Suppose you're tasked with evaluating your recent sales figures. In that case, a BizOps professional should be able to come up with a detailed analysis that can help the company make better decisions, for example, identifying which products to focus on or where resources should be allocated.
Consider including a data analysis exercise in your take-home case, whether that be spreadsheet modeling or writing a SQL query.
Communication and Collaboration
As a cross-functional role, BizOps professionals are often the bridge between departments. They must be able to communicate effectively with different teams to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal.
According to Deanna Sinclair, Head of Operations at Polly, “a combination of air-tight organization and communication skills, which means knowing what and how to organize and how to communicate to stakeholders” is one of the critical skills that propelled her success in BizOps.
A good way to test this is to ask for a writing sample, especially emails to very senior and very junior stakeholders. You might ask a candidate to prioritize different incoming requests and explain to each requester why their inquiry was prioritized a certain way.
How Do You Hire BizOps Professionals?
Most companies are turning to job boards or recruitment agencies, but it might be worth considering a more targeted approach.
The best BizOps professionals are often not actively looking for a job. Therefore, networking and referrals are some of the best ways to find candidates with the skills and experience you’re looking for.
Create Your Job Posting
When you’re ready to hire for BizOps roles, the first step is to create a job posting that outlines specific responsibilities, qualifications, and requirements of the BizOps role as well as information about the company, its culture, and the team they’ll be working with.
Be detailed and precise in your job description so potential candidates know exactly what you’re looking for.
Connect With Bizops Communities
It's not enough to just post your job ad online. Connecting with BizOps communities like the BizOps Network can help you find and attract the right candidates for the role.
The BizOps Network is a private community of experienced BizOps professionals who have a passion for business operations and a drive to make an impact in their field. As a member, you can engage directly with potential candidates and build relationships that could lead to referrals or direct hires.
Ask Great Interview Questions
While this is true for all roles, it’s crucial when hiring for BizOps roles, since they require a combination of technical, business, and innovation skills.
Be sure to ask questions that will give you an idea of the candidate’s knowledge and experience in the field, as well as their ability to think on their feet and solve problems quickly.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
- When looking at unfamiliar data, what is your approach to orienting yourself?
- Tell me about a time you uncovered a novel insight in data. How did you use that to inform your strategy?
- What’s the most complex cross-functional project you’ve run before? How did you track progress and measure success?
- How have you dealt with stakeholder conflict, especially with very junior or very senior people?
- Tell me about a situation where you had to make a quick decision with limited data.
Make Your Offer
The job offer should be competitive and attractive. Include details about salary, benefits packages, and any other perks that would make your offer stand out from the competition.
BizOps Job Description Outline
Like any other role, hiring for BizOps positions requires a comprehensive job description. We have an example description below for you to work with.
A BizOps job description should include the following:
- Job brief: Usually two to three paragraphs long, this section outlines the general scope and expectations of the role. It lets the candidates visualize their typical day-to-day tasks and the long-term goals they’ll be working towards.
- Detailed job responsibilities: A comprehensive list of specific tasks and activities that the candidate will be expected to complete on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Here, you can specify how the role fits your team's overall objectives, so the candidates know what they're signing up for.
- Requirements and skills: This section highlights the credentials and skills required/needed for the role, which may include education level, previous job experience, certifications, technical skills such as project management and data analysis, and soft skills such as problem-solving and communication abilities.
- Benefits you can offer: The benefits and perks you can offer to make the job more attractive to potential candidates, including flexible working hours or location, health care benefits, training opportunities, equity benefits, or a competitive salary.
- Your company’s mission and values: This section provides potential candidates with an insight into who you are as a company, the type of environment they’ll be working in, and the values your company holds.
About The Company
Provide an overview of your company, your mission, culture, and highlight some of your customers and high-profile investors.
About The Role
We are looking for a Business Operations professional who is a jack-of-all-trades and is highly resourceful. This is a high-profile role where you will work closely with the CEO, as well as have exposure to the executive team and investors.
You’ll help our team solve our most pressing strategic and operational issues, such as our pricing strategy, strategic planning process, expanding and building out new functions, establishing product market fit, and more.
The ideal candidate will have a high IQ/EQ with a balanced bias toward analysis and a drive for action. This role is mission-critical and spans company-wide initiatives, both strategic and operational.
List out 5-10 core responsibilities of the BizOps role.
- You will partner closely with our leadership team to identify, prioritize, and solve critical problems for the company.
- You will personally manage and drive key operational and strategic initiatives across the business.
- You will be cross-functional, working with and synthesizing insights from across the company and using them to set actionable plans.
- You will build financial models and dashboards that track company-level success metrics.
- Assist in revenue forecasting, budgeting, and quarterly OKR goal setting.
- You will help keep the leadership team, board, investors, and other key stakeholders informed on the state of the business with strategic presentation decks and digestible insights.
List the unique requirements and background your company wants for this BizOps role.
- You have strong business acumen and a strategic mindset that can unpack complex problems, build solutions for them, and manage their execution.
- You have a data-driven mindset with attention to detail that makes you comfortable digging through data using SQL to get actionable insights.
- 4-5+ years of professional experience, ideally in consulting, private equity, venture capital, investment banking, or a high-growth startup.
- You have experience connecting with and managing cross-functional stakeholders such as sales, product, engineering, marketing, and customer success.
- You are comfortable in a fast-paced environment with competing priorities.
- You can pivot quickly and often, continually building new processes as the company scales.
- High academic achievement from a leading university.
- Clear and compelling communication skills. You can produce high-quality slide decks, financial models and analytical memos for high profile stakeholders.
- (Optional) top-tier MBA.
List out the benefits you offer as a company. Benefits common to the companies hiring BizOps professionals include:
- Excellent compensation & equity packages
- Medical, dental, and vision benefits
- Life & short-term disability insurance
- Generous vacation
- Paid parental leave
- 401K for retirement planning
- Wellness allowance
- Healthy lunches and dinners provided daily
- Paid parental leave policy & fertility benefits
- Quarterly company offsites
For more examples of BizOps job descriptions and to post your own roles, check out our job board, which gets 1000s of visitors every week.
Ready To Hire For Your BizOps Job?
Hiring for BizOps roles isn’t easy – it requires careful consideration to find the right fit for your company. Having the right BizOps team can make or break your business operations, so doing your due diligence will pay off in the long run.
Among the most effective ways to find the perfect candidate for the role is to create a comprehensive job posting, network with BizOps communities like the BizOps Network, ask analytical interview questions, and make a competitive offer.
With these steps, you’ll be able to find and hire a professional who will not just fit into the role but also help drive strategic initiatives and optimize operations within your organization.
Attract the right talent today with the BizOps Network!