Toptal is a global network of top talent in business, design, and technology that enables companies to scale their teams, on-demand. With $100+ million in annual revenue and triple-digit growth, Toptal is the largest fully distributed workforce in the world.
We take the best elements of virtual teams and combine them with a support structure that encourages innovation, social interaction, and fun (see this video from The Huffington Post). We see no borders, move at a fast pace, and are never afraid to break the mold
Toptal is a hypergrowth organization, which means that our core teams and operations infrastructure must constantly be evolving to sustain and further this growth. As a Director of Operations at Toptal, you will work on cross-functional initiatives with teams across the company to build the strategic directions, execution frameworks, KPIs/analytics, and team structures necessary to drive Toptal’s growth. You will be trusted to tackle some of the most challenging and impactful problems at Toptal, working directly with the founders and given all the resources you need to achieve success.
This is a remote position that can be done from anywhere.
You will work with the Operations Team to identify areas of highest impact across the company, define project scopes, build comprehensive strategies to solve the underlying issues, and execute.
You will drive order and create value from complex, disordered systems, breaking difficult problems into simpler ones and solving them while prioritizing by impact. You will take an analytical, results-driven approach to all problem solving. Your work will involve a lot of interpersonal dynamics and you will learn to bring the best out of your colleagues by understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations, coaching them, and helping them reach positions where they can succeed. You will be relentlessly resourceful and stop at nothing to ensure that problems get solved.
The life cycle of your projects, at a high level, will be: Dive into a problem, team, or initiative as the leader and primary owner, asking questions to learn everything you can about the subject. Remove all constraints and use non-incremental thinking to figure out how to set things up such that the project can deliver an order of magnitude more impact. Execute on your plans, frequently doing things yourself as an individual contributor and laying a cement foundation that can be built upon. Ensure that the project doesn’t need you to keep moving forward, either by hiring the right replacement or by implementing self-sustaining processes.
Example projects may include:
- Planning and executing the launch of a new line of business.
- Working with the leaders of a mission critical team to define and execute the next 6 months of strategic initiatives for the team.
- Planning and implementing a better workflow for collaboration between two key teams.
In the first week you will:
- Onboard and integrate into Toptal.
- Rapidly begin learning about Toptal’s history, culture, and vision.
- Shadow key teams across the company to learn the core of Toptal’s operations and capabilities.
- Begin learning about Toptal’s analytics infrastructure and the company’s key metrics.
In the first month you will:
- Undergo an intense training and mentorship period with Toptal’s Operation Team, including extensive shadowing with Toptal’s COO and existing Director of Operations.
- Begin working on projects with smaller problem scopes designed to both deliver impact and train you on effective problem solving process and style for operations problems at Toptal.
- Go through deeper onboardings in key areas of the company that are of strategic importance, including beginning to do real work with the associated team leads and individual contributors.
- Understand project scopes, research problems in detail, and begin planning solutions using the Operations Team’s methodology of aligning on first principles, removing constraints, and thinking non-incrementally.
In the first three months you will:
- Execute on your planned solutions, frequently acting as an individual contributor and being relentlessly resourceful to ensure problem are driven to solution successfully.
- Experiment and learn rapidly as you build solutions, adapting your approaches in real-time by incorporating your learnings and doing everything it takes to make sure the KPIs of your projects begin moving in the right direction.
- Gain a detailed understanding of how everything should work within your project scope and begin thinking about which types of people and processes are necessary to keep projects moving in the right direction without your direct involvement.
- Work with the Operations Team to continuously stay up-to-date on the status and evolution of ongoing operations projects and areas of need across the organization, contributing to team discussions by surfacing ideas and best practices from your current project focuses.
In the first six months you will:
- Complete your first operations projects successfully, as evidenced by the associated teams operating efficiently and effectively, relevant KPIs trending up and to the right over time, and value driven by this area of the company being a step function greater than it was when you started.
- Prepare projects to operate successfully without your day-to-day involvement by promoting existing team members, hiring new people, or setting up self-sustaining processes.
- Step back from projects once they are operating successfully without you and begin focusing on your next set of projects.
In the first year you will:
- Successfully have completed 2-4 operations projects, each 3-6 months in length and actively delivering impact for Toptal, enabling the organization to scale further.
- Work with the team members you hired to replace you on each project to ensure this area of the company continues to be successful and continues to innovate.
- Establish yourself as a trusted, general-purpose problem solver at Toptal, capable of tackling any high-impact problem through a rigorous, analytical, creative problem solving methodology.
- Relentlessly resourceful. You must refuse to be impeded by anything standing in your way. You must push to get access to any resources you need, contribute unsustainable effort when the situation calls for it, and be creative in finding ways to remove blockers and deliver value.
- Analytical. You must be capable of doing your own research and analysis using Toptal’s data sources, including defining KPIs and working with whoever you need to build KPI dashboards.
- Drive. You must be exceptionally motivated by the idea of building Toptal into a world-changing organization. This is not a 9-to-5 position and Toptal is not a 9-to-5 company, and you must set the example for your peers and be ready to do whatever it takes to ensure success.
- Calmness. You will be working on disorganized areas of Toptal that change very frequently. By nature, you must be comfortable in chaotic, ambiguous environments. You must be capable of driving order and value from disorder, serving as a calming force for those around you.
- Non-incremental Creativity. To plan the future of a team or process, you will remove existing constraints and think creatively about how the next version can deliver maximum impact. You will not be limited by incremental thinking and will be capable of creating and executing order of magnitude improvements.
- Execution. Once you define strategy, you will frequently execute as an individual contributor, driving all types of problems to resolution without sacrificing quality. Most initiatives will be cross-functional, so you must have a deep understanding of how to execute cross-functionally.
- Eye for quality. Quality is more important than quantity or speed at Toptal. You must understand what 10/10 quality looks like and achieve it in all your work.
- Emotional intelligence. You must be extremely effective at earning the trust of your coworkers, helping them work through their concerns, getting their buy-in on the path forward, and providing value to them wherever you can.
- Teamwork. Everything we do is done as a team, and this is a “lead by example” position. You must be a team player to the core, willing to do anything needed to help everyone around you be more successful.
- Eye for talent. You must be exceptional at evaluating the abilities of those around you and understanding how to effectively leverage their skills to realize your strategic visions.
- Leadership experience and experience running complex, cross-functional initiatives.
- An academic background in engineering from a top school is preferred. Degrees in chemical engineering from top schools are especially preferred.
- Previous operations experience is preferred.
- You must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
- You must be a world-class individual contributor to thrive at Toptal. You will not be here just to tell other people what to do.
View the whole team →WHO YOU WILL WORK WITH
- As a Director of Operations at Toptal, Steve works to provide innovative solutions to Toptal network members and clients by implementing new product strategy, building and leading multi-disciplinary teams to launch new business segments, and ensuring optimal operations. Leveraging his prior experience in Toptal's continuous improvement function, he achieves high-quality operations through agile project management, KPI development, and business intelligence. Steve has also assisted in internal operations including business innovation, forecasting, forensic and compliance audits, and new process architecture.