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Position: Research Director / Sr. Director (reporting to EVP/business unit head)

Candidate Qualifications

Smarty Pants only hires leaders or leaders in training. This position is for the former–a strong leader who acts as a true partner and consultant to their clients.

Candidates must be youth and family research experts who collaborate with clients to help design, execute, and report on multi-phased (and often global) qualitative and mixed-method initiatives. They must have a deep and wide understanding of old-school and tech-driven methods and be fluent in conducting research with children, tweens and teens.

More specifically, candidates for this position must:

• Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
• Have seven or more years of primary research experience with an agency, research firm or consultancy
• Be an amazing thinker, writer and presenter who impresses clients
• Be able to partner with clients, build a rapport with them and serve as their consultants
• Masterfully moderate qualitative research with children, tweens, teens and adults across methods – including focus groups,    ethnos, IDIs, playgroups and virtual qualitative research initiatives
• Creatively design and execute methods that are youth-centric and age appropriate
• Feel comfortable directing and analyzing quantitative research initiatives
• Be able to marry trends and secondary data with primary research learning
• Be able to create sizzling-hot, compelling PPT reports/presentations
• Have an interest in and demonstrated ability to manage and teach junior employees
• Quickly and easily perform the aforementioned duties with minimal to no oversight from team leader
• Demonstrate self-discipline, a good work ethic, passion, commitment/drive
• Have good people/business intuition
• Be able to secure his/her “own” client portfolio over time (be the person clients come back for)
• Be able to travel regularly

Smarty Pants also prefers candidates with:

• An advanced degree in a relevant field
• Professional experience with Fortune 500 clients
• Cross-category experience in entertainment, media, food/beverage, CPG, toy/game, apparel, retail, etc.

Daily Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities include:

•  Writing proposals and securing clients (~20%)
o   Participate in client calls to understand needs, challenges and outcomes
o   Create research programs that meet objectives using appropriate and innovative approaches
o   Create proposals that bring research programs to life and make a strong case for “why Smarty Pants”
o   Work on, manage revisions of, and ultimately finalize proposals to secure/win projects
•  Leading qualitative projects (~30%)
o   Provide feedback on and finalize project documents (screeners, guides, etc.)
o   Execute qualitative research (e.g.: moderating, interviewing, observing, etc.)
o   Travel to conduct in-person fieldwork/moderate
o   Manage support team and clients while in the field
•  Working with quantitative-leaning team members to co-lead mixed-method projects (~20%)
o   Understand the purpose of and make recommendations about the methods being used
o   Comfortably weigh in on quantitative approaches and tools to be implemented
o   Interpret quantitative data to understand how it complements qualitative learning
•  Crafting and telling compelling stories (~30%)
o   Optimize and refine report outlines created by support staff (in conjunction with quantitative-focused colleagues as       appropriate)
o   Optimize, refine and finalize first drafts of reports created by support staff
o   Determine which information is most compelling and how to best illustrate the learning
o   Create compelling charts and other report visuals (within Smarty Pants PPT template)
o   Ensure all learning supports the overall report “story”
o   Add additional industry and/or target knowledge and perspective beyond the research learning to further enhance the      overall story
o   Confidently and authoritatively present reports via conference calls, web-based presentations and in-person meetings
o   Handle all client questions and comments that may come out of report presentations
•  Managing support staff (ongoing)
o   Work with and teach more junior talent at every step of the process
o   Provide constructive and useful feedback on proposals, screeners, guides, report outlines and reports
o   Oversee support team in setting up and managing research vendors and logistics
o   Explain the “why” in addition to the “what” when providing feedback

More Details

This is a full-time salaried position with generous benefits. Salary is commensurate with the level and experience of the candidate.

Candidate location is not important, as the employee will work remotely. East coast hours are 9-5pm; west coast hours are 7-3pm. Work after hours and/or on weekends is sometimes necessary. Work is typically team-based and requires dialogue (via email and phone) with colleagues throughout the day.

Smarty Pants provides all office hardware, software, equipment and supplies. 

Smarty Pants is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants and employees are considered for positions and evaluated without regard to mental or physical disability, handicap, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, ancestry, national origin, age, genetic information, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or other categories protected by law.

About Smarty Pants

Smarty Pants is a full-service market research and strategic consulting firm dedicated to helping the world’s best product developers and marketers understand and connect with babies, kids, tweens, teens, young adults, parents and grandparents. In short, we are lifestage experts, business consultants and research practitioners.  

Since 2004 Smarty Pants has excelled at gathering game-changing consumer insights and helping our clients translate those insights into smarter products, programs and communications. We now work with and employ only the best and brightest, as is evidenced in our client roster and our team bios.    

As a full-service partner to our clients we:

• Serve as strategic consultants–educating and guiding them on youth and family trends, marketing strategies, best practices,   etc.
• Design rigorous research programs to meet their unique informational needs
• Execute those initiatives with our own industry-leading qualitative and quantitative research professionals
• Carefully aggregate and analyze findings, layering on our collective wisdom
• Create visually-compelling deliverables that energize and inspire
• Help our clients apply the learning to their business challenges

We are a virtual organization that collaborates and functions as a cohesive, tech-connected team. But don’t worry: we regularly get face time with peers at company meetings and while traveling to research and/or clients’ offices.

Working remotely allows us to hire the nation’s best talent and to do what our clients demand–travel, think, write and create. We are lean and highly efficient. We work hard, love what we do for a living, and have strong relationships with the ones we do it alongside. We are a happy, loyal team dedicated to creating happy, loyal clients.  

As our company continues to grow, we need bright minds to help us tackle the day-to-day business of fielding great research for our clients and bringing consumer insights to life. We’re looking for a “doer” with leader potential to join our team.


Next Steps

Serious, qualified applicants should send cover note, resume and work samples/portfolio (links are fine) to Meredith Franck at mfranck@asksmartypants.com.

Phone and/or in-person interviews will be a part of the candidate review process, as will written skill assessment and a video submission. Lead candidates will also be assigned at least one project-specific challenge to assess research prowess and efficiency. 

Candidates will be assessed on a rolling basis, and the position will be filled as soon as the match is right.