Overview of the role and team structure
We’re looking for a Lead User Researcher to join the Product Design team in our London Office.
You’ll lead and line manage the researchers (currently 3) who work across the Community, Enterprise, Specialist and Core products in our portfolio. This includes existing products such as FT Live, Investors Chronicle, and new products and propositions to help us grow our audiences.
You’ll take a hands-on research role where necessary, directly planning and executing research programs. This will include supporting your teams’ workstreams, and jumping in where needed to conduct research yourself.
You’ll pair with the Research Manager for FT.com & Apps, who oversees our consumer news products (including FT.com and Apps), to upskill our team, guard our excellent team culture, make us more efficient, and help deliver quality experiences across the entire portfolio.
You’ll work with other team leads from Product Management, Engineering, Design and Delivery to input into product strategy, inform OKRs and product approach, manage team workloads, and plan and be accountable for all research activities and outputs.
You’ll receive regular guidance and support from your line manager, our Director of Product Design. We work hard to foster a safe environment where we share and discuss our work proactively, to inspire, support and guide each other.
Researchers work in fully empowered squads of engineers, designers, and product managers, with support from and access to relevant stakeholders from around the FT such as editorial, marketing, finance, etc. They deliver end-to-end product experiences, from exploratory research into opportunity definition, from ideation into concepting, from testing into shipping, measuring and iterating.
What you’ll be doing
Month to month, you’ll be:
- Planning and executing impactful research projects, and supporting your team to do the same. Working with Product Directors to understand and plan around current and future initiatives, driving both strategic and tactical research.
- Managing and developing your team. Conducting regular 1:1s, leading and participating in team meetings. Helping your team plan their careers and develop their skills. Planning for team growth and succession, recruiting and onboarding new team members.
- Coaching, mentoring, and improving our capabilities. Improving our research processes. Offering support, guidance and mentorship to the team, encouraging peer-to-peer critique and sharing. Working with senior Research Team members to maintain and improve quality of life for our team members.
- Helping to establish and consolidate our global research approach and systems. Pairing with our Research Manager for FT.com & Apps to establish, enhance and consolidate our team principles, processes and vision.
- Growing the impact of the team’s capabilities. Working closely with the Director of Product Design and your Design and Research peers, to extend the impact of Product Design and Research across the FT.
- Evolving! We strive to continually improve and evolve. Evolving our process by adding new techniques and abandoning obsolete ones. Evolving our product until we achieve objectives, rather than stopping once we’ve shipped.
What we’re looking for from you
- We welcome applications from people who can demonstrate strong product research and line management competencies. You’ll have been a researcher in a product environment for 5+ years, and managed researchers for 2+ years. You’ll have been involved in hiring and career progression for your direct reports.
- We’d like to see things which help us understand your Research Management approach and experience. This could be a portfolio, case studies, or something else, which outlines your experience and impact as a team lead and manager, rather than as an individual contributor.
- A desire to learn, and hone your skills. You’ll be surrounded by talented designers, product managers, researchers, engineers, etc. We cultivate an environment where everyone shares and learns from each other. It helps us all improve.
Package & Benefits
Our benefits vary depending on location, but we are committed to providing best in class perks across all our offices as well as an inclusive environment to develop your career. Examples of our benefits include;
- Competitive Salary
- Holidays & Flexible Working - Employees receive 25 days holiday annually, extending to 30 after two years. You can organise flexible working arrangements with your line manager.
- Employee Wellbeing - This service includes a 24-hour professional advice and counselling phone line. Employees can also access up to six face to face counselling sessions.
- FT Pension plan - The FT will double your pension contributions. You can contribute up to 6% of your salary if you are 44 and under, and up to 8% from aged 45 and over.
- Cycle to work scheme - This scheme provides employees with a tax-free bike through salary sacrifice.
- Charity matching - If you take part in a sponsored event or raise money for charity, the FT will match donations up to £500 per employee per year.
Full details of our benefits can be found here.
We have a transparent, measureable progression framework, which outlines all of the skills FT User Researchers need, and details how to progress in each skill category. We use this as a basis for biannual reviews, where everyone self assesses against the progression framework, track progressions, and agrees areas of focus with their line manager.
We invest in our people to allow them to grow both personally and professionally whilst working at The FT. We offer a variety of ways in which you can progress your career with us, some of which are highlighted below:
- Career coaching - Career coaching is time spent focused on you and how you can achieve your career aspirations.
- Mentoring programme - The mentoring programme aims to connect people across the business to support professional and personal growth through knowledge sharing and guidance.
- Learning and development - The FT offers a host of learning and development opportunities that will not only help you build the skills you need to grow in your profession or field, but will also help you improve your own personal development, with courses such as self-coaching, productivity, presentation confidence, research techniques and much more.
About the FT
The Financial Times is a trusted guide to an increasingly fragmented world. We are one of the world’s most influential news organisations, recognised internationally for our authority, integrity and accuracy. We help the world make better choices. We influence leaders and shape the leaders of the future. Our fearless, intelligent reporting makes the difference in thousands of decisions around the world every day. Our digital products are in the pockets of prime ministers, presidents and chief executives. We hold powerful institutions to account. We shine a light in dark places. We move markets. We are the FT.
About FT Product and Technology
The FT is as much a product and technology company as it is a journalism company. Much of our recent success has come from innovation in our digital products and services and we know that our future success will depend on it. Product and Technology is composed of 400 people, split across three organisations: product, technology and delivery. We come from all walks of life and all kinds of different backgrounds and we bring ourselves to work.
Learn more about the FT, including announcements and career opportunities, at aboutus.ft.com.
The FT are committed to providing an inclusive working environment for all. We are an equal opportunities employer who seeks to recruit and appoint the best talent regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief.
We also promote flexible working and will consider specific requests around flexibility for all roles where it can be accommodated.
Please let us know if you require any adjustments as part of the application process or to enable you to attend an interview. If you would like to discuss your requirements, or have any questions, please contact a member of our HR team who will be happy to help.