University of Leeds - Assistant Director

Assistant Director ( Residence Life and Accommodation Office) Candidate Pack








We are recruiting an Assistant Director to lead and manage the University’s Residence Life & Accommodation Office. Reporting to the Director of Residential Services and working closely with the Deputy Director of Residential Services, the post holder will play a key role in planning and delivering a strategy to provide high quality accommodation and an exceptional student/ customer experience.


The University, established in 1904, is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK. We are renowned globally for the quality of our teaching and research. The strength of our academic expertise, combined with the breadth of disciplines we cover, provides a wealth of opportunities and has real impact on the world in cultural, economic and societal ways. The University strives to achieve academic excellence within an ethical framework informed by our values of integrity, equality and inclusion, community and professionalism.


We have more than 38,000 students - More than 35,000 full time students - More than 2,000 part time students Including: - More than 27,000 undergraduates - More than 10,000 postgraduates

• We have 3,500 student volunteers who contribute to local regional and national projects

• We have over 9,000 international students from more than 170 countries, including exchange students • We have a global network of alumni and are in regular contact with more than 269,000 alumni in more than 190 different countries

• We have 8,700 staff from more than 100 different countries

• We contribute £1.3 billion every year to the UK economy – students add close to £200m of international revenue into the City Region each year

• The latest High Fliers report, The Graduate Market in 2020, has ranked Leeds in the top 10 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters

Our staff have been awarded 25 National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other university

Leeds is ranked in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2020

We were The Times and The Sunday Times’ University of the Year in 2017 and are currently ranked 13th in its Good University Guide 2020

We are a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities

We are a top 10 university for research power in the UK according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework

In our latest audit by the Quality Assurance Agency the University received a commendation, the highest category of praise available, for our enhancement of student learning opportunities

We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize, the country’s highest accolade for an academic institution, in 2009 and 2011

We are part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which comprises 23 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents


The Facilities Directorate brings together Estates and Facilities, Commercial and Campus Support Services, Residential Services and Sustainability, employing over 1,100 staff, to provide first class facilities and services to support the University’s strategic objectives and world class aspirations. Our vision is to ensure that our campus offers opportunities for an exceptional student experience, provides first-class facilities for research and external collaborations and meets the best possible sustainability standards. Our mission is to provide first-class facilities and services to staff, students and visitors supporting the University’s strategic objectives and world class aspirations.


Residential Services at the University of Leeds is one of UK’s largest and most successful higher education student accommodation services. The University’s Residential Service operates, manages and leases circa 9,000 student beds and generates an annual income of £50 million. The Service operates a quality management system (QMS) that complies with the requirements of ISO9001:2015 for the provision of accommodation to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Residence Life at the University of Leeds is about making student experience in halls the best it can be. The Residence Life Team works in partnership with Leeds University Union (LUU) to provide students with a calendar of events all year round. The dedicated team of Wardens and Subwardens are always on hand to provide support to students. Residential Services is seeking to appoint an Assistant Director who will play a key role in planning and delivering a strategy to provide high quality accommodation and an exceptional student/ customer experience. You will lead and develop the Residence Life & Accommodation team to manage marketing, applications and allocations, rent collection, communications with residents, student conduct, welfare and social events planning in Residences. This role will look at driving innovation and best practice to deliver a high-quality service. You will have exceptional management skills together with a proven track record of leadership in the student accommodation sector. You will have strong communication and interpersonal skills necessary to build effective working relationships. Demonstrable success in creating a culture of exceptional service delivery is essential. You will demonstrate a genuine commitment towards continual service improvement and devising innovative solutions, focused on enhancing the student experience. You will possess strong organisational, analytical and problem solving skills and have the ability to work pro-actively, using a high level of initiative.


Salary: Grade 9 (£51,034 - £59,135 p.a.)

What does the role entail? Your main duties will include: • Providing strategic leadership and

• Leading and overseeing the management of Residential Services student disciplinary committees, involvement in complex student welfare case reviews with senior staff from Student Support and Secretariat. Providing direction to the Head of Security/Security Services in managing student behaviour and welfare; • Staying informed about developments in the student accommodation sector to take initiatives to better manage risk and opportunity; • Collecting and utilising customer feedback to achieve continuous product and service improvements including welfare support for students living in University accommodation and influencing future accommodation design and refurbishment; • Representing the Residential Service in University-wide meetings and on committees; • Leading initiatives to improve the quality of access and inclusiveness experienced in residences, by further developing our customer promise, student induction processes, and our ‘Residence Life’ wellbeing & social programme; • Presenting at conferences and representing the University externally in consultations and meetings with organisations including the Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA), the College and University Business Officers Association (CUBO) and UNIPOL Student Homes; • Working with colleagues to ensure the quality management standard (currently ISO 9001:2015 and OHAS ISO 14001 & 18001) and other standards, including the Investors-in-People, Customer First and the ANUK Code of Practice, are maintained;

developing and implementing strategic plans to enhance the student accommodation experience and ensure that our overall aims and objectives are achieved; • Leading, managing and developing the Residence Life and Accommodation team (comprising of 35 employees and 70 student sub-wardens), ensuring that they are motivated and committed to delivering a high standard of service and that they understand how their performance and contribution relates to the achievement of the Service’s and the University’s strategic goals; • Forecasting demand to minimise the risk of over or under procurement of accommodation, whilst taking necessary action to ensure the provision of a sufficient supply of high quality bedroom accommodation is available to meet the demand for beds in each year; • Leading and participating in negotiations to secure contracts i.e. nomination agreements / leases for accommodation, as well as negotiating, monitoring and reviewing SLA’s for external service contracts; • Working with the University’s conference team to increase income from conference delegates; • Providing effective leadership and management of health and safety standards and practice; • Leading the Residence Life and Accommodation Service to maintain compliance with current and new legislation, standards and regulations relevant to our business; • Leading and implementing policy and procedure change relevant to both University and Service strategy;

• Being accountable for the planning and delivery of key events including open days and intake weekends; • Making presentations to large numbers of prospective and new students; • Setting, monitoring and reporting on financial and non-financial performance measures and responsibility for Residence Life and Accommodation Office budgets and their spend.

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties that may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

Hours of work

Hours worked will be flexible and as required to meet the demands of the business. Hours will be 5 days over 7, normally Monday to Friday, however weekends will need to be worked on University open days, accommodation viewing days, during the period when room allocations are made and during the student arrival period. In addition (with notice given in advance) : • The holder of this post will be required to be contactable or on call overnight and at weekends and will sometimes be required to attend work out of hours to resolve/manage issues. In practice, a team of senior managers share these on call responsibilities; • You will sometimes be required to work on University closed days and/or public holidays.

What you will bring to the role?

You will have: • Significant experience of working in a leadership role in a similar customer service and/or facilities management environment; • A proven ability to lead, manage and develop a large team effectively, creating an environment where colleagues are motivated and supported to achieve service/organisational goals; • An ability to formulate service team strategies, objectives, and plans in line with University strategy; • An openness to change, and be sufficiently experienced to be able to develop, lead and manage new initiatives and projects in order to improve service delivery; • Experience of monitoring and managing budgets; • Excellent analytical skills and a close attention to detail, with the ability to solve problems using own initiative; • Proven ability to work both independently and as a team member with diverse groups/ individuals and the ability to break down barriers by involving others in discussions and decision-making; • Excellent organisation skills with an ability to prioritise own and others workloads effectively, and to work under pressure; • Excellent interpersonal, communication and listening skills with the ability to develop positive working relationships and networks, and to negotiate and influence others; • Enthusiasm and a proven ability to provide a high quality service which meets the expectations of students, customers, and stakeholders; • Good computer / relevant IT systems skills (including at the very least a thorough and practical knowledge of the use of Microsoft Office applications including Outlook, Excel & Word). You may also have : • A degree level education or hold equivalent experience/qualifications; • Previous experience or knowledge of the Higher Education sector; • Knowledge of issues affecting students, for example mental health, debt, drug and alcohol use.


Join us and you will become part of a large and diverse organisation – with more than 7,000 staff of around 100 nationalities we are the third largest employer in Leeds. Leeds is a great place to live and work, a bustling city surrounded by beautiful countryside, and our campus is just a short walk from the city centre.

Work-life balance & Wellbeing

• We aim to be a ‘best practice’ employer. We understand that our employment policies need to be flexible and responsive in order to promote diversity and equality, and to attract and retain the highest quality work force • We not only fully embrace the Employment Act, which gives government regulations on paternity, adoption and statutory maternity leave, but we go beyond the statutory requirements to help all staff balance the demands of work and personal life. Take a look at our HR policies to find out more about flexible working hours, job sharing and many other schemes to help you achieve a healthy balance • We believe in supporting our staff at work and providing a range of support services available to everyone who works for the University


• Every employee of the University has access to a generous occupational pension • We have four different pension schemes covering different groups of staff. Find out more about pensions , including retirement benefits and additional voluntary contributions • All schemes provide valuable benefits on retirement, as well as life assurance and protection for your family

Bright Beginnings childcare centre

The University has its own award-winning childcare centre, Bright Beginnings, which provides high quality childcare to staff members and students. The centre caters for children aged between three months and five years and provides a Playscheme during the school holidays for children aged three to 11. Find out more on the Bright Beginnings website .

Find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Leeds area on our Working at Leeds information page.


As an international research-led University, Leeds strives to go beyond our legal duties to create a positive environment for our diverse community of staff and students. The University works hard to promote gender equality and support the career development of talented women working in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, engineering and technology. The University renewed its Athena SWAN Bronze award in October 2016. Leeds is committed to recruiting the brightest and best students regardless of background and our Reach for Excellence and Access to Leeds (A2L) programmes are key parts of our Access Agreement and Education Engagement Strategy. We have also developed an access strategy to recognise the needs of potential mature students.

Additional information

Candidates with disabilities Information for candidates with disabilities, impairments or health conditions, including requesting alternative formats, can be found on our Accessibility information page or by getting in touch with us at

Criminal record information

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 This post requires an enhanced criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), and any equivalent overseas authorities where relevant. The successful candidate will be required to give consent for the University to check their criminal record status. All applicants are required to make a self-declaration where applicable. Any offer of appointment will be subject to the University being satisfied with the outcome of these checks, in accordance with our Criminal Records policy. You can find out more about required checks and declarations in our Criminal Records information page.


The University is being supported on this recruitment campaign by the search consultancy The Management Recruitment Group (MRG).

To arrange a confidential briefing conversation please contact our advisor Hayley Mintern of MRG.

Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a covering letter (of not more than 2 pages). Applications should be sent directly to Hayley Mintern.

Hayley Mintern E: T: 0203 962 9900

The closing date for applications is Sunday 22nd March 2020.

Final stage assessment interviews are proposed to take place at the University of Leeds on Friday 24th April 2020.

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