Chief Operations Officer


Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has formed a best practice digital centre, called Digilink, based in Cape Town. Digilink offers unemployed youth the opportunity to upskill in digital careers including software testing, software development and data analytics via an intensive and focused training programme. Candidates are then provided with opportunities to work with partner companies to practically apply these newly acquired skills in the real world. 




Harambee exists so that we can change the entry level labour market, enable others, and solve youth unemployment at scale – through partnerships. This requires new and innovative approaches to how we do our work, organise ourselves and grow our teams. 

Our partners include the likes of The Presidency of South Africa, Youth Employment Service (YES), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), private sector and other government partners in supporting South Africa’s national youth employment strategy. As Harambee evolves and scales, it has become increasingly important that our contact centre operations are scalable, and is ready to meet the ever-increasing and agile demands of enabling our partner networks, as well as our youth network of just over 2,5 million work-seekers.

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) will be strategically and operationally responsible for all Harambee’s back and front office contact centre operations in order to support our partner and youth networks. 

The COO will also form part of Harambee’s executive team and will share accountability in leading our entire organisation, strengthening our culture and managing organisational risks.


The scale of operation is currently around 300 people, which is split across two divisions that service both Harambee’s network of youth and employer partners. The operation also operates a hybrid office and work from home delivery model, and is further enabled by world-leading technologies and provides services through the full range of multi-channel offerings. These channels include:

  • Inbound
  • Outbound
  • Digital channels – WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS and other social media channels

The operations are also enabled by a range of support functions including:

  • Workforce Management & Planning (WFM)
  • Management Information (MI)
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Training 
  • Knowledge Management 

The Chief Operations Officer will be responsible for:

  • Delivering strong operational performance across both portfolios (partner and youth network)
  • Building solid relationships with new partners, as well as maintaining existing partner relationships
  • Building and maintaining a best practice approach to customer service, and looking to continuously improve operational performance
  • Ensuring effective resource planning and management across both partner and youth operations
  • Creating a high performing, engaging and inspiring environment through driving the Harambee Way of Working and values
  • Providing leadership, coaching and support to Operations Managers and other leaders within the team
  • Together with the other executives, lead the organisation’s strategy, goals and vision as approved by the Board of Directors


    Minimum Requirements

    • A relevant tertiary qualification
    • Have extensive experience (seven years or more) of managing large scale, multi-disciplinary contact centre operations
    • Proven track record in understanding and enabling the support functions (WFM, QA, MI, etc) for a contact centre environment

    Attributes Required

    • Have the ability to coach at a senior level to create and develop the right culture whilst also delivering high performing teams
    • Be able to evidence a strong track record of delivery with respect to achieving call centre front and back office operational outcomes 
    • Have strong people leadership, communication and motivational capabilities to lead large scale operations
    • Be able to confidently and credibly engage with external partners and stakeholders
    • Be action-orientated, flexible and have an innovative approach to operational management
    • Be an analytic and decisive decision maker with the ability to priortitise and communicate key objectives to all our people
    • Demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and data driven evaluation
    • Strong financial acumen to maintain and deliver against operating budgets

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