Recruiting : Administrator for Sheldon Retreat

Overview of the Administrator role

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  • A senior role with substantial responsibilities. 
  • You inherit up to date systems that keep Sheldon running for the benefit of guests.
  • Including front line contact with guests, publicity/promotions, responsibility for the technical underpinnings of the offices and the legal/compliance underpinnings of the organisation as a whole. 
  • Often 'the interruptions are the job', but there is also opportunity to shut out distractions and work on projects that require concentration. 
  • You assess issues as they arise from a variety of sources and either resolving them yourself or referring on to other colleagues or support trades. 
  • The better you do your job the more invisible it will be, keeping things running smoothly and anticipating problems before they arise.

Working relationships

Your line manager will be the Warden. You collaborate with other senior community and staff, including Rich who is currently the Technical/Projects Lead, Esther the Hosteller, and Darren the Hub Curator/Editor. You provide technical training and support for colleagues. You also work alongside Karen (self-employed Bookkeeper).

How the role looks day to day

You will have multiple 'to do' lists that require careful prioritising as some of your work will be very time critical but you also need to make steady progress with the less urgent but often more important tasks.

On some days you will be covering Reception where guests are welcomed on arrival, all trade and other visitors to the site check in, and guests bring practical queries or browse the shop. You will share telephone cover with other colleagues. Almost all our bookings are taken by phone in the first instance so you will develop a detailed understanding of what Sheldon offers in order to assist guests making bookings. A caring approach is needed for those guests who are distressed or presenting a complex enquiry.  Other enquiries come in by email and need attention to detail and a prompt response. 

Sheldon has up to date computer infrastructure running under VMWare and Windows Server 2016; a bespoke database application for handling bookings, mailings and donations; an internal telephone system; wireless broadband and three main websites. The largest website is the Sheldon Hub which relies on the Sheldon infrastructure. We have good companies supporting each of these areas. The Administrator's role is to maintain safe and healthy systems and to respond to problems by either resolving them or analysing and passing to the correct support. Complex issues can involve two or three companies. Sometimes solutions require an immediate hands-on approach, for which a toolbox is provided!

Entry level requirements

Technical skills: You don't need to have an exact match to this list, but you do need to be able to evidence practical working experience across a good range of software, and the ability to learn quickly.

  • Microsoft Office (especially Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher)
  • A financial software package (we use Xero Accounting with Dext and Excel)
  • A professional design package (we use Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Lightroom - these would be strongly preferred)
  • A website content management system (we use SelectCMS
  • A complex database (ours is a SQL database serving a bespoke user application) basic SQL query writing skills would be an asset
  • Office infrastructure such as small computer network, patch panel, broadband, telephone exchange, etc
  • Promotional writing and design across a variety of platforms such as social media, newsletters, blogs, web pages, posters, leaflets, etc

About you and your experience

  • You will be good with technical things and good with people. 
  • You are able to listen empathically and accurately and communicate effectively in person and through written media.
  • You collaborate well with colleagues.
  • Capacity to organise, collaborate and keep records and reference information in good order.
  • You bring experience in a reasonably senior administrative role, perhaps in another charity or public service position. 
  • If you have a business background then there may be skills that transfer well from that environment but your learning curve is likely to be steeper.