Product Design Manager

| Chicago
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From our employee experience to our products, design matters at Sprout Social. We’re looking for a Product Design Manager specializing in Design Systems to join our team as we advance our design system, Seeds. Seeds facilitates the development of beautiful, helpful, and easy-to-use software that powers human connection. It is home to all of the tools and resources needed to understand the Sprout brand, express it creatively, and inspire meaningful customer experiences. In this role, you’ll lead the team responsible for the creation and stewarding of platform-agnostic products and programs that our internal teams at Sprout can leverage to embody the Sprout brand and build effective experiences more efficiently.
Collaboration and partnership is key for everyone working at Sprout Social. On our Design Systems team, you’ll partner with other designers, engineers, product managers, marketers, and senior executives to constantly evolve and improve the integrity of Seeds. You’ll apply past experience advocating for close partnerships across disciplines, leveraging your ability to speak and move fluidly between the languages of these business functions. You’ll bring a much-needed engineering perspective to the design process to voice issues with feasibility and call out missed edge-cases. And, you’ll be a constant user advocate in every conversation you’re a part of, championing the needs of those who engage with your system and demonstrating your keen user-centered problem solving abilities.
As a Product Design Manager, you’ll have the opportunity to play the role of ‘player-coach.’ You’ll tackle cultivating the people growth of a small team of direct reports. We are looking for someone who welcomes the opportunity to nurture quality craft in their people, as well as to demonstrate quality craft through design and front-end development.
Our people leaders strengthen our team, processes, culture and work. In concert with your peer Design Managers and Design Leadership, you’ll help Sprout continue to be a great place to practice your craft as a creative technologist. You’ll sharpen the skills of your direct reports, plan org-wide design systems education, improve rituals, bolster critiques, and influence systems strategy at scale.
We care deeply about our people and strive to be great bosses. We’re eager to hear your favorite 1:1 questions you ask direct reports. We’re excited to trade tips on leading effective meetings. We’re looking forward to exchanging management articles and advice. Hopefully, we’ll learn new leadership practices from you, too! We’ve built a thoughtful and strong design culture, and we’re looking forward to you adding your own influence to all that we do.

Qualifications

These are the minimum qualifications that our hiring team is looking for in this role:

  • Familiarity with and passion for Design Systems, ideally with direct experience working on a Design System in-house at an organization
  • Experience mentoring, coaching or teaching, and a deep interest in nurturing talent in people, shaping design culture, and leading teams
  • Documented experience structuring projects, processes, tools or initiatives

Additionally, these are the preferred qualifications that would indicate a particularly strong candidate:

  • Direct experience as a people manager, fostering the growth of other designers
  • Experience working on SaaS applications
  • Experience in multiple levels of scale and with multiple types of design teams

Note: When applying, please share​ a link to a portfolio that showcases your recent work.

Within 1 month, you will…
  • Experience Sprout’s in-depth onboarding, covering everything from our company mission and values, hearing directly from executives and founders, to deep training on our products and the value that Sprout delivers to our customers.
  • Partner with the Design Leadership team to define success for your role and your team
  • Spend 1:1s with your direct reports to understand their goals, strengths, and opportunities so that you can help with their career progression.
  • Build relationships across Sprout so that you understand the business, and the partners you’ll need to help your team make progress.
  • Learn all about Sprout’s Creative, Design, Engineering, and Product organizations. Get exposed to how we design, build, go to market. You’ll be encouraged to give us feedback to make things better, too. We don’t just welcome feedback, it’s part of our culture.
Within 3 months, you will…
  • Learn the voice, thinking, and habits of our Seeds users while developing a solid foundation of knowledge on our product and the value our Design System provides.
  • Attend product planning, working group sessions, and all other productive rituals across the wide range of teams you’ll be a part of.
  • Build relationships with leaders across all facets of the business, and deepen your understanding of what healthy collaboration models between Design Systems and other business units might look like.
  • Influence a strong culture of design critique and collaboration, ensuring our creators are considering Seeds in their day-to-day work and that our systems design efforts are held to a high-quality standard.
  • Help your team think through complex problems and offer guidance on presenting their work effectively.
Within 6 months, you will…
  • Develop a career plan alongside each of your direct reports and continue conversations with your manager on your own growth path.
  • Further your Influence on our design, engineering, and product operations as you learn more about our system users.
  • Have a direct impact on the evolution of our system, including leading strategic planning for the system efforts and vision alignment.
Within 12 months, you will…
  • Dream with Design leadership on our long term team vision.
  • Keep defining what design management means at Sprout. We can’t wait to hear your own unique ideas of how you’ll make our work and our company even better.

Of course what is outlined above is the ideal timeline, but things may shift based on business needs and other projects and tasks could be added at the discretion of your manager.

About Sprout Social
Sprout Social powers open communication between individuals, brands and communities through elegant, sophisticated software. We are relentless about solving hard problems for our customers and committed to both customer and team success. Our team’s shared belief in Sprout’s mission promotes a culture of openness, empowerment and fun. 

We’re proud to regularly be recognized for our team, product and culture. Our benefits program includes:

  • Insurance and benefit options that are built for both individuals and families
  • Progressive policies to support work/life balance, like our flexible paid time off and parental leave program 
  • High-quality and well-maintained equipment—your computer will never prevent you from doing your best
  • Wellness initiatives to ensure both health and mental well-being of our team
  • Ongoing education and development opportunities via our [email protected] program, employee-led diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and mentorship programs for aspiring leaders
  • Growing corporate social responsibility program that is driven by the involvement and passion of our team members
  • Beautiful, convenient and state-of-the-art offices in Chicago’s Loop and downtown Seattle, for those who prefer an office setting

Whenever possible, Sprout wants to provide our team with the flexibility to work in the location that makes the most sense for them. For those that prefer an office setting, this role may be based in our Chicago or Seattle locations. If you prefer to work from your home, we can accommodate that for many locations across the United States. We are not set up in all states, however, so please take a look at the drop down box in our application to see whether your state is listed.

Sprout Social is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and an Affirmative Action Employer. We do not discriminate based on identity- race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex (including sexual identity), age, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, veteran or military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, order of protection status, citizenship status, arrest record or expunged or sealed convictions, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local law. Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our 2020 DEI Report.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at [email protected] and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. We'll do all we can to ensure you're set up for success during our interview process while upholding your privacy, including requests for accommodation. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this email address.

For more information about our commitment to equal employment opportunity, please click here (1) Equal Opportunity Employment Poster  (2) Sprout Social's Affirmative Action Statement (3) Pay Transparency Statement.

When you apply for employment with Sprout Social, we will process your job applicant data, including your employment and education history, transcript, writing samples, and references as necessary to consider your job application for open positions. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our Privacy Policy. California residents have additional rights and should review the Additional Disclosures for California Residents section in our Privacy Policy.

Additionally, Sprout Social participates in the E-Verify program in certain locations, as required by law. 

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Sales & Marketing
    • JavaLanguages
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • SwiftLanguages
    • D3JSLibraries
    • ReactLibraries
    • ReduxLibraries
    • DjangoFrameworks
    • HadoopFrameworks
    • CassandraDatabases
    • HBaseDatabases
    • MySQLDatabases
    • RedisDatabases
    • SalesforceCRM

Location

131 S Dearborn, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

An Insider's view of Sprout Social

What’s the vibe like in the office?

We are invited to bring our authentic selves to work. The result is a culture without pretense.

Aja Saunders

Receptionist Systems Specialist

What's the biggest problem your team is solving?

The Growth Activation squad is focused on the challenge of retaining trial users and converting them into subscribers. We find solutions by A/B testing our features, using data science for quantitative analysis, using user interviews for qualitative analysis and working with other teams at Sprout on Growth strategies.

Andrew Kos

Senior Software Engineer

How has your career grown since starting at the company?

When I first joined Sprout, I could count the entire Sales team on one hand. Since then, my career has taken a variety of paths, from training and enablement to assisting our Sales team from a strategic perspective as a Solutions Engineer. Thanks to a workplace environment that fosters growth, I’ve been able to advance my career at Sprout.

Jordan Balkin

Solutions Engineer, Sales & Success

How do you empower your team to be more creative?

Instead of turning down ideas that seem unattainable, we encourage our teams to think through how we can solve challenges in unique ways. By testing and experimenting, we create an environment that fosters innovation and promotes creative thinking.

Jamie Gilpin

CMO

What's something quirky about your company?

At the conclusion of our company wide Kickoff party, tubs of McDonalds cheeseburgers mysteriously appear and rain down on us like a blizzard in the Chicago winter. But a good blizzard.

Molly Jones

Senior Employee Experience Manager

What are Sprout Social Perks + Benefits

Sprout Social Benefits Overview

We’re proud to regularly be recognized for our team, product and culture. Our benefits program includes:

- Insurance and benefit options that are built for both individuals and families
- Progressive policies to support work/life balance, like our flexible paid time off and parental leave program
- High-quality and well-maintained equipment—your computer will never prevent you from doing your best
- Wellness initiatives to ensure both health and mental well-being of our team
- Ongoing education and development opportunities via our [email protected] program, employee-led diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and mentorship programs for aspiring leaders
- Growing corporate social responsibility program that is driven by the involvement and passion of our team members
- Beautiful, convenient and state-of-the-art offices in Chicago’s Loop and downtown Seattle, for those who prefer an office setting

Culture
Volunteer in local community
Partners with Nonprofits
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
Daily sync
Open door policy
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Group brainstorming sessions
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Documented equal pay policy
Dedicated Diversity/Inclusion Staff
Unconscious bias training
Diversity manifesto
Someone's primary function is managing the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives
Diversity Employee Resource Groups
Hiring Practices that Promote Diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Pet Insurance
Wellness Programs
Onsite Gym
Mental Health Benefits
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
401(K) Matching
Company Equity
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
Remote Work Program
Family Medical Leave
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Generous PTO
Paid Volunteer Time
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Free Daily Meals
Game Room
Stocked Kitchen
Happy Hours
Fitness Subsidies
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Diversity Program
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Online course subscriptions available
Customized development tracks
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