tails.com • Richmond, United Kingdom

Head of Product Design (8-month FTC)

3–4 days/week at home

9-day fortnight

Dog friendly

Job Description

We’re looking for an experienced senior product design leader to serve as the Head of our Product Design team for 8 months, tasked with leading the team that creates outstanding experiences for our dog-loving customers in the UK and beyond.

Changing the world of pet food for good

We’re tails.com, a dog food subscription company with a big difference. We create truly tailored food for each and every dog we serve. We start by asking people a few simple questions about their dog. Then we use that information to create their dog’s unique tails.com recipe – so their dog gets exactly the nutrition they need, in the taste they love, delivered to their door every month. It’s clever stuff.

We’ve got ambitious plans. Having created an entirely new category in pet food, we’re now scaling fast in the UK and Europe – backed by Purina, one of the world’s largest pet food companies. You’ll join a bunch of smart people working towards the same goals – and a bunch of smart-ish dogs, all working on their own thing.

Together, we’ll change the world of pet food for good.

Designed to delight our customers

Join Product Design at tails.com, and you’ll be right in the midst of the action – designing product experiences that delight our customers. No one does what we do in the direct-to-consumer space, so it’s your chance to really make your mark.

We work in highly collaborative cross-functional squads, bringing together engineers, designers, researchers, data analysts, and whoever else we need to get the work done. It’s a good mix of swift, tactical work – and taking time to tackle big, hairy problems.

We’re a proper team of designers. (If you’ve ever worked as the sole designer in a company, you’ll know what a difference that makes.)

Sounds like a team you'd like to join? Here’s how you’ll make a difference:

The role

The Head of Product Design will support the business development of new opportunities. This will be achieved through managing the design life cycle from start to finish, designing best practice processes for the design team.

The Head of Product Design is responsible for a wide range of activities including client pitches, company-wide presentations, and leading operational objectives. Skills required to do this role effectively include leadership, collaboration and communication with both your immediate and wider management team.

You will be responsible for:

  • Inspiring and leading the Product Design team, cascading best practises whilst coaching and mentoring the team to success;

  • Leading the design process and best in class procedures to support a collaborative and innovative team;

  • Using design as a tool to drive rapid learning to ensure we’re solving our customers’ most important problems (digital and physical);

  • Designing and testing new products based on consumer insight and a deep understanding of technology, the market landscape and business objectives;

  • Ensuring all products are designed to our brand standards and quality guidelines;

  • Partnering with our brand agency and team to redefine brand identity, standards and design systems;

  • Promoting excellent cross-functional communication between the product management team and senior stakeholders;

  • Presenting product design ideas to cross-functional teams and senior leadership;

  • Living the tails.com values and management competencies daily to set a good example for the team, line managing designers & supporting their career development.

The skills you’ll bring:

  • 8+ years working within Product Design, with at least 3 years within a previous leadership role;

  • Be comfortable working in a fast-paced start-up environment;

  • Have previous experience managing a diverse Product Design team, with previous experience owning and delivering a user-centric design process;

  • Have a proven background in delivering world class consumer-facing products, with a portfolio of UX focused work samples for web and app applications;

  • A history of successful collaboration with technical and commercial partners;

  • Excited by challenges and the ability to create something new;

  • Be confident across a range of user research methods.

Our commitment

We’re proud to be an active equal opportunity employer. We want to give everyone a fair chance to join us in changing the world of pet food for good. We do this by conducting a structured recruitment process for all candidates, as well as actively promoting our roles to communities that are under-represented at tails.com.

During your interview process you’ll meet some of our team with varying levels of responsibility and experience. We want to give every candidate a fair interview process and if you need any reasonable adjustments made, please let us know.

What's in it for you?

  • Competitive salary.
  • Flexible core hours, giving you true work life balance.
  • Hybrid role to ensure this role works for you.
  • 25 days of holiday (excluding bank holidays) which increases over time to a max of 27 days.
  • 9/10 day working week, meaning every other Friday off to enhance your wellbeing without a reduction in pay and leave allowance.
  • Optional 5 days unpaid leave and 1 paid volunteer day each year.
  • When you need a change of scenery, you can work from abroad 2 weeks every 6 months.
  • Health insurance for you, paid by tails.com and discounted gym membership.
  • Extended maternity, shared parental and adoption pay. Up to 6 months at 70% pay, linked to statutory parental pay.
  • Flexible paid care leave to support immediate dependents, people close to you and pets.
  • Electric car lease, through a salary sacrifice scheme.
  • An external financial coach to support a range of topics - debt management, savings and investments.
  • Vet service - to support with all pet related questions.
  • In house L&D team, with access to year round courses to help drive your development.
  • 50% discount on all tails.com and 40% on Republic of Cats products.

What’s next?

If this sounds like it matches your experience and what you’d love to do, we can’t wait to hear from you! If you’re unsure whether you fit our criteria exactly, please get in touch anyway. And because we believe that diverse teams perform better, we’d especially love to hear from you if you’re from an under-represented demographic.

Here’s a taster of how our recruitment process works:

  • Once you have applied, your CV will be reviewed by the Hiring Manager.

  • If selected, you will then have an initial call with the Hiring Manager to discuss your background, experiences, and skills (30 mins).

  • If successful, you will be invited to present a case study / portfolio review to a panel of interviewers consisting of our wider product design team and other pack members within our Brand team (90 mins).

  • Subsequently, you will meet with peers across our engineering, product management, and people team to demonstrate ability to partner with our pack cross-functionally (120 mins).

  • The final stage is a video call or in-person interview with our Brand Director (45 mins).

  • Company benefits

    Enhanced maternity leave – up to 6 months at 70% pay
    Enhanced paternity leave – up to 6 months at 70% pay
    Adoption leave – up to 6 months at 70% pay
    Shared parental leave – up to 6 months at 70% pay
    Work from anywhere scheme – work from abroad 2 weeks every 6 months.
    25 days annual leave + bank holidays
    9-day fortnight
    Dog friendly office
    In 2023 we will trial a 9/10 day working week, meaning every other Friday off to enhance your wellbeing without a reduction in pay or leave allowance.
    In house L&D team, with access to year round courses to help drive your development.
    Health insurance for you, paid by tails.com (starting mid 2023) & discounted gym membership.
    An external financial coach to support a range of topics such as debt management, savings and investments.
    Optional 5 days unpaid leave and 1 paid volunteer day each year.

    We asked employees of tails.com how satisfied they were with flexible working, and this is what they told us

    Employees are very happy with their working location freedom
    Employees are very happy with the flexibility in the hours they work
    Employees are very happy with the benefits their company offers
    Work-life balance
    Employees feel that they can find the perfect balance of life and work
    Role modelling
    Employees feel that flexible working is part of the culture
    Employees feel they have complete autonomy over getting their work done
    Working at tails.com

    Company employees


    Gender diversity (male:female)


    Office locations

    HQ Richmond, Factories in Heathrow and Amstelveen

    Hiring Countries

    United Kingdom