Sigma Labs

Chief of Staff / COO

We are a mission driven education company. We source & prioritise outstanding graduates from less advantaged backgrounds; provide world class technical training; then aim to employ them as high performance developers, ultimately being a scalable talent pipeline for clients. Our mission is social mobility through world class education. Our potential for scale & impact is only limited by our execution. We are backed by investors from Google, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey.

The business is founded on two beliefs:

  • Exceptional talent is missed everyday: talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. The common heuristics used to judge graduates, such as which university they attend, mean that outstanding talent is often overlooked. We rigorously source this talent while advancing the science of assessment;
  • Exceptional training changes outcomes: the most effective learning practises are rarely used because the institutions that invest in the training are not incentivised to do so (paid by quantity not quality). Yet Benjamin Bloom’s seminal educational research proved that the right methods can change learning outcomes by 2 standard deviations (2 sigmas). This is monumental!


The Chief of Staff / COO will be a core part of the management team. The role will be responsible for maximising the efficiency of, and amplifying the effectiveness of the organisation, through day to day ownership of the corporate functions (finance, legal, operations, technology & strategy). It is both a heavily detailed, ‘roll your sleeves up’ position (80% of the role) and also a deeply strategic one (helping make & questioning leadership decisions, owning KPI’s, collaborating on strategy and fund raising, etc.). You will be a key player in determining the daily output and the long term outcome of the business.

Working directly for the CEO, but sitting alongside the Directors of Leadership & Education, the role is by nature a ‘catch-all’. As a small company the functions are high importance but not vastly complex hence it will likely suit a strategy consultant, a polymath-type or someone with cross functional expertise: ultimately someone who believes in excellence and wants be part of a purposeful company.


Day to day the role will involve:

  • Legal: commercial contracts, procurement, management of lawyers, regulation, etc.;
  • Finance: monthly P&L, management accounts, invoices, financial modelling, controls, etc.;
  • Operations: working with the Directors to ensure smooth daily running of the 3 functions (graduate assessment, education & consulting);
  • Technology & Data: as we grow & learn, using tech to leverage our data (i.e. in assessing human talent and driving world class education);
  • Strategic: from the outset you’ll be involved in executive decisions, but as the business grows, you’ll naturally become a leading voice around the table.


  • By obsessing over the detail and living the values of the organisation (see below)


  • Because you understand that a high performance team wins over individual brilliance, and that by winning we have a meaningful impact.


Professional & Education:

  • Education: Undergraduate or MBA from a Tier 1 institution;
  • Industry: 5-7+ years professional experience in a top tier management consultancy or other high performance, delivery focused organisation (i-bank, VC/PE backed business, etc.);
  • Function: likely a generalist, you’ll have a very good understanding of the functions of a business - finance, legal, operations, technology, data, strategy, etc., if not direct experience in one or more of them. We don’t mind which function (or industry) but more important is that you’ve had ownership delivering excellent, professional, high fidelity work, judged by someone who demands it (and you feel comfortable adapting this to a function you’re less familiar with);

Skills & Behaviours:

  • Values: alignment with our values – see below;
  • Highly numerate: while the role is generalist, you’ll be responsible for working across finance, data and strategy (so you’re likely to seek detailed data, and be a clear analytical thinker);
  • Exceptional communicator: a critical part of the role will be working with the Directors to both free them to be specialists but also to amplify their work through challenge and support. You’ll touch every aspect of the company so clear, concise and compelling communication is critical;
  • Interested: beyond the values below, you’re likely to be curious, widely read and considered. In this role particularly, your ability to collaborate and aid decision making will be key, so cross discipline knowledge will likely be something you enjoy in your wider life.

Nice to haves (interest or experience in):

  • learning and education best practise;
  • teaching/coaching adults;
  • technology and its impact on industry and society.


This is a key part of what we offer – the chance to pursue a meaningful mission alongside a group of people working for each other, and trying to deliver exceptional outcomes. We’d want you to contribute to the below as we grow:

  • Team first: self second – remove ego. We try to deliver excellence every day for the person who’ll build on our work...the person sitting next to us. It's about being part of something bigger;
  • Thoughtful respect: this doesn’t mean being ‘nice’, it means showing someone the respect to give them honest feedback, to challenge their work, to demand a higher standard. And to expect the same from its critical we do it with respect. We don’t believe in brilliant assholes;
  • Performance in the moment: what we did last year, the universities we went to, the grades we got, aren’t important. High performing teams care about what you’re doing right now;
  • Entitled to nothing, grateful for everything: the two key components of our business - education and talent - are exceptionally difficult and notoriously ruthless. We are not entitled to succeed, we have to earn it every day – this requires resilience (to go through the cycle of fail, learn, grow, impact);
  • Constant improvement: we invest upfront in defining goals, taking notes, reading, practising – and running at hard feedback – without these, improvement is impossible. We’re geeks through discipline and curiosity;
  • Really caring: having any meaningful impact almost always requires sustained effort and excellent work - so it is really important that we care deeply about finding the right answers;
  • High cadence: tying all of the above together is a sense of urgency to deliver every day.


  • Start Date: immediate;
  • Compensation: £50-£80k (dependent on experience) + significant options (we want you with us for yrs);
  • Application Process: CV & cov letter, 30 min CEO interview, 90 min case study, 2x 20 min interviews with other team members, and finally a 30 min coffee with the CEO;
  • Benefits: flexible L&D and personal wellness budget, regular socials.

Salary range £50,000 — 80,000

Significant options (dependent on experience)

Please mention that you come from SellForThem when applying for this job.

Posted 4 months ago

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