Director - Account Operations

Account Operations New York, New York Boston, Massachusetts

Position at Hill Holliday

About Hill Holliday Health: We’re 125 hungry, humble, healthcare-obsessed humans in both New York and Boston, focused on helping people fight their daily battle for better health. Whether it’s highly targeted digital work for rare diseases or big multi-channel DTC campaigns, no challenge is ever too big, or too small. Our clients include Novartis, Alcon, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and ALK Pharmaceuticals. To learn about Hill Holliday Health, please visit

The Director of Account Operations role will work with Hill Holliday leadership to establish the goals, drive the direction, and oversee the day-to-day activity of the Account Operations group.  The Director of Account Operations is responsible for improving efficiency and delivery of Hill Holliday’s offerings in conjunction with account and department leads.  In alignment with leadership, this person will help establish and measure against the core metrics for success to keep the business operating profitably.

Key responsibilities:

  • Oversee accounts that total $20-40MM in revenue
  • Oversee the Account Operations team – mentor and coach careers paths, manage ongoing performance against agency goals, assign a lead for all agency work
  • Executing against defined department and agency-wide goals
  • Point of escalation for agency leadership to troubleshoot and recommend changes
  • Identify opportunities to refine the agency workflow and process on an ongoing basis – working with Account Operations leads to recommend changes to agency workflow and implement the improvements, including assessing and recommending effective workflow tools for the agency
  • Ensure Account Operations leads are overseeing the scope management process across the agency including how work and effort are pacing against the agreed upon SOW and staffing plan
  • Oversee Account Operations leads in ensuring that the annual Hill Holliday objectives for margin, profitability, utilization, productivity, accuracy, and timeliness are achieved
  • Define and manage the new business and incremental scope process to improve efficiency in delivery and maximizing profitability for the agency
  • Provide ongoing reporting on risks, issues, concerns to senior leadership within the company
  • Escalate issues and potential challenges with department and account leads to ensure that Hill Holliday standards (processes, tools, milestones and approvals) are adhered to
  • Communicate key process and Account Operations department updates with the broader agency

Additional responsibilities:

Account Operations:

  • Point of escalation if there are resource challenges in getting work completed or there are prioritization challenges between clients
  • Ensure that new business (net new and incremental) is properly staffed and that client expectations on scope and process are established
  • Establish and communicate resourcing plans to account and department leads once approved by finance.
  • Identify opportunities to narrow or close agency resource gaps to ensure delivery meets and exceeds expectations and that recommendations are economical
  • Identify the appropriate trainings and certifications that team members require to be compliant with IPG and client requirements
  • Identify process gaps that require new and/or updated approaches to reduce risk in the system or improve KPIs

 Business Management:

  • Establishes business plan objectives with management team and determines standards of performance.
  • Resource management – Review and align agency and account resources with corresponding SOWs/Staff Plans with department leads and HR/Recruiting. This includes identifying what Reqs are open, are they fully funded with the client’s budget, what’s the profitability dynamics for the hire, is there another way to structure to spend less/be more profitable, etc.
  • Drive the schedule, goals, and internal requirements for developing profitable, well defined scopes of work new business and/or new lines of business
  • Work with agency leadership to set gross margin, revenue/growth, utilization, and client specific business goals. Address discrepancies in the established goals with account and department leads and update assumptions accordingly. 
  • Identify opportunities to improve schedule of employees and limiting overtime
  • Centralize, validate, and seek approval for freelance requests
  • Identify reports needed to improve transparency and direction Account Operations provides to key stakeholders
  • Oversee the development cadences across department leads to ensure compliance to budget, time, and other financial goals.  Help assess risks to the business and determine recommended solutions.
  • Identify cost saving initiatives to be implemented by Account Operations


 Client Management

  • Identify client-specific reporting needs and work with key client stakeholders to establish the goal and cadences for such reports
  • Support account management


Candidates are expected to have a minimum of:      

  • Minimum 15+ years of account, operations, and/or project management experience in an agency organization
  • Deep knowledge across Digital, Broadcast and Print
  • Experience presenting in New Business situations
  • Experience in working with executive leadership
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Ability to successfully communicate and negotiate with clients
  • Financial / Scope / Contract management experience ideal
  • Significant team management and leadership experience necessary
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional work experience.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills

 Performance Competencies (Core Skills, Behaviors, and Values):

  • Leadership and management
  • Relationship Management
  • Problem solving and innovation
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Active listening
  • Ability to build and maintain positive, productive working relationships
  • Independent thinking and decision making
  • Executive level poise, presence, and confidence
  • Persuasion and negotiation

 Key Knowledge:

  • Advanced understanding of agency departments/capabilities and applicable agency processes/systems.
  • Advanced understanding of the overall communications process (i.e. strategy development, media planning/buying, creative process, production, etc.)
  • Advanced understanding of individual project budgets and financials.
  • Advanced understanding of the overall account P&L and overall agency P&L and operating model.