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Qual Associate Director / Director



Type of Job

Full time




£48,000 – £75,000 full time - level dependant

Published Date

14 February 2022

About the company

Firefish Ltd is a cutting edge global strategic insights agency with offices in London and New York. Having started life as an innovative youth research agency in 2000, we have grown into one of the largest independently owned insight agencies in the world, bringing deep human understanding to the heart of the strategic decision-making process for some of the world’s biggest brands.

At the heart of our philosophy lies the belief that insight is useless unless it is immediately usable. Sounds fairly obvious I guess! But the world is full of interesting data – the skill lies in knowing what to do with that data, and turning it into something that drives powerful strategies and leads to genuine impact.

We call it ‘Human Strategy’. Put simply, it’s about understanding people and real life really really well, understanding business and brand strategy really really well – and combining the two to deliver not just ‘findings’, but pieces of human strategy that drive action and have tangible impact in our clients’ businesses.

As a final note, we believe in equal opportunities – but we know that sometimes these are just words. We know that diversity, inclusion and belonging are more than paramount in today’s workplaces. We also know that it is important to show up with authenticity when speaking about inclusion, so we want to be fully transparent and share where we are at as a company. We are on an internal journey to deepen our understanding of diversity & equity and to truly build a culture of belonging. While we are a diverse group of people in many ways, we know that we are not representative of all of the diversity characteristics, especially race, disability and gender identity. We know that the work starts at the top so we are working with a diversity and inclusion consultant this year who we hope will help us become a business that better represents the different cultures that exist within the UK and globally, and that is better able to attract a diverse pool of applicants to help us on that journey – particularly at a more senior level. This role is rather senior so if you are ok with us being on a journey and want to help us shape our next future, we would especially love to hear from you.

About the role

We are looking for two Qualitative Associate Directors or Directors for our London office to continue to build on our past 20+ years success, working with clients such as Amazon, Pinterest, Unilever, Spotify, VFC and Diageo. The ideal person will have a proven track record in qualitative research and moderating experience with strong strategic and analytical skills. They would ideally also be comfortable incorporating other data sources (quant, cultural insight, semiotics, client data etc) – although they do not need to be practitioners of these.

They will be comfortable driving work forward across multiple projects, trusted by clients and able to navigate strategic conversations as well as tactical decision-making. The job will be a mix of delivering existing client work and supporting you to grow and develop your own client relationships.
We say Associate Director or Director, because we’re open to both. The roles are treated differently by different agencies – what some agencies might call an Associate Director, we might call a Director. So we don’t want to be too prescriptive. Essentially it’s someone who’s probably got a minimum of 4-5 years’ experience (and up to 9-10) and is confident leading projects and being the main client point of contact. You might sometimes be working with a senior client account owner within Firefish, or sometimes independently. The salary bracket we’re looking at is £48-75k depending on experience.

As a further note on the role, we understand that agency life is challenging. These are busy times and we are all having to work extremely hard to deliver against increasingly challenging client demands. We can’t promise you that life at Firefish won’t be fast-paced and occasionally stressful. But we can promise you a philosophy that promotes balance and wellbeing over long hours and burnout. Our MD, Daniel Rose, has been a researcher at all levels of the business and knows what it’s like when work becomes overwhelming. We won’t pressure you to take on too much, and we encourage and work with everyone to ensure that workloads stay manageable.


£48,000 – £75,000 full time - level dependant
• 25 days holiday per annum (3 additional days off during the Christmas break that do not come out of your holiday allowance)
• Private Medical Cover
• Self-Contributory Pension Scheme: auto enrolment after a postponement period approximately three months, a matched contribution of 4.5%
• Paid 4 week sabbatical after 5 years continuous service
• 8 discretionary ‘Fish Days’ during your employment (which do not come out of your annual holiday allowance) set aside to volunteer, do something charitable or give back
• Opportunities for agile working
• Mobile with all calls (within reason!)
• Company laptop
• Cycle to work scheme
• Season ticket loan scheme
• Birthday cake and present



• Client relationships and new business development
o Confident with client communication, including how to negotiate any hurdles and manage expectations
o Able to develop and nurture accounts, building a strong understanding of the client’s business and category trends
o Actively looks for ways to expand existing client relationships, taking the initiative to seek new business opportunities

• Proposals and costings
o Able to create and write effective and winning proposals, with minimal input or direction from more senior team members
o Understands financials and can confidently cost proposals

• Project management
o Is able to proactively plan ahead for key project milestones – managing expectations of senior and junior team members providing clear delegation and guidance including an awareness of project budgets

• Fieldwork
o Is able to lead domestic and international projects
 Coordinating a team of moderators / partners
 Running group discussions and interviews and liaising with PM team
 Overseeing digital communities / online research
o Confident running internal client workshops

• Analysis & debriefing

o Has the ability to be a driving force in thinking, creating frameworks for discussion, drawing out the best from junior and senior team members
o Is able to write a debrief to a finished or ‘almost finished’ level, with junior and senior input as and where relevant, including the creation of strategic outputs that pave crystal clear pathways to action for our clients
o Can regularly lead on presenting debriefs to senior clients

• People and line management
o Is able to line manage junior team members guiding them to meet their objectives
o Can be a trusted advisor for the junior team, offering mentorship, guidance and support both on and off projects

• Culture & internal initiatives
o Is able to bring in relevant new ideas, thinking and approaches to improve our ways of working and our offer to clients
o Has unique perspectives not already existing within the business that can drive diverse thinking in our outputs


Proven ability in all aspects of the qualitative research process (i.e. delivering winning proposals, outstanding moderation, strong and strategic analysis skills, clear and engaging client presentations)

• Ideally some experience blending disciplines to tell more comprehensive stories (quant, cultural insight, data etc) – although not essential

• Experienced and passionate interviewer and ethnographer. Experience with more innovative methodologies and approaches strongly preferred

• Strong project management and client communication skills

• Some experience developing existing client relationships and bringing in new client relationships desired, but not essential for less experienced AD candidates

• Strong storytelling skills

• Intelligent, clear thinking, passionate, enquiring, fun

• Good Powerpoint design skills would be a massive bonus!

Apply Now


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