Head of Research & Design

Job description

Some people don't believe in magic. Others have lost their faith in tech. At Tover, our trust in both grows each day. One smile at a time. One game at a time. Co-designing purposeful games that delight and stimulate people with cognitive challenges, calls for a full-hearted approach and an inventive mindset. Our solutions may be playful, but we solve serious care and education issues. To maximise our impact, we need to enthuse care providers, teachers, and researchers globally. By inspiring them with relevant metrics. By constantly reinventing our propositions. And by always putting smiles on users' faces. Ready to infuse your career with a healthy dose of purpose? Dare to care with us!


What is your purpose?

To enhance the lives of roughly a million Tovertafel players, each day, every day. Given our target audience – people of all age groups who face cognitive challenges or dementia – the societal and personal stakes are high, so that goes for your impact too. As implied by the number of active players, our purposeful games are embraced by many, but we have no intention of resting on our laurels with a Frappuccino. As a data- and innovation-driven organisation, we will always push the envelope, e.g., by developing propositions for adjacent target groups, creating and cultivating Tovertafel communities, and introducing pioneering new game features.


And this is exactly what we do, based on co-creation: our users are the best judges of our endeavours, and the sooner and more intensive they contribute to ‘their games’, the better they become. That said, we take an evidence-based approach and conduct loads of research, both in-house and in cooperation with academic institutions. Your main KPIs include: ensuring ResDes team (7 fte) happiness, driving collaboration with internal stakeholders, maximising our impact and commercial performance, guiding innovation initiatives from ideation to market penetration, and exuding thought leadership through evidence-based knowledge. Can you build and supercharge a lean & mean innovation machine? Are you the type of leader – inspiring, engaging, user-obsessed, creative yet fact-driven – that designers and researchers instinctively follow? And do you have the pioneering mindset, prioritising skills, and go-to-market chutzpah to bring innovation projects to a successful commercial finish? Coach and empower your team. Set sail for the pot of innovation gold at the end of the development rainbow. And prove that you are the X that marks the spot where strategy meets customer insights meets technology.


The TL;DR version

  • Build and supercharge our innovation machine: set up the team and instil a way of working that empowers and encourages the team to research, design and deliver greatness

  • Evaluate and prioritise (a profusion of) great ideas and guide the team, one iteration at a time, to bring the most promising ones to market

  • Open your ears, heart and mind to the world: what do market insights, investigative studies, and audience feedback tell us, and how can we leverage those insights?

  • Establish the right value streams together with the ET, to make sure our innovations create the maximum impact for our players, customers and Tover itself.

  • Coach team members and accelerate their professional and personal development, turning raw talent into refined professionals.

  • Determine and protect focus. Make sure we do the right things. And do them right.



Job requirements

What you bring to the Tovertafel

  • A bachelor’s / master’s degree and 10+ years of experience in fluid, multifaceted environments – you know the product-service system (hardware/software) challenges and how to overcome them

  • Managing and inspiring a high-performance team of eager, talented and clever professionals is what you excel at – your current team will be sad to see you go!

  • Insights-driven, able to translate fragile ideas into solid concepts, strong prioritising and problem-solving skills, and a master juggler of user requirements, business needs and tech caveats

  • A bright vision of the future (approx. 5 years ahead) and the right tools to create and achieve that vision.

  • You live in the multiverse: the more projects and stakeholders you manage simultaneously, the more at home you feel

  • Experience with design thinking, user-centred design principles, quantitative and qualitative research, and agile ways of working are all big plusses

  • You love feedback (the feeling’s mutual) and have an affinity with our target audiences and their support ecosystems

  • You’re fluent in English and proficient (or better) in Dutch


What’s in it for you?

  • A salary up to €6.500,- a month and 25 paid holidays days for full-time.
  • Non-stop development opportunities: when you grow, we grow, so the sky is the limit.
  • Fun company events, and drinks on our rooftop terrace with great views of Utrecht.
  • NS Business Card, Laptop and all facilities for a pleasant home office (hybride mode).
  • An inspiring home away from home, in the old court building next to the Dom.
  • The opportunity to infuse your CV with a generous measure of purpose.



Want to work your magic for us?

Hit the apply button and surprise us with your portfolio! Want to find out more first? You can call or WhatsApp Sasja (Talent Partner) at 06 18 73 73 88 to discuss the position over a virtual cup of coffee.