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Job Vacancy: Helpline Team Leader

Use your call centre team management skills to help to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable UK nationals who wish to stay living in the EU after Brexit.


As our Helpline Team leader you will bring your professional experience to a truly worthwhile cause - no commercial sales involved - where success is measured by our quality of service and the impact of our support to people who need practical help to enable them to stay living in Spain. You will manage a team of trained and dedicated volunteers, to deliver this vital welfare service in Spain.


The Age in Spain Residency Helpline project helps UK nationals who live in Spain to ensure they have their residency status in place as the UK leaves the European Union. This is one of the largest projects in Europe (one of three in Spain), funded by the UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to help UK nationals  resolve their residency status through its UK National Support Fund (UKNSF). 


An estimated 1.3M UK nationals currently live and work in the 27 Member States of the EU. Almost 400,000 are known to be in Spain, with many more who live in Spain in practice, but have not registered as being resident.


The Age in Spain Residency Helpline provides information for UK nationals on how to arrange their residency in Spain with vital additional support to vulnerable UK nationals who cannot manage the residency process unaided because they experience barriers such as language, lack of access to the internet, health, mobility or capacity issues.

The Project .

Freedom of movement between EU member states has enabled many British nationals to live flexibly between the UK and Spain. This will change. As the UK has now left the the EU, spending time between the UK and Spain is covered by much stricter rules. Many British nationals have been living in Spain for long periods or even permanently without regularising their residency status. A significant proportion are older, unaware of the changes due to Brexit, or do not have the capacity to regularise their status unaided or manage the bureaucracy involved in the system. This could affect their right to receive health and welfare services in Spain.

Help now will avert potential crises later on and enable British people to benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement which protects the rights of UK nationals who live in Spain if they can show that they were living in Spain before 31 December 2020.

Why is this Project Important?

The project is time limited. It is currently funded until April 2021, and is likely to be extended for a further period during 2021. Negotiation for its extension is underway. 

Project duration and location.

  • This position is offered on a standard local employment contract or equivalent, with possible extension depending on requirements and funding.

  • Salary circa €25,000 gross, 40 hours per week, 20 days holiday per year plus public holidays

The Package.

How does the Helpline work?

The service is provided by a team of eight full time staff members and more than thirty trained, part time volunteers, all working from home. Together, they provide 

  • A virtual call centre service (telephone and email), led by the Helpine Team Leader, which responds to upwards of 50 enquiries per day via telephone and email and currently helps up to 350 people per month

  • A knowledge bank managed by the Project Assistant, with detailed information support to the Helpline team on specific cases, including legislation, local practice in regions and liaison with Spanish and UK Governments on residency policy and practice issues

  • An outreach service provided by a Support Coordinator and four regional volunteer teams led by Regional Coordinators to provide intensive one to one practical support in more complex cases and network with other welfare organisations

  • Online and local promotion of the service including online question and answer sessions, local pop up events, networking with local welfare organisations which support UK nationals, press, radio and social media, supported by the Communications Manager 

  • Digital services to manage the service technical systems and support staff and volunteers, provided by the Digital Services consultant

  • Volunteer recruitment, training and support provided by the whole team

All enquirers receive follow up support, if required, over a period of weeks or months to ensure that they are helped to complete their residency applications. Given the vulnerable nature of our priority service users, the barriers to self help that they face and the practical complexities of the residency application process, this might involve multiple outgoing support calls from the Helpline assistants. More complex cases are referred to the Support Coordinator to coordinate intensive one to one support, including, where necessary, home visits in some Spanish regions (Northern Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canaries) and liaison with other welfare organisations at local level. Some Helpline Assistant volunteers also work as volunteer outreach support workers. 


The project networks with British Embassies and Spanish Government departments, Spanish and UK welfare service providers, voluntary groups and welfare support networks throughout Spain.

The post.

The Helpline team leader is responsible for the effective delivery of the Helpline service, through the management and support of volunteer Helpline Assistants, the quality and accuracy of information they provide and overall, meeting call centre targets. 

The Helpline team typically consists of two to four volunteer Helpline Assistants per shift, drawn from a pool of up to 30 volunteers, helping them to respond effectively and sympathetically to enquirers, whilst reviewing performance, quality of service in terms of the user experience and providing coaching and support. The role requires a light but professional management approach, which recognises that the volunteer/organisation contract is based on goodwill and involvement in a good cause - not on payment. This requires the Helpline team leader to have excellent and intuitive people skills as well as the professional skills to deliver the project targets.



  • Lead and inspire a team of Helpline Assistants to deliver excellent levels of individual/team performance and customer satisfaction

  • Arrange volunteer shifts to cover opening hours and anticipated levels of demand for the service

  • Train, motivate and coach Assistants to ensure a high quality service

  • Host 1-2-1’s and team meetings

  • Manage day-to-day online activities, prioritise and make risk/impact assessments within existing processes and procedures towards achieving goals

  • Make and deliver training and development for the Assistants and ensure that there is sufficient number of trained Assistants to provide the service, in collaboration with other staff team members responsible for volunteer recruitment and training

  • Support the Project Director to highlight operational risks and areas for improvement

  • Support other team members to deliver support service targets and objectives

  • Keep up to date with any residency process changes affecting the service and ensure Assistants are kept up to date

  • Work with the staff team to identify and deliver positive change and business efficiencies

  • Escalate any appropriate problems to the Project Director


Practical daily tasks on the Helpline:

  • Ensure that the telephone and email services (provided by Aircall and Helpscout) are accessible and function correctly

  • Assign all enquiries to on-duty volunteers

  • Quality check emails and calls to enquire accuracy and consistency, with responses that respond fully to the enquirer’s personal circumstances. 

  • Ensure that customer profiles are completed and appropriate follow up is made, including referral to other services as required 

  • Keep the CRM system (Beacon) updated to ensure full reporting

  • Review feedback ratings, action any follow up and recognise assistants for their input

Required skills and experience.

  • Native English speaker (professional Spanish desirable)

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience within a contact centre environment, preferably remotely Minimum 1 year as a Team Manager

  • Ability to manage, motivate and support voluntary (non paid) Helpline assistants on a daily basis 

  • Ability to use and configure the software to provide flexible services

  • Customer service experience

  • Excellent leadership and communication skills

  • Strong coaching and people-development skills both in workshop and on the job environments

  • Ability to deal with demanding customers and escalations


Please note that the recruitment timeline is intensive in order to start as soon as possible.


Closing date: 12.00 pm CET Friday 8 January 2021

Interviews: From 11 January 2021

Start date: as soon as possible subject to reference and safeguarding checks



How to apply

Due to the high number of applications that we expect to receive for this opportunity and our successful use of video presentations in recruiting excellent candidates to the current team, we are asking all candidates to submit a response to a video task as well as submitting their CV or LinkedIn profile


This stage has been created to give everyone the best chance of moving forward with their application and to help us to ensure that we invite the very best candidates for an interview.

The task: please record a short video, aiming for less than 3 minutes, and upload it for our hiring panel to view. Please note that applications without the video presentation will not be accepted.


The scenario

Your Helpline team consists of a bank of up to 30 volunteers who are recruited and trained online before they start as Helpline Assistants. They currently work on 2 hour shifts, maybe a couple of times a week, maybe more - depending on their availability. The Helpline is open 9-5 weekdays. Volunteers commit to staying for a minimum of three months, but some don’t stay so long because they secure employment or have other new commitments. Until now, the three Regional Coordinators have been responsible for the complete process - and take turns at managing the Helpline (1 or 2 days a week). The system works well, but as the number and complexity of enquiries have increased, many requiring follow up, it needs a full time person - you, the Team leader - to ensure continuity and quality of service. 


  1. What would be the first three things that you would do if you were the Team leader?

  2. You are given a newly trained Assistant, how would you arrange their first shift? 

  3. After several shifts the Assistant is still struggling to manage the technical aspects of the system and needs more support than you think is appropriate. How would you handle this?

  4. How would you ensure quality of service? Give an example of how you have achieved this in a similar role?


Sharing your video with us


Once you’ve created your video, please upload it to a suitable channel such as Youtube, Vimeo or another video platform and submit the link to the video on your application form. If you need us to use a password to access your video, there is a space to add this on the application form. Do not send us the video direct or via WeTransfer. 


We’re not asking you to create a blockbuster so please don’t worry about scenery, dressing up or ultra high resolution. We just want to see you presenting naturally and ensuring the file you upload works as intended.


Deadline for sharing: please submit your video and CV as part of your application form before 12:00pm CET on Friday 8 January 2021.


Any questions?

If you have any questions for us or, for any reason, you are not able to send us a video response, then please get in touch. We will endeavour to think of how we can evaluate your application without the need for a video recording.


And finally, thank you. We recognise that we are making great demands of you at this stage of the process - this is because the role is in itself demanding and we need to be sure we select the very best applicants for the role, within a short space of time!

Ready to apply?

The online application form for this job is accessible via the button below.

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