Designer, Capacity Building

Location: Canada


Our mission at Overlap is to democratize design, and we need some more help delivering on that mission! 

Overlap welcomes you as you are. We place a high value on diversity and building an intentional, inclusive culture that welcomes employees to engage their whole selves—because who is doing the designing matters. We know that diverse teams make our work better, our ideas more creative, and our process more rigorous. We know we have work to do in this area and are committed to learning and growing. Diversity and inclusion relate to all our core values, especially Empathy, Collaboration, and Creativity.

We are a strengths-based environment and encourage Indigenous, racialized, and LGBTQ2S+ persons, as well as individuals with disabilities or from marginalized and other underrepresented groups to apply. Please do reach out if there’s any assistance that we can provide for your application process.

At this time we are only able to consider candidates in Canada and the United Kingdom. With our work entirely virtual for the foreseeable future, we are open to candidates outside of Kitchener and Leeds.

Job Description

Position & Salary Band
Designer, Capacity Building
$48,500 – $56,000

Business Area Head & PL
Director, Programs

Direct Reports

Overlap Associates Canada–Kitchener Office
Programs (Capacity Building) Team

Expected Hours of Work
40-hour workweek

General Accountabilities

Early level designers play a generalist role on the team, learning different skills and helping across innovation lab programs, training, and coaching—different formats we use to build our clients’ capacity in human-centred design. You might not call it “design” but you are genuinely curious about creative problem solving, open to learning (and adapting how you others see the world), and willing to help out.

Our clients are looking for better ways to tackle complex problems. We think design (including design thinking/human-centred design) provides a novel way to approach these wicked problems. As a member of the Capacity Building team, you will help us prep, facilitate, and follow up on weekly client meetings (what we call innovation lab programming), training sessions (including live virtual training and pre-recorded curriculum), and coaching sessions. All of these contribute to the ultimate goal of democratizing design.

Key Job Responsibilities Including Performance Expectations

Capacity Building Support—80%
  • Curiously explore new tasks and be open to advice from senior members of the team using a learner’s mindset
  • Willingly support the Overlap team and make the people around you better
  • Participate in collaborative, weekly team planning
  • Support a client-centric perspective when completing client work and participating in client-facing events
  • Help with innovation lab program delivery; for example, by supporting external team planning or the facilitation of engagement, design, and strategy sessions
  • Conduct secondary research to inform work on internal and client projects
  • Write first drafts of reports, presentations and documents, helping to deliver compelling narratives
  • Proofread documents for accuracy and consistency
  • Help articulate simple strategies, ideas and concepts and help others put them into action
  • Take good notes and capture facilitated sessions internally or with clients
  • Capture learning and experiences from supporting external team planning to enhance our team’s development
  • Produce visual blueprints, maps, frameworks, stories, and documentation to enhance innovation lab programs, training, and coaching
  • Support logistics and delivery of Overlap courses and training outside of ongoing client work
  • Share learning and experiences from supporting Overlap courses and training to enhance ongoing development
  • Produce blueprints, maps and documentation to enhance courses
Additional Duties —10%
  • Special projects as assigned

Education/Technical Qualifications

We recognize that experience comes from a variety of places. We are looking for someone that continually wants to learn and can embrace working within a growing company, which can often feel ambiguous and dynamic. Listed here are a few qualifications:

  • 3–5+ years of work experience with transferrable skills
  • Education, qualifications, or work experience in a related field would be useful (such as education, coaching, anthropology, psychology, sociology, design research, UX, graphic design, etc.)
  • You can use Google Docs, or the Microsoft Office equivalents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and are familiar with or able to quickly pick up online collaboration tools like Zoom and Miro
  • It’s a plus if you have basic digital skills (like web design), media skills (A/V, photography, or videography), or can use visual design software (Adobe Suite)
  • Above all else, you really love humans and are optimistic, kind, and boldly humble


Overlap has nine core competencies that we use to evaluate candidates. We would expect in an interview for you to provide examples demonstrating ability across these 9 dimensions. The dimensions of each competency listed below are the expected skill level for this position. You do not need to be strong in every single area, this is a role through which you can build your general competencies.

  • You can compile relevant online research without explicit guidance
  • You can formulate a clear hypothesis and recommend methods for testing it
  • You can write and speak clearly and intelligently when you are comfortable and prepared
  • You can craft a cogent and compelling argument in email, documents, or conversation
  • You can transform an idea or concept into a coherent outline or storyboard
  • You can visualize your thinking compellingly with pen and paper, marker and board
  • You can sense, refine and express your own instincts and intuition
  • You can identify interesting patterns that combine diverse references
  • You can add incremental value to a meeting, call, presentation or facilitation
  • You can successfully deliver a sizeable portion of a final presentation or facilitation
  • You can describe the WWWWH of bringing a simple strategy to life
  • You can take an approved strategy, and with supervision and support, bring it to life
  • You can give a colleague, regardless of seniority, warm and honest feedback
  • You can provide critical feedback in a way that inspires its recipient to commit and improve
  • You can list the things that are important to your colleagues and clients
  • You can offer meaningful off-the-cuff advisement to a colleague and client
  • You can actively listen to others and clarify for understanding if needed
  • You can empathize with your colleagues and respond promptly to other team member needs

Application Instructions

Please email your application as an attachment using the button below, or send it directly to careers@overlapassociates.com with the subject line Designer, Capacity Building.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your application, please contact Overlap Canada’s Director of Programs, Ryan Voisin.