Director, Product Engineering

Chicago, IL

As a leading industrial distributor with operations primarily in North America, Japan and the United Kingdom, We Keep The World Working® by serving more than 4.5 million customers worldwide with products delivered through innovative technology and deep customer relationships. With 2023 sales of $16.5 billion, we’re dedicated to providing value for customers, fostering an engaging culture for team members and driving strong financial results.


Our welcoming workplace enables you to learn, grow and make a difference by keeping businesses running and their people safe. As a 2024 Glassdoor Best Place to Work and a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company, we’re looking for passionate people to join our team as we continue leading the industry over our next 100 years.


The Director of Engineering in Search is an engineering leader for people, process, and delivery management. You have a search background and can guide creation and priority of features and capabilities through leadership, execution, facilitating communication, and understanding the boundaries of their specific domain applying their technical mindset. You will report to the Sr. director of Product Engineering. This is a remote position.

You Will:

You will manage a team of Senior Engineering Managers and Engineering Managers. 

You will provide direction for Search with a focus on the engineering aspects such as technical dependencies on product and category services, interactions with data science teams and services that provide user search intention and suggestions, architectural agreement for modernized search, and maturing the Agile processes driving the Search teams.   

Domain responsibilities: 

  • Feature prioritization and delivery: You will lead multiple Search development teams that build search capabilities for and company partners using search.  
  • Modern Engineering and Cloud Technologies: Promote and embed skills that allow the use of the cloud, containers, serverless, and the use of test automation. 
  • Product and Architecture Agreement: The Director will ensure that there are regular agreement/backlog refinement sessions for the work coming into the domain. These meetings will provide ongoing structure to maintain connection between Engineering, Architecture, Data Science and Product.
  • Domain Delivery: The Director will remain aware of timelines, commitments, and forecasts of large deliverables. Working with the Product group and their engineering managers, they will try to correct any people issues with the delivery of work and make sure that the teams within their domain have the support, skills, and tools required to deliver high-quality software. 
  • Software Development Process Improvement: It is the charge of the Director to ensure that their Engineering Managers are agents to nurture a culture of continuous improvement for engineers, teams, and even the managers themselves. You will also work with the Director of Engineering Effectiveness and Technical SMEs to create upskilling programs when needed.
  • Facilitate agreement: It is important that the teams, tech leads, product management, data science team and architects always stay in agreement.
  • Search health: The Director will monitor the health of not just a single team, but the entire domain. Using metrics to watch trends and reveal antipatterns, the Director will support Engineering Managers when the need arises for Performance Management, but the Director should mostly be concerned with how the health of the Search system is performing, as a team. 
  • Domain modeling: If the need arises to evaluate the boundaries that exist within the domain, the Director is participant in the conversation. Help Grainger make the best possible choices with any such moves. 

Team responsibilities: 

  • Personnel Management: The Director directly manages a group of Engineering Managers and is indirectly responsible for all the engineering teams under those managers. Issue of team personnel could require their attention or their direct intervention.
  • Built-in Quality: The Director will monitor quality metrics (Ex. Escaped Defects, Mean Time to Resolution) to ensure that the Engineering Managers are encouraging a culture that places heavy emphasis on building quality into the software that is written. Using methods like Test-driven Development, the Director should help to create a system for teams to deliver their best work. 
  • Lifecycle Management: The Director will oversee the health and efficiency of the SDLC for their domain. You should work with all departments, teams, and individuals to ensure the methods of software delivery is smooth and that all operational expenses are providing the desired outcomes. 
  • Technology Champion: The Director will be an advocate for the technology that the teams in their domain create. While the Director is not directly responsible for the design decisions that the teams make, they should always be aware of the outcomes, challenges, and choices the teams are facing.

You Have:

  • 5 to 7 years of people management experience 
  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience in SLDC using Agile methodologies, continuous delivery, cloud and modern engineering approaches to solve business problems 
  • Online Search experience how Search Engines and data science work together to delivery high relevant search results.
  • Demonstrated experience working with data science teams in consuming services and providing data pipelines to build machine learning models 
  • Requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems or a related study or equivalent project-related experience.

Rewards and Benefits:

With benefits starting day one, Grainger is committed to your safety, health and wellbeing. Our programs provide choice and flexibility to meet our team members' individual needs. Check out some of the rewards available to you at Grainger

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance plans
  • Paid time off (PTO) and 6 company holidays per year
  • Automatic 6% 401(k) company contribution each pay period
  • Employee discounts, parental leave, 3:1 match on donations and tuition reimbursement
  • A comprehensive set of emotional, financial, physical and social wellbeing programs


We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, or veteran status. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.


We are committed to fostering an inclusive, accessible environment that includes both providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities during the application and hiring process as well as throughout the course of one’s employment. With this in mind, should you need a reasonable accommodation during the application and selection process, please advise us so that we can provide appropriate assistance.

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