We are looking for managers passionate about how data and emergent technology can be used to solve social problems and create a fairer society. Your work will be varied from leading projects/products to developing our data and digital strategy to coaching and mentoring colleagues.
Data and digital is the major growth area for Social Finance. They’re key ingredients to delivering 21st century services that improve outcomes. Over the next 12-18 months we have an ambitious plan of growing the team, expanding into new social issues, and building international collaborations to bring our approach and model to new countries. A colleague recently said “I joined for the combination of passionate ambition and serious strategy.”
Recent examples of our projects include:
- Using data science to uncover hidden social issues – we analysed local authority social care and education data (bringing together 700 datasets) and did user research with decision makers to find new ways to help reduce exclusions. We showed that girls were actually being ‘excluded’ at a higher rate than boys, but their exclusions were hidden by official definitions. Our findings featured in The Guardian. We’re now helping authorities replicate our analysis and are developing an intervention to support the high-risk students which the analysis identified.
- Changing the social contract between government and residents – We’re working closely across 22 councils in Wales to enable adult social care to better communicate and share information with people accessing their services. Our multi-disciplinary team applied user centred design to define the problem, prototype solutions, and build, embed and scale a new digital service. The service is now live and improving transparency and trust between people accessing adult social care and councils.
- Improving mental health with better service data – We’ve run a large, national programme called IPS Grow since 2019, which is supporting the NHS and other government departments to significantly increase the number of people with mental health conditions and drug and alcohol addictions who can find and keep fulfilling work. We’ve developed and currently manage an outcomes and reporting tool which allows services to capture, monitor and respond to their performance data more effectively, improving outcomes for people using the service.
We are looking for Managers with data and digital expertise to support two important lines of work enabling the public, social and health sectors to use data and digital to improve outcomes for people across the UK and beyond:
Children and Young People & Health and Social Care Strategy: You’ll work across our Children and Young People and Health and Adult Social Care impact strategies. You’ll enable our partners to use data and technology to empower people and communities.
Our work is broad – ranging across digital transformation to risk modelling to business intelligence to developing data standards to designing the commercial models for ‘govtech’ products to advising on the ethics of data collaborations, and training partners’ data scientists.
This breadth is intentional. Rather than trying to develop our own leadership in a single area, we are trying to achieve social change. We take on this wide variety of challenges because these challenges are what lie between us and our goals. You will need to be excited by that breadth – and by the frequent need for teams to blend technical with policy and service delivery expertise to identify the right solution.
Ultimately, social impact should be your driver rather than the use of cutting-edge data science approaches or the latest technologies as we are often constrained by the data, technology, and in-house capability of our partners. This provides you with the opportunity to think of creative ways to work around those constraints and consider that to be part of the fun.
Mental Health and Employment Data Strategy: You will be responsible for developing and implementing a national data strategy for Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services. IPS supports people with mental health issues to find and keep meaningful employment. You will have product oversight of the IPS Grow Data Reporting Tool (https://ipsgrow.org.uk/providers/data-reporting/), which we developed to allow services to capture and monitor their data more efficiently, working with our technology partner.
You will champion the effective use of data by IPS services to improve quality of delivery and provide strategic advice to public service commissioners around collecting and monitoring outcomes data. You will be passionate about the power of data to tackle inequality and injustice. You will develop tools and strategies to ensure that the voices of clients inform how service data is collected, used and interpreted.
You will have a strong mix of the skills and experiences below and, most importantly, will be excited about the opportunity to learn.
- Delivering Impact – leading projects/products that enable our partners to more effectively use data and technology to improve decision-making and explain our approach and insights to stakeholders and partners.
- Providing expertise and advice on data and/or digital transformation programmes – advising partners with a range of capabilities to help solve strategic and operational problems for the public sector, charities, and impact-focussed businesses.
- Understanding product development cycles – you will be able to lead the development of data and digital projects and products from blank piece of paper to final solutions whether that is a report, an open-source solution, or a fully hosted web-app.
- Communicating insights to non-data and tech people – you will need to be comfortable speaking with a range of people and roles, helping them to understand data and technology and taking important decisions from re-designing services or choosing a coding language.
- Supporting our partners – you will love building our partners’ capacity to undertake similar work themselves whether its pairing with their team, launching an apprenticeship programme for data science or open- sourcing solutions so that they’re easy for others to use and build on.
- Leading a project – noting the requirement for excellent time management, balancing multi-projects at the same time, and working as part of a team.
- Managing Ambiguity – you will need to be comfortable with changing approaches as you and the team develop a better understanding of the problem and what might solve it.
- Refining and implementing our strategy – working with the senior team to shape our strategy and roadmap for projects and products from health and social care, children services, international development and more.
- Supporting colleagues – helping them to structure their work and check that the outputs are production/publication ready.
- Managing in an Agile way – manage ambiguity, know what everyone is working on, and ultimately enable the team to deliver social impact.
- Considering ethics – think about and explore the ethical implications of data, technology, and society – e.g. how design decisions exacerbate or counter problems such as structural racism and algorithmic bias, or the tendency towards state surveillance of disadvantaged people.
The following is desirable, but not essential:
- Leading or contributing to open-source projects – increasingly a key part of our impact strategy.
- Navigating projects with complex legal and ethical considerations.
- Working with the public and social sector – inc. experience with the Government Digital Service standards,
government, ICO and NHS best-practise guidance on data ethics, sharing, and analysis.
- Working in multi-disciplinary teams – working with user researchers, designers, developers, business
analysts and others.
Our Commitment to You
Social Finance offers a range of training and development support, using both in-house expertise and external partners to develop and deliver our training programmes. Alongside the Project Managers you work with day to day, your Line Manager will support you in your career planning and personal development. All new staff have a buddy in place to help them learn about life at Social Finance.
The fixed salary for this position is £50,000 per annum dependent on experience. We offer a generous holiday allowance plus bank holidays and corporate leave between Christmas and New Year when the office is closed. We also offer a contributory stakeholder pension scheme, plus an uplift in salary to spend on other benefits, season ticket loans, bike to work schemes and Give as you Earn via salary sacrifice.
Encouraging community and wellbeing is important to us. We have a health and wellbeing plan to encourage better working practices for individuals. Social Finance is a disability confident committed employer as well as a founding signature of the UK social investment sector’s Diversity Forum manifesto.
About Social Finance
We are an ambitious not for profit group organisation aiming to achieve lasting social change that enables people to lead fulfilling lives. We collaborate with governments, funders, community organisations and the wider social sector to create breakthrough solutions to challenging social problems in the UK and internationally.
Founded in 2007, our team shares a passion for social impact and includes over 100 employees with a blend of experiences from the public, commercial and voluntary sectors. Our people bring a unique set of skills in digital, data, research, operations, policy, facilitation and financial analysis that is highly valued by our partners in social change. We are based in Vauxhall, London with sister organisations in the US, Israel, India and the Netherlands, as part of the Social Finance Global Network. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Diversity and Inclusion
We need a diverse organisation to be effective. Our work requires us to bring together people with a broad range of skills and life experiences to ensure our impact across a range of social issues and systems. We are committed to having an inclusive culture and working environment in which everyone feels at home and is supported to achieve their potential. We know there is further to go and are implementing a Diversity and Inclusion strategy with a group of external experts to hold us to account.
We actively encourage applications from under-represented and minoritised groups, including those with lived experience of the social issues we are working to address. We are an equal opportunities employer.
We support a range of flexible working options and UK based welcome applications from outside of London/the Southeast. We can also accommodate secondments and part-time working.
How to Apply
Social Finance are using Applied a new application platform developed by the Behavioural Insights Team, to record your application. Applied is focused on using behavioural and data science to improve hiring decisions and minimise unconscious bias in the recruitment process. You will be asked to respond to four situational based questions which will allow you to express your ability.
Your answer to each question will be viewed in isolation. Please therefore ensure there is enough detail in that single response, without any references to your other responses.
NB: Whilst we are asking for your CV, please note that we will not be viewing your CV during the initial sift process. The selection panel will not have access to your CV, so it is therefore essential that you respond to each question fully.
To begin your application, please click here.
Should you require any reasonable adjustments to allow you to attend an interview, please highlight this when you are invited.
Closing date for applications 13:00pm Tuesday 30th November 2021