Graduate Management Trainee - Social Enterprise

This job has closed

South East
23rd September 2019
Start date:
Job type:
Graduate job

Role Summary:

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) is a multi-award winning charitable social enterprise, working to support the independence of thousands of elderly and vulnerable adults every year.

We believe that social enterprise is the best way to do business

  • Social enterprises are commercially successful; HILS’ turnover was £4.6 million in 2018/19, making HILS one of the biggest social enterprises in the UK.
  • Social enterprises are changing the world; HILS provides services 365 days a year, and served 14,500 people in 2018/19 across 17 life-changing services.
  • Social enterprises are diverse; HILS’ Senior Team is 68.5% female, and 25% of staff have faced barriers to employment elsewhere.
  • Social enterprises have real impact; 94% of HILS clients said they feel more independent, 90% are less lonely, and 93% feel healthier. For every £1 invested in HILS, we generate £5.28 of social value.

    You can be a part of this exciting, growing, life-changing business

Social enterprise is a really exciting place to be. Every day our work changes people’s lives for the better, and makes a difference in our local community. And we’re also a business which earns its income and spends it wisely. We move quickly, experiment, innovate, and learn together. Our teams need business skills and a social heart to succeed.

HILS is a values-based organisation: we genuinely care about our clients, our staff, and what we do to change the world. We’re also an ambitious, commercially successful organisation, with grand plans for the future. Social enterprise is a sector where you can learn to be entrepreneurial, businesses-minded, financially savvy, and change the world for the better.

If you want to learn what it takes to succeed in social enterprise, what better place to learn than at one of the most successful social enterprises in the country?

We need you!

HILS is growing and developing every day. We need people who want to work hard and make a difference, and who aren’t afraid to learn something new every day. We want people who will grow and develop with the business by stretching themselves.

HILS’ Social Enterprise Graduate Training Scheme is designed to help you to develop the skills and knowledge to become an effective leader so you can make a real impact on the lives of others. Life is short; do work that matters to you.

Testimonials from previous Graduate M anagement Trainees:

Bronagh says:

“I feel so lucky to have found a social business where I can have an impact on people’s lives every day, all while developing my professional skills and knowledge. Working at HILS is challenging but really rewarding – I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else!”

Eloise says:

“Throughout the graduate scheme, HILS has consistently supported and pushed me to develop professionally while having fun at the same time! I feel utterly privileged to say I work for a business that helps people 365 days a year, come rain or shine.”

What will a Graduate Management Trainee do?

Project management:

HILS is a complex and evolving organisation that is doing a lot. Doing everything well means working across different teams, bringing people together, and keeping everyone on the right track. In other words, we need projects to be well-managed, so that they succeed.

You will need to:

  • Be able to examine the situation and define the problem, or scope the project.
  • Research the topic, do some fact-finding, and rapidly get up to speed.
  • Get the right people in the room, get them on board, and make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are.
  • Communicate with colleagues, clients, and external stakeholders.
  • Make a plan, monitor progress, keep the project on time and on budget, and produce successful outcomes.

    Opportunities for growth – you will be able to:

    • Work across a variety of teams (senior management, operational service teams, communications, finance, HR, business development, facilities, IT, and more).
  • Participate in, and eventually lead, brainstorming sessions and project scoping workshops.
  • Make recommendations and then work with colleagues to implement them.

    Business development & improvement:

    HILS aims to improve existing services and the wider business, whilst developing new ways to serve customers, and keep up to date with changes in the law and in the sector. You’ll work on a variety of projects with our Business Improvement Manager and Business Strategy and Programmes Manager.

You will need to:

  • Work with managers to develop brand new services.
  • Work with managers to mobilise new contract opportunities.
  • Help make sure that the business is compliant with important legislation.
  • Help make sure that our policies, procedures, and compliance framework are fit for purpose, and support the business to thrive.
  • Contribute to business planning, shaping the direction of the organisation.
  • Help to eradicate pain points in our infrastructure and processes, to help the operations of the business run smoothly.

    Opportunities for growth – you will be able to:

    • Learn about business strategy and improve your strategic thinking skills.
  • Work on exciting new areas of growth, learning how to take something from a need, to an idea, right through to a real service, serving real people.
  • Learn about the legislation that governs business, and help make sure that HILS complies with key areas of law.

    Operational service management:

    HILS is a service business. This means that every day we run 17 services to support residents of Hertfordshire to live independently.

You will get the opportunity to work directly in a service, experiencing the quick pace of an operational environment and how to work effectively to ensure reliability and quality is maintained.

You will need to:

  • Work with managers to ensure that HILS services run effectively.
  • Work with managers to deal with operational situations as they emerge.
  • Help to improve service processes from within the service area.
  • Support managers with their finance (budgets) and HR (management of staff) responsibilities.

    Opportunities for growth – you will be able to:

    • Learn about operations and how we deal with operational challenges and emergencies.
  • Add value to existing services by helping them unlock further potential.
  • Learn about both the ‘softer’ and ‘harder’ sides of people management.

    Other responsibilities:

    HILS is a fast moving business with a lot going on, and there is always another project or another task to do. You might also end up doing things which the Senior Team feel would give you an opportunity to grow or learn, that suit your skill set, or that simply need doing. HILS is an “all hands on deck” kind of business and you might find yourself:
  • Planning an event,
  • Pulling together a presentation for the Chief Executive,
  • Taking notes at meetings,
  • Writing a funding bid,
  • Helping tender for a contract,
  • Hosting a visitor to the business,
  • Helping a colleague with an IT problem,
  • And lots more!

    Other important & legal bits – you’ll need to:

    • Ensure that all dealings with staff and the public are conducted within HILS’ Equal Opportunities framework.
  • Comply with all relevant legislation to ensure effectiveness in the role.
  • Have regard for the duty of care of information (with particular reference to the General Data Protection Regulation) gained during the course of employment that relates to other employees, the public, contractors, etc.
  • Ensure that excellent standards of customer care and service are maintained when dealing with members of the public and internal customers.
  • Preserve and enhance health and safety. Everyone has a personal responsibility for their health and safety at work. You must familiarise yourself with the health and safety aspects of your role and avoid contact which would put at risk your own health and safety, your colleagues, and other people including visitors, contractors and members of the public.

    Important note: This is not a complete list of all the duties and responsibilities of this role – HILS is a fast moving organisation where requirements can change and everyone has to pitch in. We also want to work with your skills and experience so that we can make sure you are having the most impact. Therefore, you may be required to carry out other duties as directed by your line manager and other members of the Senior Team, the responsibility level of which should not exceed those outlined above.


What kind of person does HILS need?

The person we’re looking for is the kind of person who wants a career that matters. Someone who wants to take a different path that isn’t solely motivated by profit. Someone who wants to learn business skills, and apply them for good. We’re a team that believes that we can, and should, change the world for the better; we need someone who shares that belief. We want you to learn on the job, doing real work in a purpose-driven organisation, while at the same time going through an intensive learning and development process. We will introduce you to new ways of thinking and working, and the community you’ll be surrounded by is inspiring and a lot of fun. You need to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in quickly. You’ll need to be bright and interested in order to hit the ground running, jump in at the deep end, and start your journey to harnessing the power of business for good.

Qualifications & Job Requirements:


  • Satisfactory DBS check (because all HILS staff work with vulnerable adults)
  • The right to work in the UK
  • A 2:1 undergraduate degree in any subject, or equivalent qualification, (to be completed by September 2019)
  • Demonstrable skills in written and spoken English
  • Be available to work a full year from November/ December 2019
  • Ability to travel to all HILS’ sites and external partner sites as required


    • Degree in, or modules / projects in:
  • Care / social care o Health / public health o Business / strategy
  • Driving licence and access to own vehicle
  • Experience of any of the following:
  • Working with elderly and vulnerable people o Working in the health and / or social care sector o Project management

    Personal Qualities and Skills:

    • Collaborative working skills:
  • Flexible, positive approach
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Networking, influencing, and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to actively listen to, support, and gain the trust of others
  • The ability to build and develop productive relationships and networks
  • Empathy and appreciation of the needs of end users of HILS’ services
  • Confidence to lead others, encourage contribution, and respect the views of others

    Business skills:

    • Presentation skills
  • A results-driven approach to work
  • Constructive and innovative thinking
  • An analytical mind, able to interpret data
  • A proactive and project management approach to work
  • Ability to conduct comprehensive research to understand a topic

    Personal characteristics:

    • Resilient
  • Flexible, adaptable, willing to change
  • Able to deal with complexity and ambiguity
  • A person-centric approach and moral purpose
  • The ability to act with integrity, openly, and honestly
  • The ability to work under pressure and to take on responsibility
  • Self-reflective and aware of your own personal and professional development needs


    HILS’ Values and Behaviour Statement:

Our values are fundamental to the way our organisation works and underline our expectations of all of us. Our values are based around the most important parts of our business: caring for our clients; working for Hertfordshire’s communities; being cost- efficient; working conscientiously; communicating effectively and developing creative new services. Our clients have high expectations of our services, and as such, we expect everyone who works for HILS to share and act on our values.

HILS’ Equal Opportunities Statement:

We do not discriminate against staff on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability or age (protected characteristics). The principle of non- discrimination and equality of opportunity applies equally to the treatment of former staff, visitors, clients, customers and suppliers by members of our current workforce.

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service

We provide a range of services to help older and vulnerable people stay happy, healthy, and independent.

last 24 hours