Categories
Careers Flexible Working Parental

Getting Help to Return in Manchester

Are you a parent or carer in Greater Manchester, looking to return to paid work? Are you looking for support to find flexible jobs with family friendly or carer friendly employers?

Caring, Working, Living is a Greater Manchester project that supports people with caring responsibilities who are looking to return to paid employment (Returners) to increase their confidence and self-esteem in relation to returning to paid employment, and to improve their understanding of the skills that employers are looking for.

Returners are people who have taken at least a year out of work to undertake caring responsibilities for children, or elderly or sick relatives.

Caring, Working Living can:

  • Provide information to ‘Returners’ about agencies in their local area that provide support with job search skills.
  • Provide financial support towards the cost of job searching, for example towards the cost of childcare or other care; travel to an employment support activity; interview costs such as travel or clothing.
  • Provide information about employers that are offering coffee and chats; workplace visits; work trials; placements or Returnships as part of their recruitment.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Vicky for more information.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0161 277 1044

Returners can refer themselves here: https://www.gmcvo.org.uk/caringworkingliving/returners

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaringWorkingLiving

Categories
Flexible Working Lifestyle

WASPI Women.

I am one of those WASPI women.

Some of you may ask what one of those is. Sadly, in my case it is not an older, slim and gorgeous Helen Mirren type!!

A WASPI woman is a lady who reached their state pension age and sadly had their pension taken away from them with basically no warning.  How wrong you may all cry and then move on to the next article.

The reason it is so wrong, is that most of us did not have the time to put extra money in place to cover for what, for me, will be a 6 year shortfall.

I am not saying that I would have retired or even could have retired.

After 45 years of working I have paid my dues, including bringing up 3 children and never claimed benefits. Is this right or proper, I would question and my answer always comes back as a resounding NO.

I loved my years working. I was always in recruitment and HR though now due to personal health issues I find myself on the scrapheap fighting with the system, as no one wants to take a chance on this alleged old lady, which trust me, is no fun. 

I don’t have a fabulous trust fund or pot of gold (I have been chasing those rainbows!). So I have to work, as most people who are reading this will have to and your retirement date sadly will get further away the younger you are.

Trust me, plenty of us 60 plus ladies have a lot to give to the workplace, although we are often overlooked.

We don’t want to be the CEO anymore, or have the top job, we just want to work because we HAVE TO and in some cases want to!! We all added value when we were in the workplace, we can still do that – believe me.

So when you think about flexible working, don’t think part time think FLEXIBLE, think WASPI women. We are more than capable of adding huge value to your organisation.

I am lucky that Cheney Hamilton @ FindYourflex could see the value in me and my transferable skills.

So what I wanted to say to employers out there, is try looking beyond the usual recruitment paths, there is a wealth of experience out there and everyone needs to be valued.

See our years of experience and dedication, see our skills – NOT our age.

Barbara Ford , WASPI Account Executive, FindYourFlex.

Categories
Business Flexible Working Industry Flexers Parental

Hilti, helping you Find|Your|Flex

Having worked in HR for over 15 years, I have seen a growing demand for employers to provide more flexible working practices. Employees want increasing flexibility for a variety of rea-sons and need different types of flexibility throughout their working lives. Many employers are keen to support this, however, often limit themselves to the statutory legal provisions and view flexibility in a very narrow way.

Flexible working options should not be limited to part-time working, it’s about considering the variety of choices employees need at different life stages and offering something for everyone. A well designed flexible working offering can make a significant difference to employee engagement and retention.

As Head of HRBP’s at Hilti, I’m part of a team that are striving to build a working environment and culture that stands-out amongst our peers as a ‘Great Place to Work’. Offering an outstanding flexible working approach is an important part of differentiating our culture. It also presents an opportunity to retain our fantastic workforce in a buoyant labour marker and to attract new talent to our organisation.

Prior to launching our new approach to flexible working in summer 2017, our policies were over-complicated and confusing. Applications for flexible working were low and only 3% of our workforce in GB worked in an altered way to their original contract. This was at odds with clear demand, evident through our employee engagement survey, that our people wanted more help to balance the demands between work and home life. Improving and simplifying our approach to flexible working provided an obvious solution to this gap.

Our new flexible working approach set out to simplify what we offered and identify new opportunities to expand our policy. The new options addressed the gaps in our existing approach. We introduced the right to request a sabbatical or career break of up to 12 months whilst pre-serving the contract and added the right to purchase an additional five days annual leave and to take one days’ paid emergency leave annually for unexpected personal situations.

Our family friendly provisions were already generous with 18 weeks fully paid for maternity leave and two months’ salary paid as a return to work bonus. But we wanted to do more for our dads, so increased paternity pay to two weeks at full pay and equalized pay arrangements in Shared Parental Leave.

To make sure our employees were made aware of their new offering we ran an internal campaign using the #Hiltiinmylife as we felt this perfectly reflected how we wanted our employees to balance their Hilti role with their lives.

This included a video message from our Northern Europe Region Head, to endorse his personal commitment to flexible working at Hilti, as well as some video case studies from team members who already enjoyed flexible working practices.

Flexible working at Hilti

Following the launch in July 2017, we received more applications in two months than the total received in the previous two years. And our journey didn’t end there – we have since introduced home working for suitable Head Office roles, offer a day’s leave for our team members who are moving house or getting married and also now offer up to three days’ paid leave for fertility treatment .

In 2019, we have also taken the next step to add more flexibility to our field-based sales roles by designing a role that can be done on a part-time basis without compromising customer relationships or making it harder to hit target. We truly believe that by embracing flexible working in all its forms, we will have highly engaged teams who will want to stay and be part of our ‘Great Place to Work’.

Kim Kerr

Head of HR Business Partnering

Hilti Great Britain

Categories
Business Careers Flexible Working Industry Flexers

Royal London helping you #FindYourFlex

“A career here doesn’t have to be to strive for CEO, you can go up, down and sideways if you wish. There are always opportunities. – Nicola Piercewright

“I have developed in every way possible. I am not the shy person I was. My confidence has been built up because of all the trust and support you get with senior leaders.” – Ellen Gibbon

Our customers and members matter to us, we work to please their needs, they are at the centre of everything we do.

This exceptional feedback comes from the brilliant work our Operations team do day in day out:

You are made to feel valued and in this day and age that is very rare. I hope they keep these values and traditions going for many years to come.”

Our award-winning customer service and our mutuality means we can give customers that little bit more, and you can trust us to be there for you when it counts.

People have been at the heart of all that is great about Royal London for more than 150 years and we are looking to maintain this with by adding Customer Service Consultants to our team in Wilmslow.

We have a range of full-time (35 hours) and part-time (minimum 18 hours) roles available between Monday to Friday 08.00 – 18.00 and we are open to discussing working patterns that work for you.

We asked of current Customer Service Consultants why they love working and Royal London and they were more than happy to share their views.

“The opportunities to grow, develop and further your career from starting in customer services are massive and development is a huge focus of Royal London.” – Leighanne Dixon

“The best part of my job is working in a fantastic team of people and helping our customers.”  – Joshua Dewitt

We asked Nicola Piercewright some further questions on her career with us

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Giving our customers the best possible experience and helping them to help themselves with regards to their financial decisions. I know I am making a difference.

How have you developed since joining?

My journey has been long (I have been here 19 years!) at Royal London and my priorities over the years have changed, but if I can come in to work (even Part-time) and make a difference then that’s development right there. I develop each and every day here….from change in legislation and knowing what is required, change in management, from Team managers to CEO. I believe I have developed into a well-rounded person willing to live the values Royal London requires; Empowerment, Trustworthy, Collaborate, and Achieve.

Would you recommend your division to others?

Yes most definitely. Why, because you are valued here, if you come with the right attitude to provide excellent customer service and bring an open mind to enable change for the better then you will have a happy career here. And a career here doesn’t have to be to strive for CEO you can go up, down and sideways if you wish. There are always opportunities.

Our customers are diverse and to continually meet their needs we are looking for people from all backgrounds to join us, bring new thinking, challenge ours and add value daily.

So regardless what sector you have operated in, we want to discuss aligning our expertise and your passion.

Join us here – https://jobs.findyourflex.co.uk/clients/royal-london

Categories
Business Flexible Working

The Rise of the #FlexWorking #FlexSupporting Rec Cons

08:30 til 18:00, Monday to Friday. Suited, booted at your desk and hitting the phones. That was how we worked. Inflexible, focused on the input. It’s a formula that worked – Put enough in and you’ll get something out. But we knew there had to be a better way.

We stopped looking at what was going in, focusing more on what was coming out. We looked at what made people successful, but more importantly, what support people needed to achieve success. We scrapped the suits and ties and embraced a relaxed dress code. We cut 2.5 hours out of our working week and incorporated a flexible working policy. You need to start at 09:30 for the school run? We could make that work. Or maybe you need 4 days per week? Sure, let’s give that a go.

When we stopped controlling people and looking at what was going IN, and started supporting people to get the most coming out, that’s when everything changed for the better! And because of that, we are all passionate about helping our candidates find part time roles, or roles with a degree of flexibility. We can see how important it is and we’ve all benefitted personally from a great flexible working policy, so why wouldn’t we want that for everyone else?

Louise Sorrell and Sarah Robinson are both mums who were able to continue/restart their professional careers within the company due to flex working solutions. Louise strongly believes every company should be looking at how they can Find Their Flex.

‘It comes from my own personal experience of being able to return to my role on a part time basis with a huge degree of flexibility following the birth of my two sons and the difference it makes to my family life now.

Given the success of returning parents and flexible workers within the Group, our own Talent Acquisition team are now targeting the employees who haven’t returned from maternity/paternity leave in the past to attract this talented group back into our new flexible ways of working.’

People need/want flexibility for a variety of reasons, mums or dads wanting to look after their children, people caring for elderly relatives or some who are just looking simply looking for a greater work life balance after a busy career.

By working with and promoting our candidates seeking flexible/part time roles, we also help local businesses especially our SME clients to be able to attract and afford top talent where they cannot risk high full time salaries.

We see so many candidates frustrated with their long commute, their employers’ inflexibility or having to take a role beneath their skills and experience. It is simple, our clients who are open to flexible working, attract the best candidates as this seems to be one of the top motivators, often over salary and benefits.

We have certainly seen the attitude of our clients change over the last few years too, instead of viewing flexibility as a negative barrier, they are starting to see the economic advantages, enabling them to afford and budget for the top talent.

When we met one HR Business Partner, she was fairly cynical about finding a flexible role.

 ‘When I first started looking for a new role, I was surprised by how many people had attitudes that were pessimistic at best about the ability to secure part time work at my level, which was really disheartening.  Following connecting with Louise and the team at B+C and meeting with them at a cafe in Brighton, I felt a renewed energy about wanting to work part time as a mum. Louise was able to empathise and understand my need for flexible working, balancing being a mum and a working professional and gave me the belief that we could do it. And she delivered not only once but twice. Together with that belief, she worked hard, keeping in touch, talking to me about all opportunities and treating me like a human (not a commission) with great empathy as a mum but also with an honest sense of realism mixed with the perseverance to get there.‘

Over the last 5 years, we’ve helped nearly 100 people Find Their Flex, and in the last 12 months, over 25% of our placements have incorporated some kind of flexible working policy including part time, flexible working and working from home.

This is a trend we’re hoping continues and we’re seeing positive steps. Most large employers across the country have implemented flexible working policies, and evolving technology is making working from home more accessible than ever before. We’re even seeing parliament finally talk about the issue at a legislative level, through Helen Whately MPs bill.

As part of one of the UKs largest recruiters, we’re using our position to influence the future of the workforce and encourage employers to be as flexible as possible and leading by example, readily embracing flex working as much as possible!

The Badenoch + Clark HR Team in Brighton recruit HR Professionals across Sussex and Surrey, part of a national community specialising in HR Appointments. Half of our team currently work less than 5 days and the rest benefit from flexible work patterns and the ability to work remotely.

Badenoch + Clark also have a full service offering across other professional staffing areas such as Finance, Legal and Change Management/Business Transformation.

If you’re looking to #FindYourFlex in your next role, or want to have a conversation about how you can make your next hire work on a flexible basis, get in touch with one of our teams today!

Written by Callum Buxton

Callum, Louise, Chloe & Sarah

Badenoch + Clark Brighton HR Team

Access our brand new guide to accessing and promoting Hidden Talent at your Rec Con here: https://lpages.recmarketing.co.uk/find-your-flex-hidden-talent/

Categories
Flexible Working

The Find Your Flex Group Launches To Meet Growing Demand For Flexible Working

The Result Of Success

Following the exponential success of multi-award winning recruitment websites – mummyjobs.co.uk and daddyjobs.co.uk – the founders are launching FindYourFlex.co.uk. This also involves the rebranding the Mummyjobs Group to The Find Your Flex Group on 1 March 2019.  This move is to provide an inclusive platform for anyone looking for flexible working.

Cheney Hamilton launched Mummyjobs in 2017. This was fuelled by her own personal circumstances when she was unable to return to the 9-5 after the birth of her second baby.  Shocked by her employer’s unwillingness to offer flexibility, she quickly discovered it was a nationwide problem. It wasn’t just parents affected either, but a staggeringly large group of people. This included graduates to grandparents, who were looking for flexible work.

Cheney says “My own personal situation prompted me to set up mummyjobs.co.uk. However it quickly became clear that there’s a much bigger demand for flexible working across the labour market. Just after the initial launch, we went viral and over 1.2million people engaged with us over a 10-day period, searching or in support of flexible work.

Times have changed and so has the labour market.  We have five generations in the workforce. Generation Z are opting for work over University. We have the Gig economy and a 24/7 international community powered by technology. The traditional 9-5 is fast becoming a way of the past.  The demand for flexible working is clearly out there. Employers need to consider this when looking for the best talent.”

The New Job Board

The new job board (jobs.findyourflex.co.uk) offers a wide range of roles across all sectors from causal work to senior appointments.  All champion flexible working. It could be part-time, job-share, compressed hours, annualised hours, staggered hours, term-time only or phased retirement. The site also continues to share practical advice and provide a platform for people to share their experiences relating to flexible working. The Mummyjobs and Daddyjobs sites remain but will become campaigning sites for parental rights, closing the gender pay gap and equal leave benefits.

Cheney continues “This feels like a major turning point for the recruitment industry.  We’re working with small niche companies right through to big blue chip brands. I predict that many more employers will realise that flexibility needs to become a requisite part of their employment strategy. Failure to do so could lead to them missing or losing the best candidates for the role.”

Categories
Flexible Working

Flexible & Free (lance); the F generation

Is Flexible Working Such A Strange Concept?

If you look up flexible working online, you’re inundated with articles about the gig economy, digital nomads and freelance communities. It’s overwhelming, and by the time you’ve done a quick Google search, you feel like you need to pack your bags and retire to a digital commune in Bali living a penniless, but fulfilled existence, or stay in your full-time job, unhappy and miserable for the rest of your days.

There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. You’re either berated for being an ungrateful millennial or being told you lack a work ethic and hard skills. It’s confusing, noisy and overwhelming. You started this trying to figure out a flexible way to manage life and work but suddenly, there’s no clear path. Before you know it, you’ve given up the job search (because what’s the point anyway) as you settle down to binge watch Friends. After all dropping all ten seasons on Netflix is the best thing to happen to you all month and feels a lot like the good old days when life was just easier.

Take Note From Generation Z

But we don’t think it has to be that way, in fact, everything we know tells us it doesn’t. Which is not to say you should stop watching Friends, because you’re right, it is the best thing to happen to us all recently. Spiraling into a pit of depression at the state of your work life isn’t the answer.

The missing ingredient here is that young graduates entering the workforce today don’t have to choose. To pigeonhole themselves into one role, or take on the uncomfortable nomad mantle. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but rather, a blend of everything that gives you a broad range of skills, keeps you motivated and all while earning money.

The truth of the matter is, every option being peddled for the latest generation has pros and cons. The workforce also needs every type of worker, and it always will, so an entire freelance population by 2020 is just not going to happen, nor is it realistic. Or necessarily the right solution for the economy. 

The solution here lies in the opportunity to flex up and down, work across and develop different skills. Think of it as a career pic & mix. For example, the way we need to measure success is around outputs rather than time spent aimlessly at your desk. Did you get the project finished, what did you achieve and what have you produced? It allows you to utilize your skills and become more efficient with your time.

Flexible working gives you the opportunity to work for multiple employers in the same role and potentially move up the career ladder quicker. You’re not stagnant in one role gathering dust, but constantly searching for new solutions and challenges.

Remote working gives you the opportunity to stretch your experience over borders and state lines. What if you worked as a project manager on a six months contract across three separate organisations and countries. The knowledge you would gain in a year and a half amounts to what some manage in a decade at one business. Your perspective of the business world shifts to encompass more than one environment can ever give you. That kind of exposure is gold dust to those hungry ambitious types looking to learn and earn their way up the ladder.

At the same time, some roles don’t lend themselves to quick jumps and freelancer stints, and nor do some people. The idea of working remotely, displaced from the comfort of routine and having to hustle constantly for your next bit of work can send some into an anxiety spiral that not even the gang at Central Perk can lift you out of. But that’s okay, because the workforce doesn’t need to be full of digital backpackers and nor can it stay in its current state. It won’t survive the way it is and should wandering hearts and ambitious minds want to travel and jump and run and fly free across the globe, we need to build a workforce that can accommodate that, and actually, one that can thrive because of it.

Flexibility in the work place is growing in popularity, there is a reason for this – people thrive. Employers – take note!

Categories
Business Flexible Working

Flexibility, the business case…

At the beginning of 2018, commuters received their annual shock.

The holidays are over, you’re having a dry month, you promised yourself you’d exercise, and just when life can’t feel any harder going – oh, UK rail fares have jumped 3.4% on average!

Travel costs account for 13% of a person’s salary for the average Chelmsford to London commuter – in fact, much of the pain of these increases is felt by people who need to make their way into London from elsewhere to work.

It begs the question: why, in this world of flexible working, is commerce still so obsessed with working out of offices in London? According to Instant Offices, the average desk space in the West End now costs £732 per month. Multiplied by a workforce, this can be a serious expense. If you’ve got 100 employees you’re close to £1m a year before you even furnish the place.

So why are so many businesses still insisting on doing it?

When I joined TMP in 2013, the behaviours that drive the workplace looked very different than they do today. Physically, it was a huge space, spread over four floors on Tottenham Court Road. Its ‘commercial’ drivers equated to lots of hours, a culture on the serious side, and an expectation of punctuality and presence in the office.

Just five years later, most of my colleagues work flexibly, and that’s allowed us to shrink to just a single floor, with a rotating cast of people from day-to-day on hot desks. It’s buzzy yet relaxed, with a variety of collaboration spaces. People come and go, and we rate each other on our outcomes rather than our facetime.

It works for everyone. The workforce is happy to be trusted and carry out their jobs in a way that fits what they need to deliver as whole people – at work and at home.

The client service leads are happy that their people are out meeting clients and getting into their businesses, instead of taking up desk space and drinking all our coffee.

And the CFO and the rest of the leadership can certainly see the benefit of reducing expensive real estate costs, in a way that is win-win for everybody else concerned: by being flexible.

Not just cost saving or beneficial to clients, this can also attract top talent. A few years back, we had a talented candidate decline an offer from us, because at the time we were less enlightened and required a Monday to Friday, 9-5.30 commitment. As he had a choice where he worked, he chose a firm more willing to trust people to produce results.
Lesson learned, and luckily we’ve changed.

Flexibility also brings inclusion benefits. Forcing everyone to conform to establishment working structures will get you establishment people. A bit of flexibility might open up your business to candidates who think differently and construct their lives in a way that doesn’t follow the average.

Attracting cognitive diversity to your workforce means being open-minded about ways of working.

Being more flexible about where, when and how we work won’t solve our season ticket problems today. But as more businesses learn to focus more on outcomes than processes, we will see benefits to inclusion, less wasted time, and more people who are happy at work.

Heather DeLand is executive creative director of TMP Worldwide

This article was originally published in Recruiter Magazine and on Recruiter.co.uk

Categories
Industry Flexers

Hospitality: A world of opportunity

Hospitality is the third largest employer in the UK, employing 2.9 million people and contributing a phenomenal £130bn to the UK economy. Surprised? Sadly, many of us associate hospitality jobs as stop-gaps with unsocial hours and no career opportunities. Think again. It’s a thriving industry, with a skills shortage, that’s crying out for good people.

And, don’t just think restaurants or hotels, the industry covers everything from pubs, bars, events, fine dining, visitor attractions, schools, universities and corporate dining. There’s a huge range of roles available within the sector too; bar manager, barista, supervisor, front of house manager, chef, events manager right through to roles in business development, HR and accountancy.

Amy-Lou Osborn, recruitment manager at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, will happily admit that she fell into hospitality, whilst studying for a Stage Management degree at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The flexibility of her role at HA!HA! Bar & Grill enabled her to work around her studies and take time out for filming contracts when she later graduated. Always returning to hospitality between film jobs, she later realised hospitality was where she wanted to be. She worked her way up the ladder, working for high street restaurant brands such as Browns, Frankie and Benny’s and Bill’s, where she also headed-up recruitment for new restaurant openings. Today, at GBK, she is responsible for recruiting and onboarding up to 1000 team members across 93 restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

She told us what it’s like working in the industry, what it has to offer and how you get a foot in the door.

What’s it like working in the hospitality?

It’s so diverse – every day is different. It might sound obvious, but it’s most definitely people-focused. I’m not just talking about the customers, but the team – I’ve actually made life-long friends through work. Everyone works together, pitches in and enjoys what they do, with a common goal of keeping the customer happy.
Unfortunately, the industry is often under-represented and most people aren’t aware of the vast range of opportunities and career progression that’s available. I think a lot of people assume they know what it’s like and discount it.

So, what are the opportunities?

The reality is, is that there’s a huge amount of opportunities and experiences available. And, for the right people, hospitality can enable fast career progression. At GBK, for example, you can go from a starting salary of £7.85 an hour to £30K a year as a restaurant manager, within two years. I don’t think there’s many other industries that can offer that? In most other sectors, you’d be in an entry level job for two years, before there was any hint of development opportunities.

What do you think the hospitality industry offers that other industries don’t?

I think our industry is much more creative in the way we recruit. We know there’s not enough talent out there, so the traditional head-hunting approach doesn’t work – we’d just be competing for and swapping the same people. Here at GBK, we create and invest in talent. For us, it’s about finding the right people with the right attitude and core values and giving them the training and opportunities to grow with us.

Is hospitality a good option for working parents?

By its very nature, working in hospitality is based around flexible working, so is ideally suited to people looking to work in a flexible way. Unlike a 9-5 office job, you can switch shifts to get to sports day or the school play and evening and weekend shifts enable parents who might have a partner with a 9-5 job, the opportunity to work without incurring huge childcare costs. Ten or 15 years ago, I think hospitality would have been a big no-no for parents, but it fits with today’s lifestyles where everyone is looking for flexibility.

What qualities and skills are employers looking for?

It really depends on the employer. Because the industry is so diverse, there really is no one size fits all. At GBK, we employ people who hospitality comes as second nature, people who genuinely want to make someone happy. I can’t speak for the industry at large; every employer is different. But, given the current shortage of skilled workers, now is a good time to enter the industry as more and more employers are training from within with some offering apprenticeships, so you don’t necessarily need to have lots, or any previous experience.

So, how do you get a foot in the door?

It’s worth doing some homework, if it’s a path you’re considering. There are so many roles available across many brands and companies and not every company is right for every person. You might not enjoy working in a fine dining restaurant, but you might be a fantastic Barista in a coffee shop. Contact the big brands to see what the opportunities are but keep an eye on your doorstep too. There may be somewhere local to you that is happy to offer some on the job training. Just get stuck in and if it’s right for you, you’ll fly.

To find out more about working in Hospitality, see a full list of our latest roles HERE