“If companies want gender balance and diversity, they need to embrace different ways of working.”

A guest post from Karen Camilleri, Associate Partner at executive search and interim management consultancy Green Park. Karen specialises in the recruitment of Business Transformation and Change professionals. She is also the proud mum of a little boy of 6. Here she discusses life in recruitment and why flexible working is necessary for a diverse workforce.

How Do You Feel The Recruitment Sector Has Changed Over The Last 20 Years And Why?

Industries have been changing at a furious pace. As organisations fight to stay relevant, we’re seeing greater demand for professionals with experience in leading change and transformation projects.

Leaders with these skills are a commodity and the recruitment sector, which 20 years ago was client-led, is now much more candidate focussed. Organisations are therefore looking for recruitment partners that bring a human touch. One’s that have structured and well supported talent networks that they can tap into. Employee Value Proposition is now a key consideration and element of any talent strategy.

In Your Opinion How Can The Recruitment Industry Best Facilitate Flexible Working?

I think the industry needs to think about deliverables rather than face time in the office. For example, I’m measured against targets which don’t reflect on the number of hours I spend physically at my desk. Instead I work two days from home and I use the office as a base for business meetings.

Companies need a culture where employees are trusted to deliver and manage their time how they see fit. After all, if employers want to address gender balance and diversity, they need to embrace different ways of working. Otherwise they will be fishing in a narrow pool of candidates!

Employers should be proud of their staff and support them as they juggle family needs and work priorities. It’s a proven fact that employees who are able to engage with family or other personal needs are happier and this reflects in their productivity and output.

What Is Green Park’s Diversity Practice And What Are Its Aims?

Today, most business leaders know that diversity and inclusion (D&I) are critical to performance. However, many lack the expertise to achieve their D&I goals. Our D&I Consultancy helps clients approach diversity in a more skilled, mature way. They help them to build their internal capability and knowledge.

Our D&I services include assessments, audits and diagnostics; independently validating diversity strategies, role model development and leadership training; business intelligence and market mapping, talent management and direct hiring strategies.

The Green Park Diversity Team Are The Most Diverse TFL Board In The Organisation’s History. Why Are diversity And Inclusion Initiatives Vital To Creating Successful Talented Teams?

We believe that our clients deserve more choice. That means widening the talent search to look beyond just the usual suspects. Studies have consistently shown that more diverse organisations perform better in many ways. Team collaboration, retention, productivity and market share are all areas where companies that rate highly for D&I, score better than those that don’t.

How Can Candidates Be Assured That Potential Employers Are Committed To Diversity And Inclusion?

Green Park actively campaign for measures to boost diversity, equality and inclusion. But for now, candidates may want to look at a potential employer’s pay gap reporting. It’s also worth exploring whether an organisation puts its money where its mouth is. For example, Intel put $300m into hiring programmes for women and minorities between 2015 and 2020; and spent $1bn with women and minority-owned suppliers.

Thank You For Speaking To Us. Any Words Of Wisdom To Candidates Who Are Embarking On A Career Change Or Returning To Work After A Career Break?

Believe in yourself – if you don’t, hiring managers won’t either!

Look for a work-life balance that works for you. If an organisation won’t accommodate your terms, then use this in your deselection process – don’t work for a company that’s not culturally aligned to your values. Whatever working arrangement you organise, remember the employer is getting great talent out of it, so don’t feel guilty.

Don’t plan too far ahead. Live in the moment. That’s for the returners! As for the career changers, use your network and keep track of the movers and shakers. Connect with coaches and sponsors who have also made those step changes in their career. They can provide you with insight and tips.

Karen Callimeri from Green Park Consultancy
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