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/