Local professional services companies talk flexible working
Employers tell us in their own words how good flexible job design is crucial to recruitment success.
Ten2Two has always been ahead of its time, specialising in helping businesses in Kent recruit employees to work on a part-time or flexible basis way before it was ‘on-trend’, or people felt they had to tick the diversity box. We love matching flexible working professionals with forward-thinking employers and supporting them to make it work. But how does the changing landscape of work really look? We spoke to some local employers to find out.
CooperBurnett LLP, Solicitors, Tunbridge Wells – Victoria Sampson, Senior Partner
Just as Ten2Two has always been ahead of the game in its mission, CooperBurnett has always strived to be accommodating with employees who have requested flexible working, way before the right to request flexible working legislation came into force. Their reputation precedes them as they have seen an increase in flexible working requests since it became a legal obligation, and perhaps some of that is down to Victoria’s example.
Victoria is a senior partner who qualified with the firm 20 years ago. During this time she has started a family and been able to work flexibly throughout. When her children were pre-school age she worked in the office three or four days a week with the other days as a flexi days, managing her workload around this.
Victoria tells me that successful flexible working is all about managing expectations, which, surprisingly, is sometimes challenging due to the technology that we have at our fingertips. Whilst technology has certainly helped Victoria and others manage flexible working, she admits that it has changed clients’ expectations – lawyers are now more accessible throughout the day and night, and some clients expect immediate responses.
It is too generic, Victoria says, to claim that flexible working works within the law profession as a whole –
Different disciplines have different levels of work intensity. “Some lawyers need to be available at the drop of a hat, especially for urgent transactional processes, whereas other disciplines suit the flexible working model better.”
Hilden Park Accountants, Hildenborough – Paul Matthews, Managing Director
Paul is a dedicated family man and keen golfer, so he really understands the desire for flexible working from his team. They have a great forward-thinking approach to flexible working at Hilden Park and many of the team work this way.
One example is that yes, they acknowledge that there are timelines and deadlines within their processes but, they’ve identified that some parts of the process can be performed outside of the traditional 9-5. Paul advocates that flexibility has to work both ways though and there are some crunch points in the financial year where employees need to be flexible too.
Their flexible approach, Paul believes, has helped with employee well-being, and means they don’t have high levels of absenteeism.
There are three key factors, according to Paul to making flexible working work. They might seem obvious but, in our opinion at Ten2Two, it’s critical to have all three:
- The design of the role;
- Making sure that the clients’ needs are met and
- The rest of the team are bought in.
AV Trinity, Chartered Financial Planners, Tunbridge Wells – Richard Randall, Business Development Manager
AV is a well-established firm which prides itself on offering independent, impartial financial advice. They have a diverse award-winning team, and, unusually for this industry, they have a female majority in the advisor team. They have a niche area of work which is specialist financial life planning for female divorcees.
How have they achieved this?
They have embraced flexible working and say it’s essential to attracting the best talent in this competitive talent market.
Delivering excellent client service is always their priority but their relaxed approach to work – including an office dog called Finn, combined with technological advances, means that many of the team work remotely and differently to a traditional working week.
As flexible recruiting specialists, we are thrilled that many companies are shaping the employment landscape when it comes to flexible working; but there is still a lot of work to be done! Despite the positive aspects of embracing flexibility, professional services are one of the biggest industries that seem to struggle to find good quality candidates. Our experience is that a fixed approach to recruiting is impacting the talent attraction strategy. We have a large community of candidates with a wealth of experience within Finance, Law, and other sectors, that can add serious value to your business. Yet we struggle to find good quality, flexible roles in professional services to meet the demand from candidates.
As well as finding you the right person for your flexible role, we are experts in specialist recruitment with experience of helping a wide range of industries. If you would like an informal chat about flexible working and how it could benefit your business, then please contact us. There are rich pickings in Kent recruitment and the South East – you don’t want to miss out!