2to3days are thrilled to announce that Nationwide, the world’s largest building society, has become our first 2to3days Featured Employer. They have pledged to advertise over 60 jobs to our members over the coming year. Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill is in charge of all recruitment for Nationwide from entry level to senior professional opportunities. She is a mover and shaker in the world of FTSE 100 recruitment directors, so what she does at Nationwide has an impact on the wider corporate landscape. She gives her personal and professional motivations for partnering with 2to3days and offers some insightful tips to mothers applying for part-time roles: Smart businesses need to keep pace with people’s lives to attract talent To attract and retain the best talent and meet our business objectives Nationwide would be missing a trick to overlook working mums. We’re going one step further and are actively seeking out applications from mothers that want to work 2 to3 days per week, or another flexible arrangement. Flexible working is our benefit; not the employee’s problem Too many employers have regarded the provision of flexible working as a major concession that requires their staff to bend over backwards or incur penalties if arrangements don’t work out. This is particularly true for job shares where some employers place the onus on employees to find or replace job share partners. This is a cop out as it makes flexible working the problem of the person doing the job. I have a 3 day a week worker on my own team. who pursues both professional and personal interests on their days off which, on the face of it, may bear little resemblance to their ‘day job’. However, I am routinely amazed at the freshness and passion they bring to the team in their three days and the number of times they have been able to add amazing additional value to my team and to our company as a result of the additional skills this arrangement helps them bring to the table. Every mother should help another That flexible working is still not part of the working norm is bewildering. According to research that Nationwide commissioned of over 2,000 UK working adults in September 2017, nearly two thirds (64%) said they never even get an opportunity to work from home. We all need to call time on this restriction on talent, and female employers could be at the vanguard of hiring more staff with parenting responsibilities. The needs of other groups including men who are primary child carers, are equally important but as mums are undoubtedly the largest group excluded from the job market by lack of flexible opportunities, working with 2to3daysto hire more mums is an ideal place for Nationwide to start. Whilst all employers are duty bound to consider flexible working requests from existing employees, my personal mission is to make this standard practice for businesses hiring new staff. My tips for 2to3days members applying for jobs at Nationwide and elsewhere Be open and honest about what your requirements are and where you are able to offer some flexibility in return. But this doesn’t mean you need to overcompensate - a fine line to tread. Show a genuine interest in the role not the hours - we can sniff out an applicant who is more interested in the working pattern than the role they have applied for. Look out for results-driven culture – if you get to interview, ask how your performance will be measured. If your team measures inputs, this indicates a clock-watching culture or ‘presenteesim’ which won’t suit a flexible worker. Of particular relevance to mid to senior level roles, try to seek out outcome-based management styles. Establish whether your boss has previous experience of employing flexible workers. If you’re the test bed you may be in for a rockier ride, although a good employer should be able to provide reassurance. Every mother is different On a personal level, I have felt discriminated against in the past by bosses who have made assumptions about what I’d be prepared to do after having children. I’m the first to recognise that every individual has different needs, in and out of work. Every parent returning to work has a different set up, they may be a single mother or in a relationship with someone who is the primary childcarer. I have three small children, and a very supportive husband who also works full time and who takes charge of the kids during the week because my home is 415 miles away from my main office location! Whilst my current work-life arrangements are far from typical, Nationwide has enabled me to be successful in both home and work lives. But even with an incredibly supportive employer, holding down a senior level role and juggling kids, travel, two cats, three rabbits and a goldfish is always going to need a bit of organisation and planning! As the person responsible for attracting top talent into the Society, working with 2to3days is helping me to help working mothers and a growing number of firms are following suit. Katrina Hutchinson- O’Neill is Director of Resourcing at the Nationwide Building Society, a 2to3days Featured Employer.
Mum & You has just launched its online business platform selling innovative, clever Mum and baby products with a brilliant twist; from day one, the company (run by Mums) is putting money aside to help Mums who need it. Tell us how Mum & You came about M & Y was formed when a group of parents who happen to be businesspeople discovered we shared a strong life purpose; we all wanted to contribute to making the world a better place for children. Our joint life experience told us the best way to do this is to support Mothers – because if a Mother is cared about, encouraged and given opportunity, there’s a far greater chance her children will be happy, healthy and live to their full potential. At our launch, we’re proud to be a company that, at its heart, has been created to help Mothers. While our products are pretty damn brilliant (intuitive, innovative and contemporary), we already do much more to help Mums. By promoting flexible working, entrepreneurship, networking and partnerships as well as helping Mums that need it most with some basic provisions, we believe we create positive change that makes Motherhood work – for everyone. How did you hear about 2to3days? One of our co-founders, Andrea, was having a chat with a Dad called Thomas about Mum & You, “He instantly picked up that we shared the same values and strongly recommended we connect. So then we spoke, met face to face and started working together and thank goodness we did – supporting and collaborating with other, female- and mum-led companies has huge business and social advantages.” Andrea, Mum & You co-founder. Thomas, the introducing Dad, says “ It made perfect sense. On the one side, who better than M&Y to create products for mothers and babies than mothers with that experience; and on the other 2to3days.com as a leading specialist in helping business tap into the vast pool of mothers who want to combine career with being a mother. If a mother can manage birth and bringing up children, she can manage anything!” Is there a shared purpose between what you’re trying to achieve and what we’re doing at 2to3days? Absolutely. A huge part of our drive to support Mothers comes from within. We know how blimmin hard being a parent can be because M&Y is made up entirely of parents! Everything we do, we do in a way that helps and supports flexible working; all our products are designed and made by Mums – on their terms. We help Mums return to work and it’s why we donate nappies to those who need it most. It’s also why we specifically partner and work with companies that are supporting Mums in much the same way. Our filmmakers, photographers, illustrators and contributors are predominantly all Mums who, because of our policies, are able to work flexibly to suit their needs and those of their family. Because we believe all this will lead back, even if at the start it’s a drop in society’s ocean, to happier, healthier children more likely to reach their full potential. How many jobs have you advertised through 2to3days? We are still a relatively small team (just ten of us) but we’re delighted to say that so far we have successfully hired two pivotal roles through 2to3days, our Head of Technology and our Head of Customer Support. Around 20 people applied and, after a competitive interview stage we’ve found two amazing new members of our team – Rachael and Sarah – now they’re more like family. With such a small team, it goes without saying that we are only after the highest calibre of applicants and that’s why we’re advertising a third role for a Digital Marketing Manager now and going for our 2to3days hat trick! Here’s what Rachael and Sarah think of 2to3days… “I was delighted to see a senior role advertised with 2to3days for Mum & You that offered the flexibility required to manage my work life-balance - it was a perfect match!” Rachael – Mum and head of Tech at Mum & You ‘’2to3days was such an amazing resource to find. It allowed me to seek opportunities and not feel that I needed to shy away from the fact that I was a Mum. Working for Mum & You really has made working workable! Not only is it an opportunity to be part of an amazing team of talented & ground-breaking individuals, but at its heart, it is there to support Mums. I now talk openly to colleagues and customers about being a Mum and my family get to see that I have my confidence back….what a revelation! Perhaps we can have it all?!” Sarah – Head of Customer Support at Mum & You