Hiring great talent with the right skills experience and attitude is pivotal to business growth. Hiring flexibly is the key to unlocking this potential and the future is now. 2to3days is a national and dynamic community of progressive business leaders and mothers united in their commitment to support business performance and mothers’ career progression through the power of flexible working. With the UK facing a well publicised skills shortage, progressive employers are realising the potential that adapting working practices has on the ability to recruit and retain exceptional talent. We are accruing an absolute goldmine of information on how to realise the benefits of hiring flexibly for your business, as well as being an incredibly powerful route to access this talent. We want to share this knowledge with you through our newsletters and here’s our first one. We have called it 'The Voice of the Hood' as our aim is to regularly share with our ‘hood’ insights, ideas and stories which collectively will inspire you to think differently about how to harness the talent of the motherhood to improve the performance and well-being of your company. Please feedback and tell us what you like, don’t like and what you want more to see more of. Our sole aim is to be the catalyst for economic and social change.
Last week 2to3days met with Douglas Lamont the CEO for Innocent Smoothies to discuss how 2to3days can become a valuable hiring resource for them. Whilst Doug was giving us a tour of their offices he told us that it was company policy that everyone sits open plan, everyone is given a desk but that no one sits in their vertical departments e.g. a marketing pod, a finance pod, a branding pod etc. Instead the Innocent style, just like they do with their smoothies, is to blend everyone together so finance can find themselves sitting next to marketing who in turn could be next to HR and senior management. Simple but brilliant as it kills straight away silo mentality. Instead it creates cross-pollination of team expertise and creativity. Not only that, their team are actively encouraged to take on new roles. The amazing culture of their company was palpable. Like their fruit and veg it was fresh, vibrant and healthy. In common with many things in life, it is the simple solutions that help to make the world a better place to work. This was a notable example of how non-traditional formats can make a real difference to the success and performance of a business. We hear time and again at 2to3days how bringing in one of our mothers on a flexible basis has provided a rejuvenation in workplace perspective and attitude. Professional skills aside, their high passion and strong loyalty - created through their employer demonstrating true support to enable them to be the best they can professionally and personally - is infectious. Could a ‘shake-up’ be what your team needs to unleash even further performance? Find out more about hiring one of our mothers here.
We are pleased to say 2to3days appeared in Mail on Sunday's This is Money with the following article. A survey of 1,500 mothers revealed 95% would leave their jobs immediately if offered a similar role elsewhere with a more supportive work culture. Some of Britain's biggest firms are failing professional mothers who would leave their jobs 'in a heartbeat' if they were offered more flexible roles elsewhere. Entrepreneur Juliet Turnbull said women are becoming 'exhausted' trying to hold down full-time jobs which restrict the time the can spend with their young children because alternatives are not available. 'They have no life. All the surveys show that depression and divorce is on the rise because people are living a life that is not for them. These women are exhausted,' said Turnbull, who set up the recruitment hub for mothers 2to3days.com three years ago. 'We continue to live in this disconnect where your life exists outside your work. We only have one life and your work is part of it. If you are allowed to integrate both, it allows you to be a more well-rounded, happier human being,' she said. A survey of 1,500 mothers seeking skilled and senior part-time roles revealed 95 per cent from accountancy, finance and banking backgrounds said they would leave immediately if offered a similar role elsewhere with a more supportive work culture. But 92 per cent did not feel confident that there were enough employers in finance offering flexible and part-time jobs, according to the survey. 'The most striking thing for me is how many women are working full-time for these big companies and they would leave in a heartbeat if they could get a flexible role,' said Turnbull, whose firm conducted the survey. Turnbull, a mother of two who lives in South London, launched 2to3days.com after realising the professional recruitment market was letting down the rising number of women that wanted a 'better integration of their work and personal lives'. 'The industry is predicated on full-time salaries and they are not interested in part-time mothers. They will put the phone down and they are brutal. So three years ago I decided to do it my way and I haven't looked back.' Turnbull said her firm broke even last year and now has 28,000 registered members. 'We're at a tipping point. Our brand is widely known. Building a business takes time but we are now on the radar of some very large companies and companies are coming back to us for a second and third time.' Clients include Lloyd's of London, Nationwide, Santander and the Confederation of British Industry. She said interest from other firms has risen with the recent focus on Gender Pay Gap statistics. But she added: 'I think younger people - millennials - want something different. They've seen their dads burn out and they want something different. Now, at last, corporations are waking up.' Find out more about how we can help your company access this fantastic talent pool. And if you're a mother please register now to get a great flexible working job.
Great staff make great companies. The talent in your team is your most important asset. This article by Forbes summarises very well the importance of talent to a company. So in June and July whilst the chat around the water cooler is ‘where are you going on holiday this summer’ now is the perfect time for you to steal a march on the competition and look to hire skilled and experienced talent whose attitude rocks. Here’s why – when I am talking to business leaders about working with 2to3days they say to me countless times that ‘nothings happens in August’ so the role they are looking to fill would be a great role for a mother to do – this coupled with the fact that depending on the size of your company and the seniority of the role you are looking to hire the recruitment process can take anything from 4 – 12 weeks! So in reality they wouldn’t be joining you until September anyway which is a brilliant time to hire a mother as she has just started a new academic year. And like all new beginnings there is a fresh sense of energy and outlook. So whether you are a small business looking for great talent or a large organisation looking to close your gender pay gap, June and July are the perfect months to advertise positions that our highly capable mothers can do on a flexible basis. This is also the perfect opportunity to address head on one of the elephants in the room when it comes to hiring a mother – the summer holidays! The undeniable fact is that the summer holidays can be anything from 6-10 weeks and businesses never stop. But let’s get practical, they don’t, if we stop and think about it for a whole host of plausible reasons, need to be a barrier to hiring great talent. Talent is about the perfect alchemy of skills, experience and attitude. Dealing with the summer holidays is about attitude. Mothers’ attitude that rocks! 1. Commitment – she is driven by a higher purpose than her work – the wellbeing of her family. So working for you isn’t a decision she has taken lightly so once made she is committed to making it work 2. Trustworthy–it’s about getting the work done to a high standard and on time. You need to trust her, she will get the work done 3. Reliable and Responsible– let’s be honest. I don’t know any mother who doesn’t outsource her children to the television, a play date, grandparents or summer camp at some point over the holidays. She comes to work for her sanity, she comes to work to do a great job for you and for her wellbeing, and her contribution to the family finances. You can rely on her to make it work. Employers’ attitude that rocks! 1. Thoughtful– plan ahead. When do you need this person to start and how long is your recruitment period? 2. Considerate– is the summer the perfect time to ease them in gently so that come September they have settled in and ready to fire on all cylinders? 3. Honesty– If nothing happens in August tell her. Are you happy that she can work from home or change her time in the office? Let her know. Hiring great talent to grow great businesses starts with having an open and honest conversation between the hiring team and the candidate. Matching the business needs and culture of the company with the desire and experience of the candidate. Now is the perfect time to hire our mothers as they gear up for a new academic year in September. And if nothing happens in August that’s even sweeter for you both! I would love to hear from companies and mothers as to the practical things you have done to cover the summer holidays?
On Friday my colleague Annabel Timberlake and I had the privilege of giving a talk to a fabulous group of mothers from a school based in the heart of Hampshire. I left so energised and inspired. The ideas and support that were flying around the room were electric and a great reminder that 2to3days is far more than a recruitment hub – 2to3days is a movement and the potential for companies when they harness the experience, motivation and determination of these mothers is extraordinary. In the group we had network engineers - and we all know that female engineers are like hens’ teeth, very hard to find - a Chartered Surveyor who until recently had managed a global fund worth over £1billion as well as lawyers, operations managers and an architect. Plus two mothers who run their own companies, both of whom want to work with 2to3days to find them architects and lawyers. These mothers were all at the top of their profession when they stopped to have their family as their previous employers wouldn’t support them to do both. One great, but appalling, piece of feedback was that a mother was told by her last male boss – ‘a piece of advice – never thank me for your bonus. I gave you the least amount I could get away with’. – Ouch! We need to help progressive companies and leaders to step forward and stop this archaic nonsense. Carpe diem! The mothers registered on 2to3days have had a family not a lobotomy! They all want to work – by integrating their work with their responsibilities towards their family and that’s OK. That’s what we should all be doing. I hate with a passion the phrase ‘work-life’ balance as this assumes, wrongly, that your work is separate to your ‘life’. These mothers from leafy Hampshire, who get overlooked and side-lined, pigeonholed as ‘just mothers’, actually want to grab their careers back and make a meaningful contribution to UK Plc. That was just a snapshot from a small pocket in Hampshire. Combine that with the rest of the mothers across the UK and our economy will rock! The £23billion deficit that sits in our GDP as a result of not tapping into this hidden but rapidly growing talent pool will shrink, and quickly. That’s why 2to3days is a movement that openly welcomes progressive companies, business leaders and mothers to join and collectively we can harness the latent potential of this hidden but amazing talent pool. If you would like me or a member of our team to come and talk to your company or a group of other fabulous mothers then get in touch at email@example.com. And if you believe in what we are doing here at 2to3days, please join us today!
Thousands of highly skilled mothers are quitting the workplace because employers are failing to help them juggle work and family life New recruitment concept tackles the issue head-on We are pleased to say 2to3days recently appeared in HR News with the following article. Two thirds of mothers (67%) have felt they had no choice but to leave a job because working arrangements didn’t enable them to integrate their family life as they would like to, new research reveals. A survey of almost 1,500 mothers looking for skilled and senior part-time roles reveals the risks and missed opportunities to UK’s businesses of ignoring this demographic of highly-motivated, talented workers: 91% don’t feel confident that there are plenty of employers in their area offering flexible and part-time jobs 86% can be flexible with the days/hours worked, 77% will attend to urgent matters out of hours and 58% are willing to work in the evenings – suggesting that mothers on flexible contracts could be more flexible and dedicated than the average full-time employee Shorter hours are not always permanent – 83% are prepared to consider increased hours in the future, once their children are older or their circumstances change A new concept in the recruitment market called 2to3days is tackling this issue head-on. Founded by mother and former property surveyor, Juliet Turnbull, who realised that traditional recruitment methods were not reaching this skilled workforce, 2to3days has created an active and connected community of mothers and progressive businesses to challenge the status-quo. Juliet Turnbull says: “Sadly up until now the huge wealth of highly skilled mothers who are keen to re-join the workforce has fallen through the recruitment ‘gap’. Traditional recruitment methods are not reaching them. I wanted to change that and to create a live community that harnesses the power of connections both between mothers and between businesses that are crying out for talented employees.” 2to3days is revolutionising the recruitment industry with its rallying cry to “join the ‘hood” – a shared interest community of 28,000 members committed to matching mothers with stimulating, flexible roles. This often ‘overlooked’ workforce offers companies a wealth of knowledge and experience, at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruitment methods. It enables mothers keen to return to work the opportunity to meaningfully contribute without sacrificing their family life. With 91% of mothers surveyed saying they don’t feel confident that there are plenty of employers in their area offering flexible and part-time jobs, 2to3days calls on employers to break the mould and consider more atypical contracts that will attract loyal, dedicated and skilled working mothers. London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) Group Head of Programme Management Sasha Jory believes that being able to attract people with a diverse range of experiences, backgrounds, and working requirements makes for a better performing team: “If people feel they can achieve the work-life balance they want, you get a lot more focus and a happier team.” Jory has two children herself, and feels she is able to achieve the work-life balance she wants by having flexible hours: “I’ve chosen to work from 7am to 4pm every day so that I can see my kids in the evenings. A lot of my colleagues don’t even know that I leave at 4pm – they simply judge me on my delivery and performance rather than by how many hours I sit behind a desk.” Sasha is convinced of the business benefits of optionality when hiring people. “I see opportunities to provide flexible roles as a good way to retain staff but also to attract great people who may otherwise have gone elsewhere.” 2to3days founder Juliet says: “Working culture is changing and employees are demanding work-life integration rather than balance. Aided by the technology revolution and necessitated by campaigns for equal pay, bigger companies are being forced to think outside the box. A brilliant labour force lies right under their noses if they will consider the benefits of higher productivity through flexibility – a highly experienced brain on a pro rata salary. We’re helping to create diverse staff teams that reflect real life and we’re enabling talented mothers to reach their full potential both in their careers and at home. 2to3days is a business solution connecting brilliant talent with fulfilling and accommodating senior positions.” It is clear that employers are missing out on valuable members of their workforce by continuing to neglect alternative working patterns – 39% of mothers interviewed don’t need to work but want to, with the majority citing mental stimulation and high levels of motivation behind their desire to do so. Of the almost 1,500 mothers surveyed, 86% can be flexible with the days/hours worked and 77% will attend to urgent matters out of hours suggesting that mothers on flexible contracts could, in fact, be more flexible and dedicated than the average full-time employee. It also highlights the fact that shorter hours are not always permanent, with 83% prepared to consider an increase in the future, once their children are older or their circumstances change. The research found that a contracted 3-days-per-week role works best for employers and employees – enabling mothers to adapt their hours around their families, whilst still being able to contribute meaningfully to work. Nationwide’s Director of Resourcing, Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill is a massive supporter of flexible working: “I have three small children and a successful career. Until you have children yourself, it’s difficult to understand the level of capability required to juggle work and parenting. You build up huge amounts of resilience and strength, which are very attractive qualities for an employer.” “When you allow people to work their way, they feel that their needs are being met, and they definitely put more effort and energy into the job. Flexible working options make us much more successful as a team and as a business.” Her message to employers still sceptical about considering flexible contracts is clear: “The world of work is changing, and expectations of high performing employees are changing. You risk cutting yourself off from really interesting hires if you’re not willing to consider atypical working patterns, and your business could be missing out.” Chair of Volcano Coffee Works, Emma Loisel, runs her UK business remotely from New Zealand and tapped into 2to3days’ skilled community of mothers in her search for a Financial Director. She believes that getting mothers back into the workforce has not been properly addressed, and businesses are missing out as a result: “Through employing a senior woman on a flexible basis an employer gains an experienced, highly skilled, talented and loyal member of the team at a lower cost than employing a full-time person, with perhaps 7 or 10 fewer years’ experience. The total spend on headcount is considerably less than a full-time position, but better value to the business.” Describing her experience using 2to3days, she said: “The calibre of candidates was remarkable. It was higher than anything I’d seen through traditional recruitment agencies. I had fewer candidates to look at, but at a much higher standard so it was like receiving a shortlist immediately.” With the benefits of hiring experienced mothers into senior positions being made patently clear, 2to3days is now calling on forward-thinking employers to tap into their network of highly skilled mothers and pledge their support of a new future for flexible contracts. Companies using 2to3days to fill senior positions include Nationwide, CBI, Santander, Arriva, sofa.com as well as companies in travel, tech, marketing and recruitment such as Scott Dunn, ThoughtWorks, Black Sun, Hudson, Momentum Worldwide, Sheila King International, Harper Dennis Hobbs, Edison Investment and start-ups including My Tutor and Mum & You.
If you are a man and regarded as a ‘key stakeholder’ of your company then this note is for you. I hope it causes you to reflect and, if appropriate, go to work this week and elect to work on stretching your ‘comfort’ zone because if you do, you will inspire others to follow. Last Friday I was wrapping up for the weekend and one of my last calls was to my contact in the marketing team of the recruitment arm for a global bank. I wanted to find out the outcome of their recent Board meeting and whether they had elected to work with 2to3days. One of their strategic imperatives is to address their female talent pipeline - especially at a senior level - which they can do easily and cost-effectively by engaging with the thousands of mothers in our 2to3days community. So I was really hopeful of getting the green light. The update I got was that they do want to work with 2to3days (which is great) BUT…. don’t we hate getting to the but! The ‘but’ was that first they needed to “work on” the predominantly “male key stakeholders” on the value of flexible working before they could take their project to market. This, they say, will take at least until the end of the year giving this particular bank only a few months before they yet again have to report on their Gender Pay gap. Previous experience tells me it will be a lot longer than that! But I remain hopeful. It is comments like this that make my heart sink. ‘Here we go again, the same old scratched record’ is where my thoughts go, whilst the image that springs to my mind a bunch of in their suits huddled in their Boardroom caves, with various members of the HR team sent on a mission to convert them to the flexible working ‘dark side’, all looking, dare I say it, pale, male and stale. We love you guys whatever your ethnicity, but it’s the stale bit that we want to shake off. Anything stale in my life gets chucked in the bin. As a key you need to be an inspiration to your company and challenge every aspect of the business, not be conformists to out of date thinking and action! So, I challenge each and every one of you to stop and answer honestly this one simple question: "What have I done to help progress the performance of my company through the lens of flexible working?" If you can hand on heart list what you have done then you are a beacon of light and we would love to hear from you. If the answer is nothing then I challenge you to throw away your comfort blanket and instead go to your recruitment teams and say that you want to genuinely champion flexible working. If you do you will be able to hire some of the best out there to help you and your company excel. We recently surveyed our mothers and 86% of our mothers can be highly flexible as to the hours and days they work, 77% able to attend to urgent matters out of hours. These women gave up on you once before and I bet you still miss them. Now they want to give you a second chance so don’t blow it! Be the boss that your teams admire not secretly despair of. Be a role model to your children as they certainly won’t want to be working full time but will still want to drive success in their career. The irony is that you don’t even have to be that radical. Just meet our mothers and let them tell you how they will do an outstanding job for you so the concerns you have disappear – the productivity won’t drop, the clients will still be happy, your team will be motivated and happy and if you have external investors you will make them smile too! Stale or hale and hearty? It’s your call.
“She won’t want to do that sort of work” – HR Director and Business Owner “Have you tested the market?” – Juliet Turnbull “No!” “I suggest you try…” “You’re right, we should…” The work we were talking about is critical in every company. It’s commonly known as back office support but I like to think of it as the ‘backbone’ – if it isn’t doing its job properly, supporting all the other functions of the company, then your business, like your body, can get into an almighty mess very quickly! This week I had a similar conversation with both the Head of Recruitment for a global insurance company and a fast recruitment agency in SW London. They were both lamenting the cost and disruption of hiring young people to do this work, only to see them resign six months later. I presented a solution. Hire the mothers from the 2to3days community. They are reliable, dependable and have a more mature attitude to their work. Most importantly, and here’s the irony – they want to do the work you need doing! Why? Because they are motivated by a different set of values. They aren’t necessarily aspiring to be the next CEO. They want to use their brains and their skills, they want to contribute, they want to escape for a few hours from the drudge of domesticity. After all, when they do get home they often then become the CEO and probably the COO too and do their own battles with the younger generation! I am not saying don’t hire the younger generation as they have a huge amount of value to add. Progressive companies need to have a workforce that reflects society, not just men at the top and the young guns bringing up the rear. We all know the saying – ‘if you want a job done well, ask a busy person.’ There is no better person to ask than one of the thousands of highly capable mothers who form part of the dynamic 2to3days community. They want to do a great job on flexible terms that work for the company and for them as mothers. To me, it’s a no-brainer – but then, hey, I am one of those busy mothers and I get it all done!
Varied, interesting work with global clients. The chance to manage a team. One-to-one coaching and development. That’s what’s on offer right now from EY. The professional services organisation is currently recruiting for Reconnect, a 12-week paid programme to help people get back into work after a career break of two to 10 years. There are opportunities available in tax, accounting and financial advisory starting in September 2018. Aimed at returners with managerial experience in professional services or a similar environment, the Reconnect programme is the perfect opportunity to revitalise your career and professional skills whilst building a network of like-minded people. “It’s really boosted my professional confidence” – Minaxi’s story Minaxi Arnold had taken a career break to raise a family. After a period of freelance and volunteer work she decided she wanted a role that would increase her knowledge and experience, as well as developing relationships with colleagues and clients. Now, after completing the EY Reconnect programme, she’s a manager in EY’s People Advisory Services business. She says, “I was impressed with how EY embraces flexibility. Here having a family is not career limiting – rather the opposite! EY is aware and appreciative of my achievements, which has really boosted my confidence. These programmes ignore the gap in a person’s career history and look at an individual’s experience and skills to match them to appropriate roles.” Initially Minaxi did have some reservations.“I didn’t think I’d get back into the work mindset having had a career break,” she says. “But actually I picked up right where I left off.” Throughout the programme she enjoyed “working, learning something new, delivering client work and winning new business.” It wasn’t a difficult decision for Minaxi to stay on at EY after finishing the Reconnect programme.“I had enjoyed my ‘internship’ and valued being part of a growing and successful team,” she says. “I could see how my contribution counted towards our growth.” Continuing to develop as a professional is really important to Minaxi and she’s taken up many opportunities to keep learning. “I was invited to the New Manager training course to prepare for being a manager at EY,” she explains. “I was also picked to represent my business area on a pilot EMEIA Immersion training course in Prague which was really invaluable. More recently, I was invited to attend my team’sBusiness Bootcamp in Berlin. There is so much valuable learning and development, it is really up to the individual to get involved and take ownership of their own learning.” On her return to work, it didn’t take long for Minaxi to start making a real impact.“There have been a few achievements I’m proud of since returning. I recently helped UKI Recruitment to select a new Application Tracking System vendor which will be rolled out later this year. I also drafted a People Strategy for an $8 billion telecommunications company!” And if Minaxi could go back to give a piece of advice to herself before starting the Reconnect programme?“I would tell myself to be confident in my abilities,” she says.“I was worried my skillset wouldn’t transfer into my new role but I’ve managed to continually surprise myself and would encourage anyone thinking about returning to work to do the same!” How to apply? If you’re thinking about re-joining the world of work and are looking for a support network to help you succeed, visit EY's page to find out more.