2018 has started with a flurry of new and returning recruiters joining us on our mission to help businesses thrive and to help working mothers fulfil their potential. Whilst companies busily swing into hiring mode there’s also a new year peak in candidates looking into career moves. Both of these trends can be bad news for business – there’s more competition out there for the best candidates and sifting high-calibre recruits from the mediocre masses is an excruciating task. The reason why 2to3days is here and thriving is that we have designed a new model which knocks many of these problems on the head by giving companies privileged access to a niche talent pool of skilled and professional jobseekers. Our thousands of talented working mothers looking for part-time work may be overlooked by traditional recruitment agencies or could have been dismissed as too hard to reach by hiring managers – that is until we arrived on the scene! In the two years since we set up we’ve found kindred spirits amongst hundreds of forward-thinking companies who are stealing a march on competitors by hiring experienced working mothers on reciprocally flexible terms. Together with Nationwide, Grant Thornton, Diageo and Hudson as well as the hundreds of smaller entrepreneurial companies like Mum & You and Black Sun, we are traversing the foothills of a radical recruitment revolution. 2to3days cares deeply about both businesses and the mothers in our community. Our economy, society and the next generation of impressionable minds are impoverished by the difficulty businesses have in connecting with, and filling roles from, our untapped demographic. We are a can-do community that detests those that whinge about the status quo. Our win-win model has been lovingly fashioned to help businesses better reflect real life through how and who they hire. Having a ready pool of candidates who aren’t tied to standard job patterns helps firms allocate the right skill and time required to do a job rather than trying to fit all roles into 5 day packages! Time and again businesses tell me four key reasons why the 2to3days service is needed more than ever. Meeting these business needs is why our community of businesses and mothers and the number of roles filled is growing at breathtaking speed: You want quality applicants not quantity. We have built a growing, niche community of 25,000 talented and experienced candidates so that typically our employers receive around 12 relevant applications from top notch people and usually tell us they’d be happy to hire several or all of them! A third of our community has Master’s degrees and over 4 in 5 have managerial experience. So you can say adios to ‘post and pray’ jobs boards that serve up quantity over quality. You worry that recruitment agencies’ commercial interests are not in line with your own. We don’t take a cut on your recruit’s salary which is why we have no vested interest in encouraging you to hire someone who’s less than perfect. The standard agency model has incentivised the placement of standard-fit applicants and withheld a wide pool of talent looking to break the five day mould (who also earn agents less commission). With us, you make the choice without being swamped with unsuitable candidates. You need to be cost-conscious. We never seek to make a fast buck but we’re also unapologetically commercial. So what’s our trick? We believe it takes a community to fill a role well and that’s where the magic of the ‘motherhood’ comes to the fore. This is truly novel when you consider that recruitment for key roles can be marred with secrecy. The motherhood is the digital, community-powered reinvention of the closed old boys’ network. Our community of mothers are bound by shared goals which leads them to proactively signpost colleagues and friends to jobs if they’re not right for themselves. Tapping into this immense goodwill and openness makes us effective and supremely cost-efficient. Approximately 70% of employers who advertise on our site hire one of our mothers and reaching our community costs only £300. You need a more diverse staff pool. If your business doesn’t reflect real life you’re less likely to understand and appeal to customers, prospective employees, clients, partners and other stakeholders. Harvard Business Review, amongst others, has published research to show that increased diversity within your business adds to your bottom line. The firms we work with are at the vanguard in overhauling Monday to Friday rigidity and presenteeism. Consciously stacking the odds against hiring someone who doesn’t fit the standard mould in today’s world is a hugely wasted opportunity, preventing employers from attracting highly capable, experienced working mothers. We don’t underestimate how tough it is to overcome over a century of ingrained work culture. Trusting staff to do a great job when they are working flexible hours, in evenings or from home requires an openness to doing business differently. However this trust delivers better results and committed colleagues. Almost every business leader seeks to manage outputs rather than inputs which is why they are joining our community in droves to enable them to fill bespoke roles or hire a portfolio of part-time specialists to meet their business needs with precision. The idea has been around for a while but they needed 2to3days to enable it. Trusting staff delivers better results. Tapping into an open and thoughtful community who will spread your job opportunities delivers better results. Adding diversity to your staff delivers better results. Families and society are better off too. Our community of employers and mothers will develop an increasingly loud voice which will make 2018 a game-changing year for recruiters. To learn more about advertising with us, click here.
Black Sun is a consultancy that delivers inspiring communications that reach, engage and influence stakeholders including investors, employees, customers and communities. Based in Fulham with an office in Singapore and a global client base, they want to hire three mothers from the 2to3days community to join their team across both locations. CEO, David Christopherson and 2to3days’ founder Juliet Turnbull had a meeting of minds whilst discussing why firms looking to achieve long term, sustainable value need to have a truly diverse and inclusive workforce. David Christopherson, CEO, Black Sun PLC I am a great fan of what 2to3days is doing and I am delighted to be working with them. Why is the work that Black Sun does so vital in today’s climate? The world today is faced with complex, systems-wide challenges - whether this be climate change or the fact that the world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population. Disenfranchisement is off the ‘Richter scale’ and lack of trust both politically and within large organisations is rampant. With the advancement of technology, people like you and me now have the ability to call politicians and CEOs to account. Change is happening and it is happening fast. Organisations have a wonderful opportunity to play a significant and meaningful role in solving these problems whilst also generating value for investors. Business is moving beyond an outdated, singular focus on shareholder value to create meaningful, long term, sustainable value to all of their stakeholders including employees, clients, local and global communities. By 2020, half of the workforce will comprise the millennial generation who are driven by a higher purpose and don’t want to work (or buy from) companies that are solely driven by making money. Businesses need to reflect the way people want to work and live their lives. Why is hiring brilliant mothers to join Black Sun an integral part of your vision? I am incredibly proud of our team. We employ around 90 people from over 20 nationalities, and gender balance runs throughout our entire company. We recruit people who share our purpose, our values and our attitude towards looking after our clients. I get very frustrated when I see talented women have their careers cut short because they have chosen to take time out to raise their family but then can’t find a way back in. These mothers are too readily overlooked by companies and present a massive missed opportunity for companies. Businesses need to reflect the way people want to work and live their lives. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with a colleague who has real ambition and help them to unlock their potential by supporting them to do work they never imagined they would do. That’s why I am a great fan of what 2to3days is doing and I am delighted to be working with them. One of the biggest barriers to business growth is finding great talent. Digital advances allow any company to operate on a global playing field which, by its very nature, is rich in diversity in the broadest sense – along gender, generational and national lines. It’s difficult to identify and reach working mothers which is why a platform to connect employers with talented women looking for fulfilling work is so needed. It’s difficult to identify and reach working mothers which is why a platform to connect employers with talented women looking for fulfilling work is so needed. From your experience of working with a wide range of clients; what are the three most important qualities that women at a senior management level bring to a company both commercially and culturally? The value women bring to a business is vast but if you’re really pressing me to come up with the three great qualities I personally admire the most, typically female strengths include: A natural affinity with clients and an ability to nurture strong relationships An innate ability to multi-task An alternative perspective to many conversations that enables us to make better and more informed decisions that create additional value to our clients and to the growth of Black Sun. In your opinion, what is the value to your clients’ stakeholders of having a truly diverse and inclusive culture in the short, medium and long term? Companies need their work force to reflect the real world. The attraction and retention of talent is one of the biggest challenges all companies face and therefore to overlook tapping into this incredibly rich talent pool is a massive missed opportunity both commercially and culturally. What advice do you give your two sons about their role in the home and in the workplace? To value equally the role of running the home with working - both worlds would fall apart without the two working in unison. It was my wife’s choice to be at home full time and my sons have been brought up to support and value the role she plays and we all actively acknowledge that our lives are significantly enhanced by the work she does. With work I tell them to do a job that they are passionate about and what really interests them and to be open to wherever this takes them.
Hudson, a global recruitment consultancy, is currently partnering with 2to3days to hire brilliant people to join its team of recruitment consultants in its Birmingham and London offices. So earlier this week, Juliet caught up with Stuart Packham, UK Board Director, who is driving this initiative, to find out why working for Hudson is a great career choice for people looking for a flexible and collaborative workplace that supports a healthy work-life balance. Why are you looking at the returning talent pool? We completely appreciate that people take time out of work for a wide variety of reasons; having a family is one reason, but people might also take time out to care for relatives or gain different life experiences. The ‘traditional’ career path is changing and having a wide mix of different work and life experiences has become highly sought-after. More often than not, returners to work have developed a rich assortment of life skills which are incredibly valuable to the business world, and more specifically, the recruitment industry. We want people with empathy, learning agility, and a desire to embrace change – and returners often have the attitude and approach we’re looking for, which could include returning mothers amongst your 2to3days network. In fact, over 54% of our workforce are women and a high percentage of these women are mothers, from the Executive down. What is Hudson’s vision? Hudson is going through a huge transformation, not only in terms of our products, services, and approach to the market, but also in how we work together internally. Globally, Hudson is made up of 2,500 people, and around 250 are based in the UK. Whilst we benefit from being part of a global team, we have integrated our innovative talent management expertise with our recruitment business, helping businesses navigate the whole new world of work by using our in-house tools and solutions. How is the recruitment market changing? Transactional recruitment is disappearing. Instead, we are moving towards a culture where an individual’s and a company’s true purpose will govern how they work and engage with people. Very soon, companies won’t advertise using a standard job description; instead the focus will switch to finding candidates with an ideal set of approaches or attitudes. Employers will list the projects that they want done and candidates will be asked to demonstrate how their ability, desire and life experiences make them the right fit for the role. Describe your company ethos and culture I don’t believe we have, or will ever have, one single culture; instead, we have a series of sub-cultures that come together to create an organisation connected by a shared purpose. But, generally speaking, we are an incredibly passionate and genuine bunch, and we like to consider ourselves innovative and entrepreneurial, with a high level of trust. If you have trust, you have an incredibly flexible culture. We’re not fans of micromanaging, and this is a very rare quality in the recruitment industry. Also, what is pertinent is that over 50% of the team at Hudson from the top down has some form of flexible working. How does Hudson support working mothers? The best way I can answer this question is to start by clearly stating that our aim is to create a working environment where everyone is able to customise their working pattern to achieve a greater balance. We believe the best way to support working mothers is not by singling them out. They don’t walk through the door on day one and get handed a T-shirt which says ‘I am a working mother – treat me differently’. We have a clear career structure in place that offers everyone the same opportunity to progress, develop and be rewarded – regardless of their working patterns. Only the other day, one of my colleagues, who is a mother, said to me – ‘I didn’t think I would be able to come back into the recruitment industry after just having a baby, and be able to do my job on a flexible basis; but I can at Hudson’. On a practical level, everyone has the IT support they need to work anywhere, so you don’t have to be pinned to your desk. A traditional recruitment company’s KPIs are linked to presenteeism; at Hudson we measure output, not time in the office, and we certainly won’t make you clock in and out every day. Tell us what makes a brilliant consultant? How much of that is background and experience versus personal traits or characteristics? Brilliant consultants are open-minded, embrace change, are customer focused and have a natural drive to work collaboratively both internally and externally across all functions and industry groups. The ones that truly shine have resilience – they don’t fall over as soon as someone says ‘no’, and they are prepared to make mistakes, pick themselves up and start again. As a father what’s the one piece of advice you would give your son or daughter in choosing their career? I believe that traditional career paths will no longer exist in a few years’ time. That’s why I always encourage my daughter to choose a career that enables them to have the opportunity to have a range of different experiences in life – not just the one. If you do something that you enjoy, your self-fulfilment and happiness will flow! For me, the most important thing is that my daughter has the confidence and opportunity to do something that she enjoys and finds rewarding. You can find out more about Hudson here.
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
We have a wealth of experience in our mothers and the experts we work with; we asked for top tips on helping mothers feel energised and confident on their journey back to work. Here are the results that should help you transition smoothly back into work: 1. Be proud of what you do... Celebrate motherhood and discover how to transfer the skills you have learnt as a mother to the workplace. “Remember all that you have achieved in your career before and everything you have learned as a mother - the combination of these two things will blow their socks off!” “Preparing to enter into the world of work, means moving away from the mindset of ‘I’m just a mum’ to one that sees your skills, abilities and experience in a new way.” “Truly value the skills you had before you became a mother and those you have learnt during your pregnancy and transition to motherhood. Write down all the achievements previously attained and spend some time remembering how you felt at the time.” “Make a list of all the skills you've been using during your break and consider how these are transferable to work (chances are there's nothing more challenging at work than negotiating with a determined toddler at home!).” “Enlist the help of your friends and loved ones to tell you what they consider your strengths and skills to be too.” “Be proud of your extended career break. What makes you the best candidate and how has your extended career break contributed to that?” “Acknowledge the huge growth you have experienced and will bring to a new employer.” “Make a note of all your strengths (not just what you're good at but what you really enjoy and what energises you).” 2. Focus is everything What is your ideal job? How many days do you want to work? Become clear about what you want and focus on it. “Take the time to find out what you really want to do. Think about combining your personal skills in a job sector you are interested in.” “Write out a simple reminder of your “what” and “why,” so that you can pull it out in moments of doubt and reconnect at any time with your creative and inspiring energy.” “Be clear about what you want and why. Identify your motivations for going back to work. Is it for financial reasons? to contribute?, to be a part of something, or to have an identity..?” “What are your priorities? What you are prepared to be flexible about and what is non-negotiable?” “Before looking outwards, spend some time looking within. Find 10-15 minutes a day for 7 days. Sit quietly and allow yourself to envisage your "perfect job", the hours, the location, the salary, and the purpose. How would it feel to see this opportunity appear and grasp it with both hands?” 3. Keep In touch Even if it’s just the odd drink, It’s a good idea to keep in touch with old work colleagues. Aside from reminding yourself that you did have another life before becoming a mum, you never know when that perfect job might just pop up. “Networking, networking, networking - this is the key to survival in the corporate world. Update your LinkedIn profile and see what groups others are following in your field. Follow organisations you would like to work for, and approach them directly, either through a contact or research the name of a head of department and send a letter to them.” “While away from work, try to stay in touch with colleagues and others in your industry, so you're not completely out of the loop when you return. Read relevant industry magazines and websites too.” “Focus on building your network. Treat every meeting as a potential work opportunity - jobs are quite often created around people, so be prepared to talk positively about what you have to offer.“Resist slipping into underselling yourself by talking about what you can't do/don't know/feel worried about. Save this for your closest friends and family!” “Engage with social media and set up your profile on LinkedIn (but don't treat this as a substitute for getting out and talking to people).” 3. Get work ready Having a CV together and your childcare in place is vital. That way you can feel focused and strong about finding work. “Your CV is your key marketing tool - be sure you have it looking good and stating your achievements in previous positions.” “Practice interviews. Think about your pitch and what you have to offer employers.” “Find out what recruiters are seeking and maximise your potential by filling any gaps through developing new skills.” “Chat with a professional CV writer or career coach. Your confidence in your skills and what you can offer to an employer will soar.” “Lots of people aren't sure how to cover a career break in a CV but you can turn it into a positive.” “If you have the time but no finance, hone your skills by offering to undertake a volunteer role – for example on a church committee, school governor or at a charity shop.” 4. Train your confidence According to the experts, confidence is simply a state of mind that you can practice. “Write down your top 50 'confident' moments. They are all there - you just need to look for them.” “Believe in yourself and trust the inner intuition that has prompted you to return to work in the first place!” “Re-connect with your previous successes rather than feeling you need to re-prove yourself and start all over again. “ “There is no failure only feedback. For example after a disappointing interview, remember you have learnt something from the experience and you can do better next time.” “Stop with the comparison. Be happy in your own skin.” “Are you sure you want to do the job you are applying for? In my experience when someone doesn't want to do something, they find every excuse not to and the procrastination creates unhappiness. “ “The more excited you are about your potential new endeavor, the more you'll have what it takes to make it happen.” “Learn to silence your "inner critic", which erodes self-confidence and hampers your ability.” “Praise yourself for the things you do well, keep this up when you take the first step towards getting a job and make a habit of it whilst you are working.” “Surround yourself with positive "can do" people who are supportive and contribute to your sense of self-worth.” 5. Create a back to work look According to the experts, it’s about a handful of basics. For more inspiration, check out (link to wardrobe blog) our blog for further top tips on your back to work wardrobe. “Remember if you look good you will feel better about yourself. Take the time to think about the clothes you love wearing and why.” “Nail your capsule business wardrobe. You need far fewer clothes than you think to create a successful working wardrobe. The key is to ensure all your items colour co-ordinate, which then gives you endless outfit combinations. Just 4 jackets, 2 skirts, 2 dresses, 4 simple scoop neck tops, a pair of trousers and a Mac will give you enough outfits for at least a month!” “Have a haircut, get a manicure. Be polished and you will look like you are in control which is the first step to being in control!” “Make the most of accessories - accessories are an easy and inexpensive way of adding interest and personality to your outfits.” “Think about your the impact that you want to have when you first meet a prospective employer. What does your appearance say about you? How smart, confident and contemporary do you look?” “Treat yourself to some office clothes so that you feel the part - even if it's not how you're feeling on the inside, an outfit that 'fits the part' will really help your confidence.”
On this week of Mothers’ Day we see increasing levels of spending each year, with £928M spent in the UK alone in celebrating our mothers with flowers, cards and gifts. What is it about this one day that brings out such generosity towards mothers, and can this really be the one day of the year that we truly recognise the value of the contribution mothers make to our lives? Business owners of Small and Medium businesses frequently ask me: “What salary would your mothers expect to earn for this role?” I find it incredibly hard to answer this question specifically, as every job is unique and there are so many factors that go in to determining a person’s salary. The level of responsibility, the role you want them to do, how much value you attribute to their skill set and experience, what you pay the rest of your team, the age and stage of the company, the culture of the company, the geographical location of the company - and that’s before you get down to the nitty gritty of what days or hours you want them to work. Pay mothers what they are worth My answer is always consistently the same – RESPECT your employees. They want to be paid what they are worth, and paid enough to be motivated to do a job properly, based on output and contribution. Women also want to be respected for being mothers – and that’s the beauty of our site. Our 2to3days site allows these women for the first time to bring their whole self to the interview instead of a more usual navigation of the need to mention their children and their need for flexible hours. Acknowledging the ‘elephant in the room’ upfront allows the interviewee to shine and to respond whole-heartedly to questions without having to be on high alert about when the right time is to mention that she has children and therefore would love to do this role but flexibly! Instead, with palpable relief they can have the children conversation, get that bit acknowledged, and move swiftly on to why and how they can fulfil the role to everyone’s satisfaction. Don’t b*llsh%t our mothers! So no - it’s not respectful to ask them to do a five day job in four days, or to go with the attitude of ‘what can I get away with as it’s a part-time role?’ or having the mind set of paying them less as they will be grateful to have a job because they are a mother! 2to3days is an engaged community of around 20K people who believe in the value of part-time work for mothers. Its growth is shaped by its members, and our mothers vote with their feet – if a poor lowly-paid job is advertised on our site they don’t apply. Give them a great job that oozes RESPECT for the value that they can bring to your business and you will attract the appropriate applicants. Every day can be Mothers’ Day So follow the principles of respect and no b*llsh%t and you will earn our mothers’ respect and benefit from employing one of our fantastic and experienced mothers who will be loyal and capable additions to your company. Place an advert with us and enjoy the calibre of applicants that will come rolling in.
8 March was International Women’s Day. The theme of the day was #BeBoldForChange, and I had an awesome, unforgettable, game-changing day for 2to3days. I wanted to share with you what I got up on behalf of our fast-growing community. 2to3days is only 18 months old, still regarded as a ‘startup’ comprising a small team of ambitious people who are on a mission to end one of the UK's biggest current dilemmas – how do we unearth the employers who ‘get’ the value of hiring a smart, ambitious mother on terms on anything other than your traditional full-time contract and connect them to the most hidden but ‘most’ capable and committed workforce in the country, if not the world! Our aim is to be the UK No 1 site and the message I would like to feedback to each and every one of you brilliant mothers and forward-thinking employers is we are making tremendous headway in achieving that goal. So here’s a quick snapshot into my day what I did, what I learnt and who I met. It started with me forgetting to make a packed lunch for my daughter who was off on a school trip! Suffice to say she didn’t go hungry and I think I am forgiven. 1. Breakfast with Sadiq Khan and Allbright (funders of female-led businesses) Sadiq Khan opened the breakfast session telling us that he is a feminist and totally committed to getting more women working in the capital, as currently 1/3 of all senior jobs are done by men, who earn 12% more than women – complete shocker!! The press team were in full force and I had a split second to grab his attention to tell him about 2to3days and I did, phew! The upshot of which is I am now in touch with his colleague who is responsible for talent acquisition, so watch this space. We then had a panel discussion with three female founders, Cat Gizzoli of Piccolo, Aneeqa Khan of ePorta and Emily Forbes of Seenit who shared their entrepreneurial journey and their pearls of wisdom included: Grab the silver lining of every situation You grow with likeminded people around you, not by doing it on your own Self-confidence – separate personal from business – social media makes it tough and brilliant so surround yourself with people who will champion you 2. Lunch with Real Estate Women and BNP Paribas The man responsible for the event (which I didn’t know before I arrived) had been my Head of Talent 20 years ago when I was a Chartered Surveyor – so you just don’t know what connections you will reignite when you turn up to an event! Two brilliant women addressed the room, Ainslie McLennan from TH Real Estate and Dr Clare Eriksson Director of Research at the RICS. Their talks were peppered with great insights. Dr Clare had been told in order to get ahead Never pour the coffee Don’t take too many notes in case you are asked to write up the minutes! When looking to do anything that will help you progress always ask – the worse anyone can say is ‘no’ and they will, but ask anyway! #BeBoldForChange – ‘Be’ your own personality Dr Clare went on to talk about financial security for women vs choices: "...childcare should not in my opinion be a woman’s issue but a family issue. When my children were tiny my husband saw our childcare cost as an investment in my career not as a cost that had to be worn heavily on my shoulders ( I won’t lie, at times it still did, as that is the mind set of our society but it made those tough conversations a lot easier to have due to his mind set!)" Whilst Ainslie McLennan encouraged us all to: ‘fire our line managers’ if they don’t ‘hear’ you and help you progress! ‘Be’ curious, look for solutions ‘Be’ upfront – don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to the person it was meant for! 3. Afternoon reception at No. 10 Downing Street Yup, I got to walk through the famous black door! The Prime Minister hosted an event to celebrate and thank all the people from the armed forces, charities through to business who are collectively making a contribution to the empowerment of women and I made the cut – this was a landmark moment for me both personally and professionally and one that will be cherished for years to come. I made some fabulous connections with captains of industry who loved my story about 2to3days – I now have some very key sales meetings in the diary – the jobs are coming and just for you! 4. Evening cocktails at the Power of Women Awards by Dress for Success hosted by the CBI I was humbled to watch women from across industry receive awards for their contribution to female empowerment in the workplace – I also made some more great connections from more captains of industry who just love the 2to3days mission! By 9pm I crawled home – both exhausted and exhilarated by my day. #BeBoldForChange – my takeaways from this incredible day: Be your true self – my authentic self is powerful 'May I say hi?' or 'May I join your conversation?' – that’s all you ever have to say to join a conversation to make your next great connection ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ – Be you!
Here at 2to3days, we always have an ear to the ground to find exciting, flexible working opportunities for our mothers. Sometimes this happens in the most unlikely of places. On a trip to the bowling alley with her children, our CEO, Juliet Turnbull, struck up a conversation with a mother in the next lane. When the conversation turned to business, it transpired that her husband was experiencing difficulty recruiting for a sales manager role, until 2to3days stepped in. Barns Morison, the founder of Pineneedle, tells us more: Can you tell us a bit about Pineneedle? Pineneedle was founded by my business partner and me in 1988 as a print and design company producing bespoke publications. Now, we are the leading agency in producing wedding and ceremonies literature for councils across the UK. Our company comprises of two directors, one graphic designer and a sales team of six, three of whom have been found through 2to3days. All of our staff work remotely. Why did you advertise with 2to3days? Initially, I advertised the position on one of the larger recruitment sites. We had taken on more projects and I didn’t know where to look for staff. We just got inundated with completely the wrong people. It wasn’t what we wanted and was really a waste of time and money. I was literally pulling my hair out trying to find good sales managers. When my wife came back and told me about 2to3days I knew it was the answer. I totally got the concept. We have 3 children and my wife had taken time out for them. If you’re ambitious or have got a good career you want to get back into it. When we placed an ad with the large recruitment site lots of young graduates applied who didn’t have the experience. Experience can be hugely underestimated. Placing an ad with 2to3days was a no-brainer for us; of course we’d take on those with experience who could do the job. We hired our first sales manager through 2to3days just before Christmas. I then placed another ad in January and hired three more sales managers. I had only intended to hire one mother, but I knew I would’ve been kicking myself had I let two go and they’d found work elsewhere, they were all that good! What are your views on flexible working? Flexible working is something that is important to me. When we started the company, sales were all face-to-face, people would see clients and sign them up. Now, a lot of business is done over the phone or by email. It works for us. And, as a parent I want to be involved; to be there for my children and see them in school productions or sporting events. Running my business flexibly makes sense on many levels and I want to offer my staff the same flexibility. We have to have trust in our team, and hiring someone who just gets it and is confident in their abilities is key to our success. Remoteness can be a challenge, you have got to treat people like grown-ups; our sales team are very experienced and they know exactly what they’re doing. We’ve always said if you want help or advice we’re here but otherwise, you will be left to your own devices if that’s the way you want to work. Our sales team of mothers talk to one another. It works really well, great advice is given and solutions are found between them. We also have more than one person working on the bigger projects, so there is a lot of teamwork involved, even if we don’t meet face to face. How has your sales team of mothers helped drive growth? I’m a big believer that it’s not the hours you do but what you do during those hours. Already, our team has driven business growth by achieving more upfront sales than before. We are totally confident in their abilities. Now we have the staff it’s our job to find them new projects, we want to keep people as busy as we can which is great for the company and our growth. I would definitely use 2to3days again now I know how it operates and I know the quality of people you’re going to get, for me it’s absolutely brilliant. I want more people to know about it. For a company like mine, it’s an absolute godsend!