Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has launched a recruitment programme that enables candidates to choose their own working patterns, in order to attract a more diverse workforce.
The Flexible Talent Network was introduced in August 2018. It allows candidates to apply to work at PWC based on their skillset and the working pattern that best suits their lifestyle, rather than having to apply for a specific job role. This means that potential employees can apply to work shorter hours or for a few months of the year instead of working every month. PWC then matches applicants to relevant projects within the business.
Laura Hinton (pictured), chief people officer at PWC, said: “We already encourage everyday flexibility for our people in how and where they work, but our Flexible Talent Network takes flexible working to a new level, allowing people to choose exactly how they want to work throughout the year. People in the network will get to spend their year their way, whether it’s because of caring commitments, entrepreneurs supplementing their income, people who want to travel or simply not work all of the year.”
The scheme has been introduced to provide potential new recruits with the opportunity to work at PWC without being tied into a full-time contract with traditional working hours. This is partly in response to PWC’s own research, which found that 46% of individuals cite flexible working and a culture of good work-life balance as the most important factors when choosing a job.
PWC further hopes that the Flexible Talent Network will enable it to attract a more diverse workforce.
“People assume that to work at a big firm they need to follow traditional working patterns; we want to make it clear that this isn’t the case,” added Hinton. “In order to recruit the best people, we recognise that we need to offer greater flexibility, different working options and a route back in for those looking to restart their careers.”
More than 2,000 individuals have registered for the Flexible Talent Network within its first two weeks of launching.
PWC ran a small pilot of the Flexible Talent Network, featuring a couple of individuals, in 2017.
Alongside the Flexible Talent Network launch, PWC is also now recruiting for the next intake of its ‘Back to Business’ return-to-work programme. This is a six-month paid senior internship programme that is designed to help senior professionals restart their career after an extended break.
Hinton said: “Offering flexibility in how people work throughout the year is not only good for [employees], but also for business, the economy and ultimately society. We’re likely to see a rise in people transitioning in and out of work throughout their careers and those organisations [that] responsibly support their people to do this will ultimately gain a competitive advantage.”