In response to changes in the way people want to work, accountancy firm PwC have recently launched their Flexible Talent Network Scheme, which they hope will help them attract the highly skilled people they need to complete specific projects.
The scheme was designed after PwC surveyed over 2,000 applicants and asked them what was most important to them when applying for a job. Almost half (46%) said that flexible working and finding a good work-life balance were a priority for them and that without these they may not apply for a job or choose to take it if offered.
The Flexible Talent Network Scheme aims to address this requirement by offering people as much flexibility as they want. People looking for flexible working apply by listing their skills and the hours they want to work, which are then matched to projects rather than roles. The nature of their work means PwC have a wide range of projects that need completing, meaning they are looking for people with a wide range of skills, including accountancy, auditing, project management and IT.
And while flexible working for many might mean a shorter working week or adjusting the time they start and end work, at PwC this can now also mean working just a few months a year. One network member, for example, recently completed a 100-day contract for the firm. She worked ten days in November before taking time off to visit family overseas and then returning to work her final ninety days in January.
The company’s decision to open the Flexible Talent Network seems to have been the right one, with over 2,000 people registering for the site in the first fortnight. Laura Hinton, PwC’s chief people officer, said that it shows people no longer want to work the standard 9-to-5 and their network is a way of supporting this, offering different ways of working.
Their approach is supported by another scheme launched by PwC, their Back to Business programme. Back to Business offers a six-month internship for experienced managers who have taken time out of work and are now looking to restart their careers. Hinton said that they believed this scheme would benefit PwC, as there are more and more senior professionals taking career breaks or looking to embark on new careers later in life. It’s these people PwC want to employ.
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