New recruit at Tirebuck calls for flexible Solihull employers
New recruit Louise Dunn, who has worked exclusively with a number of Solihull businesses over the past 13 years and who was recently appointed by Tirebuck Recruitment to grow the temporary division, said, “We placed a number of candidates in flexible jobs last year and we expect this to increase. More than half of the candidates I interview would prefer a job with less pay and more flexibility, rather than a job with higher pay but less flexible hours. Some businesses are open-minded about this but other companies still have & lsquo;tunnel vision’ when it comes to part-time working.”
Under new rules issued last year, employees now have the statutory right to request flexible working, and employers are legally obliged to consider these requests even though they don’t have to agree to them.
Karen Tirebuck, managing director, Tirebuck Recruitment, explained, “At Tirebuck Recruitment, 80% of our team are on flexible contracts which has been fundamental to the growth and development of the business. By offering flexible working arrangements, we have given our consultants a level of trust and ownership of the business that has been fundamental to its growth, and helped us to retain and attract the best talent.”
Speaking about the approach to greater flexibility among other local Solihull employers, Jane Jackson, director, Solihull Chamber of Commerce, said, “While we are very flexible at Solihull Chamber, some businesses can be quite guarded about committing to flexible working arrangements. However, greater flexibility makes sense and is brilliant for companies looking to a global future, who need to make sure they can contact people at the right time and gain better coverage for their businesses.
“Flexibility can be slightly more difficult for smaller SMEs who need certain core hours to be covered, but I think people work far more effectively if they are able to work the hours they want. People are more productive if their minds are fully focused on the job in the hours they want to work, and you get the best out of employees who have work-life balance. If employees aren’t healthy, then the business won’t be.”
Kelly Pougher, solicitor from Sydney Mitchell based in Shirley, added, “I work part-time at Sydney Mitchell so I can pick my children up from school, but my commitment to my job is not reflected in the hours I work. I have a heightened sense of commitment because I have to use the hours I work more efficiently.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received here from colleagues. If you have someone committed and able to do the job it can benefit everyone employers, other employees and the people you serve. I think if you consider the modern way of living, many of us have access to our emails on our phones and we have to be aware in this line of work that some people like the flexibility of being able to have a conversation or contact out of hours. This should be a conversation we are willing to have with our clients.”