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Lloyds Banking Group has been a pioneer of agile working and is a founding member of the Agile Future Forum. In 2017 it sought to further embed that agile culture through the launch of an agile hiring programme to ensure it attracts the very best talent.
That programme won it the 2017 Workingmums.co.uk’s Top Employer Award for Talent Attraction and contributed to it winning the overall Top Employer Award.
In the past the Group’s vacancies were classified according to a full time or part time working pattern. Under the new programme, every vacancy is classified as either full time, reduced hours and/or agile, that is, compressed hours, a job share or some other form of flexibility. Hiring managers are required to provide a business rationale for non-agile roles. This information is reported as part of its monitoring processes. The vacancies are classified according to work location, which includes homeworking, mobile working, single office and multi-site working. Candidates can search for home or mobile working vacancies across the UK.
The agile hiring programme applies to internal and external vacancies and is part of the Group’s Helping Britain Prosper Plan which sets out clear targets to address a series of social and economic issues prioritised by its stakeholders. These include supporting small businesses and the UK’s manufacturing base and helping people and organisations acquire the digital skills and capability they need.
All job adverts state that Lloyds Banking Group supports work life balance, is passionate about diversity and open to discussions about agile working. The aim is to ensure the Group is attracting the best talent.
So what has it learned in the intervening year? When hiring managers consider different ways of working they realise the benefits of broadening the talent pipeline, says Carla Welsh who works in Group Inclusion and Diversity team and leads on work in this area.
Alongside technological changes, she adds that educating hiring managers has been pivotal to the success. Increasingly both businesses and individuals are benefiting from the cultural change: since the changes came into effect the number of roles advertised as being open to agile working has increased to 93%.
Welsh says that there are still huge opportunities across the business to further embed agile working and the Group continues to share best practice and case studies of successful agile working arrangements.
Its agility is driven by five enablers, including technology which includes Office 365 and Webex. This allows those attending meetings remotely to feel like they are virtually in the room. Agile working is supported by employee engagement through five employee networks: Breakthrough for women, Reach for BAME workers, Rainbow for LGBT colleagues, Access for those with disabilities and Family Matters for those with caring responsibilities. Welsh says there is often overlap between these, for instance, if a parent is caring for a child with a disability, and events and advice can run across several groups.
Lloyds Banking Group offers colleagues enhanced terms for all parental leave and in recent years there has been a focus on fathers and career returners in response to social changes. It is developing its offering to dads and enhances Shared Parental Pay. It is also seeking to support dads by simplifying the complex legislation around Shared Parental Leave.
In addition Welsh says the Group’s Returnship programme has been a huge success. It is aimed at those who have taken a career break of two years or more. In 2017 28 people were retained and are in leadership roles as a result of its 16-week programme run over the summer.
Lloyds is clear that it needs to constantly challenge thinking about recruitment and retention in order to get and keep the best candidates in an increasingly dynamic labour market.