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IT management software and solutions company CA Technologies openly advertises flexible posts and is reaping the benefits of having a broader, more diverse talent pool to fish in. It was this open-minded approach to its recruitment strategy which won it the Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Award for Talent Attraction.
Many organisations now have flexible workers within their ranks, but it is still relatively rare to see jobs advertised on a flexible basis. This means candidates who require flexible working have to calculate when is the best time to bring up flexibility during the recruitment process.
Either that or they don't apply and both employer and candidate lose out.
IT management software and solutions company CA Technologies, however, openly advertises flexible posts and is reaping the benefits of having a broader, more diverse talent pool to fish in. It was this open-minded approach to its recruitment strategy which won it the Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Award for Talent Attraction.
A recent role as an accounts receivable clerk in its finance department is a case in point. The hours were advertised as "flexible, 5 days, 25 hours 9.30-2.30pm/10.00 – 3.00pm".
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CA Technologies has an outsourced Talent Acquisition team Allegis who work closely with managers to identify the types of candidates the company is looking for for permanent skilled staff, including flexible workers. The company only recruits directly through Linkedin-type tools and says it would not normally advertise if a job was full or part time, but would consider whether it could be flexible for the right candidate. Amanda Browne, senior HR Business Partner, says: "The candidate would normally ask working hours and at this point if the role can be worked flexibly then we would absolutely discuss this with the candidate."
She adds: "There are many advantages in advertising flexible roles and as we principally head hunt candidates, we ensure that our recruiters openly discuss and promote flexibility during the recruitment process."
In the last three years the company has made great strides in promoting flexible working after it reviewed its Employee Handbook and existing HR policies in 2010. It found that there had been a big rise in the number of employees requesting flexible working and decided to look at how introducing family friendly policies could help it to attract and retain the best talent going forward.
It created its own Flexible Working policy to highlight to employees that, says Amanda, "we are committed to seriously consider all flexible working requests in order to recruit and retain a diverse workforce".
She adds that an additional benefit of having a policy on flexible working is that it prevents inconsistencies in management decisions and supports manager who have to give a clear response to employees once the decision-making process has been completed. The Flexible Working policy is tied to its Diversity and Inclusion strategy, which Amanda says is at the heart of everything it does. Working in a traditionally male industry it is keen to boost the gender balance of its workforce and it feels it is making good progress. Around 32% of those hired into skilled roles in the firm between August 2011 and July 2012 were women.
In addition to its flexible working strategy another key draw for parents is the availability of an on-site nursery. The company has a Montessori Development Centre on its campus in Ditton Park, Berkshire.
The centre was opened in 1999 when the company moved there and Browne says it "fosters a family working environment in the corporate workplace and from talking to working mums it is clear it plays a big part in their decision-making process when returning to work from maternity leave". Dads can also book a place for their child. The strategy is so successful that CA Technologies operates MDCs in six of the countries it operates in. Amanda says the presence of the centre "clearly highlights that inclusion is integral to everything we do".
Parents also have the opportunity to be part of the Montessori salary exchange scheme, which helps to keep down the cost of childcare in the development centre.
The nursery is part of a package of benefits aimed at fulfilling CA Technologies' wellness mission of "encouraging and promoting a positive approach to health, lifestyles and the working environment". This includes long-term disability insurance and rehabilitation support for long term sickness and an on-site state of the art gym, fitness classes, tennis courts and basketball courts.
Another benefit aimed at retaining mums is an exclusive ‘return to work’ bonus payable within six months of new mothers returning to work. This is available to certain staff who have worked at CA Technologies from just before they got pregnant. The bonus amount payable is approximately 12 weeks of an employee’s base salary and is paid out after they have been back at work for six months.
Browne says: "This is a great incentive available to those who return to work and is a definite motivator."
The company is currently working on new legislation allowing all employees to request flexible working and on shared parenting. "We are looking at ways that we can incorporate this legislative change that will suit all parties," says Browne.