For the latest thinking,
commentary and analysis to
support you and your organisation.

For the latest thinking,
commentary and analysis to
support you and your organisation.

11th April 2018

Andy Haldane’s Recruitment Challenge

Founder of the 30% Club, ex-CEO of Newton Asset Management and mother of nine, Helena Morrissey is full of sage advice for business leaders and women who want to see gender balance in the workplace in her book “A Good Time to Be a Girl”. One of our favourite extracts is the re-counting of Andy Haldane’s advice on how to increase diversity in teams. I had the opportunity to share this with the London team of recruitment consultants at Huxley/SThree last month and think it’s an idea we need to spread far and wide. From the chapter How CEOs can break the diversity barrier: Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, gave an insightful speech on diversity in 2016, entitled ‘The Sneetches’, after Dr Seuss’ children’s story of the same name, a parody of status and discrimination first published in 1961. In his speech Haldane challenged CEOs to consider whether their recruitment process really did encourage diversity. The Recruitment Challenge There are two candidates for a position, A and B. They do a test based on attributes useful for the hiring organisation. These tests might be state of the art, including all the diverse attributes one would wish for in an organisation – cognitive, interpersonal and experientail skills. In this test out of 10, candidate A scores 8 and candidate B scores 4. Which one should be hired? The answer is easy. The evidence points strongly to A as the candidate best meeting requirements for the job. They have… Read More »

9th April 2018

We’re hiring – seeking an account director for very flexible PT role

Taken a career break? Love to use your client care skills again? Come and join us… The Talent Keeper Specialists are on a mission to improve the experience of people preparing to transition in and out of extended leave (maternity, shared parental leave, adoption, sickness and sabbatical). We’re in growth mode and need another pair of hands to support our CEO in delighting existing clients as well as spotting new opportunities. We’re calling this an account director role but actually, we think it’s more bespoke and interesting than that (we’re up for you telling us what you’d like your title to be). The Talent Keeper Specialists launched in 2012 and to date we have worked with BlackRock, ITV, the CIPR, Twinings, Boots, Ebay, Enfield Borough Council, Anglia Ruskin University, Veolia and The Law Society of Scotland amongst others. Although we’ve come this far without external account management help, we know with additional talent we’ll go further, faster. What are we looking for and what can we give you? The Talent Keeper Specialists are looking for someone who can dedicate 20-25 hours/month to account management and helping us develop the business. The right candidate will help us determine the most impactful activities, scope of the role and how the hours are best distributed across the month. We offer flexibility, home-working, school hours, and home-made cake when you come and work at our place (in St Albans) and are looking for someone on a self-employed basis rather than as an FTE employee.… Read More »

4th March 2018

Talent Fueller – Jonathan Clarke @ Kilburn & Strode

Jonathan Clarke (pictured on the right) is the HR Director at the patent and trademarking law firm, Kilburn & Strode. We heard about K&S’s enlightened approach to fathers, flexibility and shared parental leave and asked Jonathan to tell us some more. In a nutshell, could you tell us who Kilburn & Strode’s clients are and what the practice does for them? We work with clients from just about every industry sector. This means that day-to-day our attorneys are dealing with a hugely diverse and constantly evolving range of intellectual property issues. In the most basic terms, we’re here to protect our clients’ interests and make their lives easier. Offering a complete intellectual property service is key to our ability to deliver on that promise. As the HRD at Kilburn & Strode what are you working on at the moment? And what do you want to say you’ve created/delivered/changed/improved 12 months from now? We entered the Times Top 100 employer survey last October. We have had a people survey for the last 3 years and we wanted a more in-depth survey and a better understanding of how we are actually doing. We were accredited as “One to Watch” – that really means we have quite a way to go to be a top 100 employer – but we are determined. That’s my focus for the next 12 months. You have a trusting, open culture and you embrace flexible working. Could you give us a flavour of what “flexible working” looks like… Read More »

22nd February 2018

What we told the Treasury Inquiry on Women and Finance

The average cost of childcare across the UK ranges from £213/week for a registered childminder to £512/week plus tax and NI for nannies, with nurseries sitting in between. In London, our financial centre, the cost rises to £276/week for a childminder, £278/week for a day nursery and £616 plus tax and NI for a nanny (50 hours/week). [Source: Family and Childcare Trust]. This means a family living in London, working full time with one child, without access to free childcare – provided by a grandparent for example – needs to earn a minimum of £14,352 (childminder cost) after tax and the cost of commuting, simply to break even. Many families take the view that it is better to make the financial sacrifice in the early years in order to keep both careers on track, rather than suffer the huge financial and career penalties that are known to accrue to women who take large chunks of time out. For example, see the work of Mary Gregory and Sarah Connolly. The financials are only one part of the childcare story though. Women in financial services are often married to men in financial services and herein lies a big problem. Of the hundreds of women we have talked with in financial services who are returning post maternity or a longer career break, many talk about their husbands/partners feeling unable to be as ‘active’ a father as they are a mother. This is because there simply isn’t encouragement for fathers, or men more generally, to work… Read More »

12th February 2018

If employers REALLY want more men to take Shared Parental Leave here’s how

What if employers invited expectant fathers to tell them they are expecting a baby? How might this affect the take-up of Shared Parental Leave? “They’re just hasn’t been the take-up we thought there would be,” is what I hear most often when I ask clients and HR practitioners about shared parental leave. This week at a WISE Campaign knowledge share event on flexible working Eleanor Silverio, UK Benefits Policy Lead at Shell, was candid about their low take-up of SPL at Shell. She explained that in their experience fathers are not actively seeking to be primary carers home alone with baby, and those who do take SPL leave are doing so for other reasons. These reasons may include practical necessity such as a mother with an injury or a desire to take a sabbatical. An HR Director I spoke to a couple of years ago took additional paternity leave (APL), as it was then, to address troubles with his ageing parents and APL was a good vehicle for taking time out. It was not out of a desire to care for his son instead of being at work. The barriers to men taking SPL have been well-documented (the two biggest ones being lack of financial viability, as men are on average the higher earners, and it going against cultural norms). In a piece I wrote three years ago on the business benefits of active fathers I argued that SPL would flop unless parental leave was sliced into three with a proportion dedicated to the… Read More »

30th January 2017

APPG Women & Work Report 2017

Are you struggling to find the right people for the vacancies in your organisation? Is gender diversity on your agenda? Last year we hosted a ‘hidden talent action tank’ to help employers tap into the increasing number of skilled women who want to come back to work after an extended break. This week, we attended the launch of the ‘Women and Work’[1] report from a cross-party group of MPs and bring you the highlights from an employer perspective.    The report makes nine recommendations, three are aimed at employers:  5. Every workplace with 250 or more employees should have a carers policy detailing organisational support available for those with caring responsibilities.  This could be cumbersome and unnecessary. In our experience what really matters to employees is being trusted to get the job done and being trusted to use flexible working in a way that works for the organisation and meets family needs. Line manager behaviours are the lynchpin. 6. Every workplace with 250 or more employees should consider putting in place paid returner programmes or returnships with guaranteed training, advice and support.  Returner programmes can be a useful tool but they‘re not right for every organisation. See “What is a returner programme?” for the key questions to decide if a returner programme is likely to fulfill your talent pool shortages. Direct recruitment from the hidden talent pool using ‘reverse headhunters’ such as Inclusivity may be a faster, better value option. 8. Employers should promote best practice through a flexible working… Read More »

Our products


Our Clients