17 May 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder, Psychology
“If you can’t work full-time, you’ll never make a career for yourself” – sound familiar to you? Unfortunately this ‘opinion’ is all too common, however executive search and talent acquisition service providers for the KBB, Build & Interiors Market, Foyne Jones, is proud to go against the grain.
Peter Jones, Managing Director at Foyne Jones says, “The latest surveys indicate that an employer’s ability to provide a family-friendly workplace and next-generation company culture like flexible working and access to childcare services, is critical to optimising employee wellbeing and greater business success. The recent lockdown measures has emphasised the number of people working flexible hours, which has increased five-fold in the last two decades and according to a recent report by Forbes, 70% of UK employees feel that flexible working makes a job more attractive to them compared to 30% who would prefer flexible working to a pay rise.”
“With 13 million parents in the UK employed and more than 1.5 million people in the UK now working from home, employers need to level the playing field and look at how they can support working families and not play into stereotypes that will ultimately be counterproductive. As a specialist in industries typically regarded as ‘male-dominated’, I have witnessed a sea change in recruitment, as employee engagement is now regarded as a fundamental concept in business, combined with unbiased equal opportunities” says Peter.
“For me, your greatest asset is your relationship with your team, as they become the heart and soul of your business and make it imperative to invest in the right people with the right character – but is this sentiment reflected in corporate cultures where the hiring pool is far more selective and career history continues to sway decision makers? For me, achieving results by empowering your staff is the best way to gain the right level of productivity and form a common purpose, which will facilitate mass collaboration and create feelings of community in the workplace.”
A great example of how Peter has created opportunities for working parents and consistently invested in healthy team dynamics that are authentic and real, comes through his appointment of Larah Harrison, who was promoted in November last year to Recruitment & Relationships Manager at Foyne Jones. “When I joined the team back in 2018, I was determined to support my three children and kickstart a new career in recruitment, so having flexibility from my employer was essential and if I am honest, finding a company in this sector that would work with my situation and not against it, was hard to reach. My initial contact with Peter was open and honest, which I found extremely refreshing given the succession of non-commital responses and lack of feedback. Following a candid interview process, I was appointed as Recruitment Consultant and in less than a year, was promoted to a more Senior role, which has led to my current position as Recruitment & Relationships Manager. I am able to work remotely in the evenings around childcare and the school run, whilst still feeling part of the team and since returning from furlough this March, I look forward to flexing my recruitment-muscles and helping people that are in a similar position to where I was a few years ago,” says Larah.
Fellow recruitment specialisit and Associate Director & Head of Marketing at Foyne Jones, Holly Funnell says, “I have been with the company for almost 6 years now and combine my work at Foyne Jones with being Head of Marketing for Jones Digital and Virtual 360 Tours Glos Ltd. The family-friendly working policies have been embedded in our business culture since day one. It has been fantastic for me to support my ‘work’ family and witness members of our team, like Larah, develop their skills and individual career paths. I too have a young son at home and fully understand the pressures on every day life for parents who work and manage childcare, especially when it comes to maintaining the right levels of energy and enthuisam. The open and friendly working environment at Foyne Jones helps us to find creative solutions for everyone in the team, even down to our in-house dog policy where having our dogs Heidi and Snoop in the office has really helped boost our wellbeing for the better” says Holly.
Peter continues, “Let’s be honest, I am very lucky with my team. Holly and Larah actually both went to school in East Sussex and amazingly now work together, becoming key factors in the success of our business. For me, being flexible over hours and supporting them and their families is straightforward and a very easy decision to make and another example of our flexible approach is Jack O’Connell. Jack is our Partnerships & Projects Manager, and he is studing a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship at the West Of London, where he shares his time between work and his studies.”
“Right now I would strongly encourage all businesses to have an open discussion about how your workplace will look in 2030. We need to nurture agility, adaptability and re-skilling our staff as technology and artifical intelligence continue to develop within the marketplace. We have a responsibility to be honest about potential changes on the horizon as using yesterday’s solutions for tomorrow’s scenarios simply won’t work. Instead, consider the virtues of a hybrid approach that combines office work, co-working, remote and home working, along with the offer of flexible hours. In doing so, you will be able to encourage better results, greater output and focus from your team and I believe, this mindset and business model is the future” says Peter.