Business advisors PwC are to move away from traditional working patterns with a new recruitment route in the province responding to the increasing demand from people to work more flexible hours.
Running across the UK, the Flexible Talent Network has been created to give people the opportunity to work for the firm without being tied into a full-time contract and standard working hours.
People can choose a working pattern that works for them, shorter hours or perhaps working for just a few months a year.
Potential employees will apply to PwC’s Flexible Talent Network based on the skills they have and the working pattern that best works for them, rather than for specific roles.
PwC will then match people in the network with relevant projects and both parties will mutually agree a contract in advance, including a set number of days, and will be eligible for holiday pay, sick pay, pension and a bonus.
“By responding to the realities of a modern workforce and creating flexible opportunities which suit them, we’re increasing our ability to hire outstanding people,” said Northern Ireland regional chairman Paul Terrington.
“And more and more, this is how businesses will be shaped in the future.
“In the first two weeks, we’ve had over 2,000 people register for the Flexible Talent Network, so we know it’s meeting a genuine demand.”
By offering different routes into the firm and recruiting based on skills, PwC is hoping to attract more diverse talent who might previously have dismissed the firm as an option.
The firm said research carried out with 2,000 people in the UK showed almost half (46%) felt flexible working and a culture of good work/life balance was the most important factor when choosing a job.
Alongside the network, PwC is also recruiting for the next intake of its Back to Business return to work programme. The six-month paid senior internship programme is designed to help senior professionals to restart their career after an extended break.
“People assume that to work at a big firm they need to follow traditional working patterns - we want to make it clear that this isn’t the case,” said chief people officer, Laura Hinton.
“In order to recruit the best people, we recognise that we need to offer greater flexibility, different working options and a route back in for those looking to restart their careers.
“We already encourage everyday flexibility for our people in how and where they work, but our Flexible Talent Network takes flexible working to a new level - allowing people to choose exactly how they want to work throughout the year. People in the network will get to spend their year their way, whether it’s because of caring commitments, entrepreneurs supplementing their income, people who want to travel or simply not work all of the year.”