Employees at Big Four firm PwC can now choose their own working hours

Employees at Big Four firm PwC can now choose their own working hours

In a survey of 2000 people, 46% said they would prioritise flexible working and a work-life balance the most when looking for a new job

Big Four firm PwC is now allowing some new recruits to work the hours they want to through their Flexible Talent Network.

The new initiative will enable people to list their skills and preferred work pattern when they apply to the firm.

These flexible working patterns could entail anything from working less hours per week to only working for a few months in a year.

New employees will be matched to projects rather than specific, fixed-term roles. PwC hope the move will attract a more diverse range of talent and give more people a chance to work at the firm.

Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, said: “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. 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.”

PwC want to attract intelligent and highly skilled people no matter what other commitments they have. They are essentially becoming part of the gig economy, but it will not be like the gig work in companies like Uber and Deliveroo, where court cases have arisen over employee rights.

One example of an employee who has joined the scheme was studying in London to become a financial analyst while also raising two young children.

She joined PwC on a one hundred day contract, which she started in November and worked for ten days to familiarise herself with the firm. Then she went to her home country of China to visit her family in December, returning to work in January to complete the remainder of her contract.

She is now having a break from work to focus on her exams, and is due to return to PwC in October to begin another one hundred-day contract.

PwC said it decided to introduce the initiative because of a study it carried out, in which almost half (46%) of 2000 respondents said flexible working hours and a good work-life balance were the most important factors when choosing a job.

The project was launched two weeks ago and more than 2,000 people have already registered with the network.

Alongside the flexible working scheme, PwC is also recruiting for its senior internship programme, Back to Business, which is aimed at senior workers coming back after a long career break.

Hinton explained that flexible working is not only beneficial for staff, but it is also great for business, the economy, and society as a whole.

The chief people officer added: “We’re likely to see a rise in people transitioning in and out of work throughout their careers and those organisations who responsibly support their people to do this will ultimately gain a competitive advantage.”

PwC said it was looking for a wide variety of skills for this flexible working scheme, as the projects it is trying to hire for are varied. They need qualified accountants with experience in auditing as well as those who have worked in project management, digital, and IT.

Those who are on the Flexible Talent Network and work for 20 hours or more a week can participate in PwC’s pension and benefits schemes.

 

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