Founded in: 2007
Tip: “Building a local reputation can attract potential employees.”
Derby-based inniAccounts found it challenging to attract qualified accounting professionals away from London. While a few recruits had made the move up north for a change of scene, retaining specialist expertise was tough. If inniAccounts were going to hang onto their best talent, the team needed to think differently about what to offer them.
CEO James Poyser had already recognised different working patterns amongst his staff. Some people were early birds, some preferred to work late and some wanted to clock off at 4pm. People valued flexibility – and not just those with children. James decided to explore a flexible working policy across the business, regardless of family circumstance or seniority.
Before it was implemented, James held meetings with line managers to discuss the potential risks.
“We thought, ‘What if we end up with a complacent workplace or everyone leaving at 5? What if a client calls and everyone’s gone home?’” he said.
Together, they came up with an internal policy. The firm would trial flexible working for three months and get together every month to check it was still working. If there weren’t any problems, the policy would continue. If there were, they could retract the policy in those three months and still manage employee expectations.
According to James, the trial was a huge success and flexible working became the new normal within a week. After meeting for three months, line managers didn’t come across any issues. The policy engaged staff and flexible working now tops the list of things they like about working at inniAccounts.
With recruitment, James believes flexible working has helped inniAccounts cut through the noise and attract the expertise they’re looking for.
“Just because we’re small, it doesn’t mean we lack drive and ambition,” he said. “If you’re not sure about trying something new, give yourself permission to have a trial run. It’ll help you build confidence with it.”