UK - Accountancy giant KPMG is winning the "war for talent" in the market after introducing a flexible working scheme for staff.
KPMG – which has granted 218 requests from its UK workforce since the scheme was introduced in January – says informal feedback is “extremely positive”.
Lead human resource manager for audit and risk adviser services Dave Conder said: “While it is too early to quantify the impact on retention, we have heard from a number of people who were planning on leaving but stayed because of the new flexible arrangements.
“Be it problems with travel, care commitments for children or elderly parents, or plans to take a career break, these can all now be accommodated.”
KPMG said accountancy firms had scaled back in the past three years, resulting in a shortage of qualified accountants.
Conder claimed this was a key driver for the new KPMG flexible working policy, which he said was already proving successful in the “war for talent”.
He said that while the number of people signing up represented only around 2% of the 8700 employees, it had already exceeded expectations.
KPMG staff have the choice of seven flexible working options – career breaks, job sharing, working part-time, unpaid leave, additional holiday purchase, home working and “glide time” which allows flexibility around core hours of 10am to 4pm.
They can also put forward their own suggestions.
KPMG said only two requests had been turned down and staff largely put forward “sensible” requests in line with the needs of the company, clients and colleagues.
Conder said new legislation entitling staff with children under six years of age to flexible working hours, had been a factor in the new package.
The company had subsequently extended the offer to all employees. He claimed KPMG was the first of the big four accountancy firms to offer such an extensive flexible working package.
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