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Food for Thought | Ambition's Annual HR Directors' Dinner

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Last week Ambition held our annual HR Directors' Dinner. Our Chairman and co-founder Nick Waterworth flew over from Australia to host the event alongside, Nicky Acuna Ocana, our Managing Director. The evening was shared with several influential HR Directors across a number of professional services sectors.

The event began with Nick saying a few insightful words about the current economic climate and conversations moved on to flexible working hours, looking outside of the professional services sector for candidates and the gender pay gap.

Flexible working

Everyone agreed that flexible working is becoming increasingly important and more of an expectation throughout the professional services world. We learned that policies are very different from firm to firm and across various industries.

We discussed the benefits available to employers for offering their employees flexible working schedules. 

  • It encourages talented candidates to apply for roles

  • Employers are able to handle more business outside of typical office hours

  • It demonstrates the company’s progressive culture and understanding of the needs of staff

There were also conversations on the advantages of taking on part-time employees and operating an agile working policy, as opposed to flexible working.

The search for candidates

Opening up roles to candidates without previous professional services experience is always a challenge. We discussed how professional services firms can be very risk aversive and will tend to stick with what they know when it comes to looking for new employees. It is rare that professional services companies will look outside of their sector for candidates. We discussed the limitations and benefits to firms using this employment strategy.

Gender pay gap reporting

Dialogue around the gender pay gap reporting has been unprecedented recently and inevitably the subject was discussed at our roundtable event last week. Some of the attendees at the event had recently published their results, and almost everyone commented that so much more needs to be done regarding the pay gap.

As the discussion evolved the group commented on the fact that calculations of bonuses appear to be contradictory to other gender equality policies and the need for government to reassess how the gender pay gap is calculated so that it is a true representation.

Thank you

The event was a great success and it was wonderful to have open conversations on a broad range of topics, which affect firms operating in the professional services sector. Nick, Nicky and the Ambition team would like to thank all those who attended the eventand contributed to such a positive evening. 

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