Guest: Natalie Goldman
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Natalie Goldman, CEO of FlexCareers joins Business Radio Talkers.FM host Wayne Bucklar in conversation where she talks about her incredibly online company FlexCareers, an online talent matching platform where employers offer flexible work opportunities and they are able to find talented individuals that they need fast.
Bio: Natalie Goldman is the CEO of FlexCareers. She has over 20 years experience across numerous landscapes including being an entrepreneur, corporate, Government and Not For Profit – particularly in technology, HR, learning and development and organisational psychology. Most recently she is the CEO of FlexCareers, a disruptive online talent matching platform connecting talented people with progressive employers offering flexible work. Natalie is Portfolio CEO of Heads over and also sits on a number of boards including the Women’s Indigenous Network and is an Advisor on the Blue Chilli #SheStarts Program.
She is a believer of challenging the norm, being curious and innovating, finding better and different ways of doing things, of connecting and collaborating.ce across numerous landscapes including being an entrepreneur, corporate, Government and Not For Profit – particularly in technology, HR, learning and development and organisational psychology. Most recently she is the CEO of FlexCareers, a disruptive online talent matching platform connecting talented people with progressive employers offering flexible work. Natalie is Portfolio CEO of Heads over and also sits on a number of boards including the Women’s Indigenous Network and is an Advisor on the Blue Chilli #SheStarts Program. She is a believer of challenging the norm, being curious and innovating, finding better and different ways of doing things, of connecting and collaborating.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Natalie Goldman. Now Natalie is the CEO of FlexCareers and she’s joining us to tell us a bit about FlexCareers and what’s happening in her world. Natalie, welcome to the show.
Natalie Goldman: Thanks for having me, it’s nice to be here.
Wayne: It’s our pleasure. Now Natalie, sometimes I interview people who come from Bob’s Real Estate and it’s really obvious what they do. But FlexCareers, I’ve got an idea but I could be wrong. So why don’t you tell us, what is it that FlexCareers do?
Natalie: Yes, sure. FlexCareers is an online marketplace, connecting progressive employers with people looking for flexible work. So essentially, a job sport if you will around flexible working opportunities. But from the two side of marketplace perspective for candidates, it’s really about much more about we support them in their entire process. So we’re not recruiters as such but we do support them through access to coaches and information to be able to find the right kind of roles and build them up. And from a client’s perspective, it’s about being able to connect to the right people, the right candidates through our database using an algorithm. But it’s also the marketing piece on how that presents to the market around flexibility. So yes, a two-side marketplace.
Wayne: I find it interesting that flexible work has become such a significant part of the Australian business scene that an agency like yours should exist, that’s really kind of surprising to me. I guess, you’re an advocate for flexible working practices given you in that space. Are you seeing for more flexible work opportunities coming up?
Natalie: Absolutely, our business is growing quite exponentially. And today actually in Australia, it’s flexible working days so it’s our second year that it’s been running because it’s now such a thing to promote and normalize flexible working. It all really not started but the premise of flexible working usually fall into the realm of either that of a working mother which is a term I personally don’t like because that excludes working dads. But people who are carrying responsibilities or part time. Now neither which are true representation of what flexible work actually is, you now have Millennials pushing for more flexibility because that’s the way they want to work. Baby Boomers from another generation or perspective want to dial it down and not necessarily work so much. And then you’ve got roughly 25 to 30 percent of the GenX population who don’t have children who also want to work flexibly and feel excluded and to disadvantaged saying, “Because what, I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I can’t work flexibly.” And so from an inclusive conversation that a lot of companies who have gone down that path, then we increase with leadership and diversity and inclusion, flexibility is seen as a massive enabler around engagement, and attracting and retaining great talent. So it’s becoming much more normalized around what flexibility is and true understanding around how it can benefit their organization.
Wayne: Do you see any disadvantages for employers who are allowing flexible work practices?
Natalie: Only when it’s done poorly and manage poorly. I think flexible work actually is a fantastic thing when done properly and there’s a true understanding of that it’s not a one-size-fits-all and not everyone can work from home. When I flew to Melbourne the other day and I was very glad that my pilot did not choose to do work from home because we don’t have that technology for a pilot not be present on board but they get to choose what day and times they fly and so on. So what flexibility looks like for me versus another person is gonna be very different but the premise of flexibility is the ability to negotiate when, where and how you work and basically that anyone has the urgency to have that conversation with their boss. I’m kind of my own boss but the point is it’s really that being able to have that conversation and not be discriminated for it. We all want to have some level of life and to be honest life might happens and we all have some level of informal flexibility which is the ad hoc. The dishwasher breaks down and you need to get the specialist We do social break down and you need a tradesperson to come fix it or you need to pop to the dentist because your toothache has gotten too painful. This is the adhoc that many organizations probably already do without recognizing it and then you have the more formal flexibility. So no, I don’t see it being as a negative, quite the opposite, it’s been proven enough, there’s a number of reports that show the positive impact that it has on profitability, productivity, engagement and retention and attraction of great people. So it’s a bit of a win-win when done well.
Wayne: Natalie, you’re seeing any trends in the sorts of work that are being offered flexibly?
Natalie: Yes, I think there’s been quite a few. The key types I would say would be around location-based working. So larger organizations might have multiple offices in the same city or across the country whether that’s Australia or globally and so being able to work for many of these offices, it’s not as to work from home conversation. But then also understanding that some people don’t want to work from home but they want to negotiate different start and finish times is probably another very common one. Whether that’s a compressed work week or fortnight or month where you do and achieve your KPIs but just in lesser time. So it might be in squished 5 days working to 4 so just slightly longer days on those 4 days and then you have a day off on the 5th day but you’ve still done your workload. Other ones as well interestingly is around purchase leaves, so people want a take more holiday and so they are able to able to work flexibly in that way by taking more holidays or there are other bits and pieces but they’re probably the most common ones that we’re seeing at the moment.
Wayne: And Natalie what about employers who are coming to you with jobs, what are trend in those? Are there any categories who never come to you, I guess the airline pilots is one – but what are the categories that business are coming to you?
Natalie: Look, it is a surprise. We have everything from mining and construction through to finance and banking, through to HR and sales type goals and beyond. I mean there is no limit because it’s how the organization can be really creative. Some of the most creative types that we’ve seen was one of our clients, “ACOM”, that’s an engineering firm wanted to attract more female engineers back into the workforce. And so they did a “return-to-work” program thru us called, “Term Time Employments” where essentially they focus on getting women to come back into the workforce after having a 2-year or more career break and then going to forward, they would work full time flexibly during school term and school holidays they don’t work. So that’s a really innovative way and that’s an engineering firm that works very strongly obviously in the construction space. And so that’s something that works for them and so they can work and try that out if that works for them but then there are a lot of organizations that would have worked for them and they look at flexibility differently whether it’s a law firm and others. So it really, we’re not limited to the kinds of companies. If you go on through our website on flexcareers.com.au or flexcareers.com.nz. You would say the fact that there’s such a broad range of clients because flexibility can manifest and present in so many different ways. It just depends how progressive is the company is rather than the type of company it is.
Wayne: Natalie, it’s been fascinating to have with you. I have to confess in my Baby Boomer ways, it hadn’t occurred to be that flexibility had become such a significant part of the employment process. So thank you for making yourself available today.
Natalie: That’s okay. Absolute pleasure, thanks for your time.
Wayne: Now if you’ve just missed my chat with Natalie Goldman, Natalie is the CEO of FlexCareers, then you’ve just missed what for me was a fascinating insight in the flexibility of employment from both a worker’s perspective and an employer’s perspective. But the good news is on our website, we have a transcript, you can read the whole interview. Or if you prefer to listen, we have an audio archive of the interview on SoundCloud, YouTube and iTunes where you can listen to it at your leisure. My name is Wayne Bucklar, this is Business Radio Talkers.FM.