7 questions with Ten2Two

1.What has changed at Ten2Two over the last 12 months?

We have taken the next big steps to grow our business further. We’ve moved into our new offices at St Johns Hill, Sevenoaks and we’ve employed our first member of staff since we started out nearly 5 years ago. Lorraine Heath has joined the team (obviously working flexibly) to help with the operations, allowing us to continue to grow our business across Kent. In 2015 we saw a record number of our members being placed in flexible and agile roles with a variety of local companies reflecting the change in the way that employers are looking to grow their teams.

2.What are your plans for the next 12 months?

Continue to attract and place high calibre professionals from a wide range of professional disciplines/backgrounds, into local rewarding and flexible positions. We are well established in the Sevenoaks area and we plan to duplicate this success by continuing to expand our networks across other areas of West Kent – Bromley, Orpington and Tunbridge Wells. We are already work in these areas, but there are more businesses seeing the benefits of flexible working which we need to tap into. So we’ve got a lot of networking events in the diary!

3.Lorraine, tell us about your 1st month at Ten2Two?

Since joining the team, I can honestly say not one day has been the same. Andrea and Kirsteen have made me feel instantly a valuable member of the team and I look forward to the days I am working. They are lovely to work with and they complement each other immensely in the business. Day 2 on the job saw my first encounter at the Sevenoaks Chambers monthly networking event, as well as meeting a few very talented potential candidates. I have attended a job fair and joined one of Ten2Two’s free workshops, this particular one was a social media theme, and both I and our Ten2Two candidates found it very informative and helpful. I have also spent time getting to know the “ins and outs” of the database system we use to ensure we place the best candidates into positions, and we (the system and I) are becoming great friends, albeit slowly.

4.What are you working on at the moment?

We are working on a number of projects as well as continuing to market the business and getting to know our potential candidates to ensure we put them forward for the right positions. We are currently working on a new timetable of our free workshops. Our CV workshop is very popular and we cannot stress enough the importance of a CV. This is the ultimate selling document for our members and also for us to promote candidates to potential employers. Most recently we have successfully placed a Financial Controller and Finance Assistant in one team in Sevenoaks; an Office Manager and another accounts assistant in a manufacturing company in Paddock Wood, and currently have accountants, corporate financiers, legal assistants and HR managers interviewing with a variety of local and growing businesses.

5.What changes have you seen in your industry?

There is always a lot of media on the benefits of flexible working and this continues to be a hot topic. Since the changes in government legislation in November 2014, we continue to see an increase in companies adopting a more flexible working approach to ensure they attract the best talent they can to grow their business. This flexible approach provides affordability allowing employers to grow their business utilising the wealth of experience available on a flexible and part time basis. It has been estimated that the number of people working flexibly will continue to increase. Employees are craving a work/life balance and are placing that as a priority over a huge salary, although in a lot of cases they get both. We continue to see our professional candidates’ database grow as more people strive for flexibility in their busy lives.

6.What advice or services can you offer Sevenoaks Chambers member?

We’d love to talk to all members about how they might embrace better flexible working policies within their organisation to enable them to attract the best talent they can. It’s important that any role which is worked in a flexible way is properly designed to enable all to understand communication channels and ensure it works for the benefit of the business.

7.If you were in charge of Sevenoaks for a day what would you change or improve?

I do worry that Sevenoaks is losing its market town character, which is one of the reason I fell in love with it. I enjoy spending a morning browsing the boutique shops and enjoying a coffee with friends in one of the many independent coffee houses. The cost of parking is always at the front of everyone’s thoughts and I think it would be benefit Sevenoaks businesses to introduce a 30 min free parking tariff. There have also been a number of traffic incidents in town which I feel is heightened by volume of vehicles using Sevenoaks as a cut through. To keep the pedestrians safer, I would introduce designated times when van/lorries were able to travel through the town and this, together with providing an access route to the M26 from Sevenoaks, would bring back that market town character. One other thing that I have always found strange about Sevenoaks it the location of the train station from town – it would be wonderful to bring them closer together, I’m not sure how this would be achieved! One other thing to add is that I would love a family Gym (Lloyds Gym would be great) that has facilities/classes that benefit all ages.