Caring Responsibilities – Don’t Be Shy About Opening Up

We all know that, not that long ago, many employers would struggle to see that supporting their employees in all aspects of life would mean they would reap the rewards when it came to loyalty and output.

But in 2022 flexibility in the workplace as far as is practically possible has become the rule as opposed to the exception.

So, with that in mind, it should, in theory, be easier for job searchers to be honest about caring responsibilities that they may have outside of work and the impact that those responsibilities have on their daily lives.

But is that actually the case?

At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we regularly meet candidates who feel they need to hide their commitments to their family who rely on them in order to get the job.

But today we’d like to argue that being your authentic self and showcasing the more vulnerable side of yourself at interview will actually lead to a more meaningful connection and stand you in great stead for getting the job.

The truth of the matter is that rarely does an accountant make it from one end of their career to the other without a few hiccups in their personal or professional lives that mean their commitment to the workplace can have a wobble. And thankfully in 2022 we’re wisening up to the fact that making employees hide their stresses and problems in the shadows leads to long term mental health problems that have a far great impact on how that person performs their job.

The best employers know that investing flexibility and wellbeing support into their workforces means they will retain their great staff for longer.

Our advice to those who are wondering whether to open up about their caring responsibility is summarised below. We really hope it’s a help.

1. Your CV is not the place to showcase your caring responsibilities. Always remember that the purpose of your CV is to get you a foot through the front door. It should only showcase your capabilities and strengths and if an employer is trying to find ways to whittle down a list to a just a few, don’t give them a reason before they’ve even met you.

2. Again, the initial part of the interview is not the place to explain that you may need extra flexibility or support. The most important thing to get across is that you’re technically skilled, a great communicator and will add lots of value to their team. When your interviewer asks if you have any questions to ask, the firm’s policy on these issues can be discussed.

3. Your responsibilities as a carer will have afforded you plenty of transferable skills that will make you an even more credible candidate for the job. Perhaps you’ve become a great active listener, or maybe your emotional intelligence is through the roof. Perhaps you can offer to be the firm’s disability awareness champion as you’ve learned so much through your experiences? Consider these in advance of your interview and don’t be afraid to bring them up when you get the opportunity to discuss your circumstances.

4. Know your rights. Under the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal to discriminate against a candidate because of their responsibilities as a carer, or because of the individual(s) they care for. So if an employer states directly that they can’t offer you a role due to your responsibilities it may be worth taking some advice as to whether they’ve broken an employment law. You can find more information and support on this subject at Carers UK.

“Thankfully the majority of hiring managers that I meet truly care about their employees as people and so far as is reasonably practicable want to support them to be healthy, happy and successful at work and at home. Honest conversations are always the best way forward when it comes to chatting about challenges you’re facing as an accountant in practice but choosing the right moment to have these discussions is important. My team and I are always on hand to give you confidential advice about how to go about getting the support you need from an employer.”

Garry Howling, MD

To work with a recruiter that understands the importance of diversity, flexibility and helping great accountants really shine in their careers, contact the experts. We’re here to help.


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