EMAIL 9-2-3

Use the form on the right to contact us or call Helen Wright 07789 270183

Steeple Aston

9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.


Case studies and thoughts on the working Mum in today's workplace


Be Bold For Change!

Helen Wright

This International Women’s Day, we are being asked to help forge a better working world, and #BeBoldForChange.

I’m definitely in!

I founded the recruitment agency “9-2-3” to try and do just that. I want to help enable and empower women in the workplace. Every day I ask businesses to consider flexible work practices. Every day I speak to talented women who feel their experience and expertise is being wasted because there are so few flexible opportunities.

I look around my local playground and see HR professionals, PR execs, marketing gurus, lawyers and accountants – none are working, because they can’t find roles that enable them to spend some time with their family (or at least pay them enough to cover full-time childcare costs!).

So this International Women’s Day I will be working even harder to try and create new flexible opportunities.

I am also looking forward to launching a Career Development Network that will enable women to connect with one another, and be inspired by other women who might be able to help further their ambitions – whether they are women on boards of big businesses, women who are successfully running their own business or women working for progressive companies looking to recruit flexible talent.

I truly believe in flexible working. All the research shows that flexible working leads to increased productivity, fewer sick days and greater staff retention. So this International Women’s Day, I am calling on businesses to Be Bold for Change and embrace flexible working!

07789270183 / HELEN@923JOBS.COM /

Who Does Actually Work 9-5 in Today's Economy?

Helen Wright

On 26th August 1994 the Sunday Trading Act came into force, possibly one of the pivotal moments that led to today’s 24 hour economy. In 1993 it was a struggle to get a pint of milk on a Sunday, today you can access your bank 24/7 and do your weekly shop (either in person or online) at 2am on a Tuesday! We expect our utilities to answer the phone at 8pm and would even email our accountant at 10pm!

The nature of our 24 hour society has changed the way people want to work. A recent Millennial Branding reportfound 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. Dori Albert, crowdsourcing practice manager at Lionbridge Technologies Inc., stated that ‘Millennials helped create a “new nature of work,” with increasing reliance on the gig economy and freelancing.’

Increased numbers of families with two parents working, along with expensive childcare has led many to seek flexibility. In 2014 there were around 7.7 million women with dependent children in the UK. Approximately 70% of these women were in employment (69.6%) - which was a higher percentage than for women without dependent children (67.5%).

With so many different organisations opening earlier or longer there is now surely an increasing need for staff to work hours outside the normal 9-5. Along with an increase in freelancers1, the traditional 9-5 is less the ‘norm’. So is flexible working slowly taking over?

Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economics professor, carried out a study in 2013 that found home-working employees made, on average, 13.5% more calls per week than their counterparts in the office. Which suggests that working from home is more productive - possibly due to the lack of ‘water cooler moments’ and office gossip, or maybe just fewer meetings! This suggests that even when your organisation operates 9-5, flexible working offers benefits. It is also worth considering that without a stressful commute workers have more energy.

It is possible in the near future we will be entering our virtual reality offices using some amazing technology and working at the hours that suit both employer and employee. Whilst the virtual reality concept may be a while off, the flexibility is available today. Employers who are forward looking are actively encouraging flexible working, and reaping the benefits of more dedicated staff, often willing to sacrifice salary for flexibility.

923 Jobs specialise in helping employers find staff to operate a flexible working model. If you want to find out more email


1 UK Freelance Statistics

In the UK, the Professional Contractors Group estimates that:

●There are 1.4 million British freelancers working across all sectors

●This has grown 14% in the past decade

●The flexibility offered by Britain’s freelancers is worth £21 billion to the UK economy in added value

●78% of the UK public think that freelancing and flexible working help promote a good work/life balance

●72% think freelancing has a positive effect on family life

Is Flexible Working the Ultimate Win-Win for Small Businesses?

Helen Wright

Small businesses win because they are flexible, nimble and maximise opportunities. But usually small businesses cannot afford experienced staff. Possibly flexible working is the way small businesses can get the staff they deserve!

Flexible working is becoming something of a ‘buzzword’ and creating some interest in even the mainstream media. But most of the discussion is around why larger businesses should embrace flexible working. It is arguably easier for a larger organisation to offer flexibility as the larger workforce is more able to flex to adapt to individual needs. However small businesses have a unique opportunity to embrace flexible working. Peter Etherington, (in an article in the Guardian*) an employment law and HR professional said: “A lot of people would put it [flexible working] well ahead of pay when it comes to choosing a job/employer.”

In order to embrace flexible working you would need be creative about when and where you expected your team to work. But as a successful small business you have probably been creative about what you do and how you do it already. Many small businesses started in the local coffee shop (so much that an article on the BBC** suggested some coffee shops may be scrapping free WiFi). Many have embraced creative ways of delivering solutions, and creative ways of operating the business, so now it’s just to seek creative ways to employ staff.

An experienced employee who is seeking a more flexible work pattern will often give up salary and hours to achieve this. Imagine as an employer engaging a member of staff who has the experience and skills within your budget, and knowing that the employee is committed to your organisation because you are uniquely solving their problems! Loyal, experienced staff that you can afford, who want to work for you!

Flexible working is a true win/win for small businesses, to find out how you can engage the right team member contact Helen -