Why Hays is getting Neighbourly again this year

5 min read | Karen Young | Article | | People and culture

Employees take part in volunteering

What does it mean to ‘do the right thing?’ It’s a question that continues to motivate and guide how we shape our social purpose here at Hays.

Against the backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis that continues to threaten the voluntary sector’s income and capacity, it’s more important than ever that organisations do their part to support charities and local causes and communities. Through our continued partnership at Hays with Neighbourly, an award-winning volunteering platform, we’re offering our people even more opportunities – and choice – to support good causes and do the right thing.


Generating social value: from next door to nationwide

People are the heart of what we do, and it goes without saying that a strong social purpose underpins our business’ narrative. We’re in a unique and privileged position to make a difference, sharing our skills and knowledge with the world of work, and giving our time on a voluntary basis to help improve opportunities for others.

Every year, Hays’ employees are given 16 hours of paid volunteering time as part of our ‘Helping for your tomorrow’ initiative; a wider commitment to improving employability and supporting the local communities and environments we’re so closely tied to. We took this initiative further with our ‘Hays Gets Neighbourly’ campaign last year, extending our people’s positive influence across local communities.

Collaborating with Neighbourly to facilitate an ambitious goal of delivering 10,000 hours of volunteering in just 10 working days, Hays employees across the UK and Ireland offered their time and skills for a diversity of social causes. From assisting tree planting projects and food centres to visiting schools and offering valuable career advice, the fortnight of volunteering had a lasting impact on the people and communities we serve. And while many of the causes were local in nature, their added social value was far larger in scale. Nearly 1,900 of our employees donated their time and skills across 282 volunteer events, totalling a remarkable 9,266 hours. We did not quite hit our goal in terms of hours clocked, but the work we did had a huge impact, helping over 85,000 people to whom the charities and good causes provide local services.

Along with moving the dial for so many charities and social causes, ‘getting Neighbourly’ had an equally positive impact on our own people. Of those asked, over 75% of our volunteers felt the experience gave them a sense of achievement or satisfaction, while the stories shared from those who took part illustrated the powerful way the campaign reconnected our people with society.


What we’re doing this year

Given the first campaign’s success, and the voluntary sector’s growing demand for support, we knew that partnering with Neighbourly for the second year running was the right thing to do.

Getting Neighbourly again in 2024, we’re reconnecting with local causes and communities up and down the UK and Ireland to make a difference. This year though, we’re doing things a little differently and running two campaigns.

The first phase, kicking off in April, provides employees an ‘always-on’ skills-based volunteering option to lend our breadth of expertise and knowledge to those who need it most, uplifting employability in the way Hays can. As part of our second phase in May, we’re granting our people an entire month within which to volunteer with Neighbourly causes. This means we can reach out to more communities and involve more of our people.


Every organisation has the power to change lives

‘Doing the right thing’ can manifest itself in different ways, but what will never change is our pledge to act in the best interest of our customers, partners, communities, and each other. In the spirit of being a lifelong partner to those we work with, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our existing services and leverage our unique strengths.

Looking after Hays’ Social Purpose, I’ve learned the importance of leveraging an organisation’s unique proposition, and no matter it’s size, how you can connect your people to causes that are good for their sense of belonging and society at large.

And by teaming up with Neighbourly again this year, we’re doubling down on our greatest asset: our people.


About this author

Karen Young, Director of Hays Accountancy & Finance, UK&I

Karen is a director and recruiting expert who leads the Accountancy & Finance and Senior Finance recruitment business units for Hays UK&I. She provides strategic leadership to a team of 300 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across 85 offices in the UK&I. With 28 years of finance recruitment experience, Karen has a track record of recruiting top finance talent for businesses across a range of industry sectors, and is a trusted industry voice on recruitment, career planning and market insights.

Karen also leads development and delivery of social and environmental purpose at Hays UK&I. This focuses on how the business supports local communities, with a particular focus on volunteering programmes including helping people improve their skills and employability, as well as steps to safeguard the natural environment. Karen leads a Hays UK charity partnership with EveryYouth, focusing on strategic input to the employability element of the Flourish project, that supports young people into work and independent living.

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