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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

Working flexibly and remote are at the top of jobseekers wish list. Why it matters.

To work flexibly; or not

Now that teams are settling into the ‘new normal’, hiring levels are well and truly back at pre-pandemic levels. Those roles that were put on hold or couldn’t be recruited for due to candidates not wanting to move in 2020, are now firmly back on the table. Couple this with the challenges that are being thrown at business by employees jumping to a new employer. This comes as no surprise as their response is largely down to how their employer behaved during the pandemic and how much support was provided for them. The fast switch from flexible working seems to be reversing in many firms, leaving employees despondent and on the hunt for an opportunity with an employer who does support remote working.

Flexibility is top of candidates’ wish list, and it seems they’re not prepared to compromise. Flexible working options that don’t offer choice simply won’t do in today’s candidate led market. During the pandemic, many have achieved a work/ life balance that just wasn’t possible when they were commuting every day and confined to their office desk 40+hours a week. They’ve enjoyed working their hours flexibly, allowing them to have more time for themselves and their family, and they don’t want to give that up. Flexibility is so highly prized that candidates are turning down jobs that require them to be in the office five days a week. If an employer doesn’t offer the flexible working arrangements they want, they’ll simply wait for another that will.

Offering greater flexibility to talented employees that want it

Depending on personal responsibilities and requirements outside of work, some talented individuals are lost to the workplace due to inflexible working schedules, hours and requirements. By embracing and offering flexibility through part time work, you can open up your opportunities to different working cohorts. They may be mothers returning to work, whether that is after maternity leave or after many years’ having a working ‘break’. This might open up the opportunity to offer working patterns to skilled workers with disabilities or neurodiverse employees who may not wish to work full time either or who are transitioning into the workplace.

The talent drain is real and costs are soaring

The sheer volume of open positions, alongside the pressure to meet time to hire KPIs means that mistakes are undoubtedly going to be made. Mis-matches to cultural fit for one, particularly if hiring is completed solely by an inexperienced hiring manager. Take too long and have too many stages in your recruitment process and the talent will have gone. There is no denying that recruiting for every role involves an immense amount of time, particularly if you don’t have a talent pipeline that you have been nurturing with promising candidates. Fire fighting is difficult and there are too many demands on HR professionals at the moment.

Next steps forward

The fastest, best, most sensible and quite frankly, obvious solution to support your HR teams is to enable them to engage with a team of talented recruitment specialists who can manage your hiring needs. The best results will come from a business that will work in partnership with you; one that you trust and that can become a sounding board for future hiring strategies. Find out if they have their own candidate pipelines and how they engage with talent. If they are tech enabled and can bring automation to the table which reduces demands on back office admin, even better. As they are going to be an extension of your brand, you want to pick an agency that understands you, your business, your culture, your marketplace and your challenges. Finally they should tick the all important “know, like and trust”.

The benefit of working with a partner like Auxeris in the recruitment process is that they have access to the best talent in the marketplace, especially those who aren’t actively looking. They can also provide that all important initial screen of applicants, weed out any spam applications and focus on those high quality candidates. Auxeris will want to build a partnership with your HR team and be there to support the HR function so the business can grow and succeed.

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