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Is Flexible Working The Answer To Your Talent Acquisition Crisis?

Posted by Kate Smedley on 27 Sep 2017

The job market is ‘lagging behind’ in meeting the need for flexible working and it could be the missing link in your talent acquisition success.

A report from Timewise[1] Flexible Working : A Talent Imperative suggests that less than 10% of jobs with a salary of £20,000 and upwards are advertised with flexible working, although it is sought after by over two thirds of the workforce. Last Year Lancaster University’s Workforce Foundation predicted that flexible working would see a ‘tipping point’ this year and become essential for all businesses by 2020.

Flexible working options provide a better work life balance for your employees who are more likely to be happier, more engaged and more productive in their jobs. For employers hit by a skills shortage, it also extends your candidate reach and offers the following benefits:-

Improved retention rates : A recent survey from Vodafone found that over 60% of employees would leave their job for one with a shorter or less frequent daily commute to the office. Offering flexible working options enhances your ability to hold on to the talent vital to your business success. Review your recruitment data to identify both your candidates and employees with a lengthy commute to the office who may be potential flight risks.

Reduced gender pay gap : A recent report from Acas[2] called for more flexible working options to address issues of inequality and the gender pay gap in the workplace. For management staff that gap now stands at 26.8%, higher than the average of 18.1% for all employees and 9.4% for full-time workers. That’s according to new data from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)[3] and XpertHR. Actively promoting flexible working can help to address this issue within your own organisation by expanding your potential talent pool. Again the data in your recruitment software will provide accurate information relating to the pay gap among your employees and your new hires.

A more agile workforce : The Acas report urges HR to see flexible working as a way of creating a more agile workforce rather than a ‘reactive response’ to accommodate caring responsibilities.  It also recommends a number of strategies for best practice including:-

  • HR must develop a consistent response to flexible working requests.
  • That response should be based on business demands rather than the request itself.
  • Members of staff should be trained to respond effectively to challenging conversations and to successfully manage flexible teams.

Further points to consider in developing a flexible working policy for your business include:-

Be open to employee requests : All employees who have worked for a business for in excess of 26 weeks are entitled to make a request for flexible working but can be reluctant to do so. Nearly a quarter of employees are afraid to approach their managers to discuss issues relating to their jobs – asking for flexible hours was one off the top three issues considered off limits.  

Promote flexible working in your job posts : Over half of businesses offer flexible working yet this is not reflected in job posts. Compare the success of your job adverts that state flexible working options are available and those that don’t to understand the impact it may be having on your hiring process. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recently recommended that all jobs should be advertised as available for flexible working.

Be prepared to negotiate with talent : Qualified candidates are gaining in confidence in today’s talent driven jobs market. Half of all applicants[4] are now prepared to negotiate employment terms. Salary, working hours and flexible working are the top three areas influencing their decision to negotiate. Without that option, you risk your job offer being rejected. It is also the ‘most desirable benefit’ for millennials according to a new survey from Sodexho Engage.

More information on how to effectively manage a remote workforce and the ‘weak link’ of performance management is available in our whitepaper The Rise Of The Gig Economy.

Support a flexible working strategy in your hiring process with world class recruitment software from Advorto. Start your 30 day free trial today.

You might also like to read:-

5 Secrets To Better Employee Retention

The Gig Economy : Creating A ‘Fit And Proper’ Hiring Strategy

Image :123rf.com/profile_ohmega1982 

[1] Source : http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/jobs-market-lags-behind-demand-flexible-working/

[2] Source : http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/acas-study-urges-higher-take-up-of-flexible-working/

[3] Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41379125

[4] Source : http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/over-half-of-brits-admit-to-haggling-over-job-offers - analyse your data stuff

Topics: talent engagement

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