Could Flexible Working help with your Recruitment and Retention?

Anne CorderThroughout May we’re taking a look at flexible working in Peterborough. With National Flexible Working Day on May 6, we’ve been finding out how popular flexible working is in Peterborough and how important it is to job seekers.

With the job market becoming more and more candidate driven, employers have to offer more appealing job packages to attract the very best talent. Flexible working is becoming a more common feature in the most lucrative job packages.

Every day at Anne Corder Recruitment we meet job seekers looking to make their next career move and employers looking to make their next hire. We get to meet hundreds of professionals in Peterborough who tell us what influences their decisions when it comes to making a job offer or accepting one.

Following on from our flexible working in Peterborough survey results, which revealed that 74 per cent of job seekers named flexible working as the job benefit most important to them, my latest blog looks at five key reasons why employers should consider flexible working as a way to improve their recruitment and retention:

1. There’s a growing appetite for flexible working from candidates

We didn’t really need the results of our survey to tell you that more and more candidates are looking for flexible working hours. As we meet with candidates every day we’ve been talking to them about what they want from their career and their next job opportunity. Flexible working has come up time and time again as a priority to current job seekers.

Whether you’re currently hiring or not it’s important that your organisation is flexible around demands in the job market. From a recruitment point of view, considering trends amongst job seekers will help to make your company appealing to the highest calibre of candidates.

On the other hand, when it comes to retaining your current employees, showing an awareness of what individuals want from their careers is always a positive. Introducing flexible working, or making it clear that you’re open to requests for flexible working, can make your employees feel valued and your company appear up-to-date.

2. Employees will benefit from an improved work-life balance

Recent ONS statistics revealed that 78 per cent of people with dependent children are in employment, and one in seven employees also has responsibility for caring for a family member.

On top of that, work-life balance is a big topic. It’s regularly covered in the media – in fact, just in April 2015 Mashable reported that a third of UK participants to a survey said they were unhappy about the time they devote to work. The Guardian website even has a whole section dedicated to work-life balance.

With all of this in mind, it’s likely that your new hire will be juggling family commitments and/or looking to strike a good work-life balance. Flexible working can go a long way to helping employees establish that balance.

With the focus on work-life balance all-important at the moment, flexible working could relieve some the pressures of juggling personal commitments with work whilst also allowing employees to feel they’re able to fulfill their workload at times suitable for them.

3. It could be the deciding factor on whether a candidate says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to your job offer

With 43 per cent of Peterborough employers who responded to our flexible working survey stating that they offer all employees flexible working, it’s clear that it is a popular job benefit locally.

One of your competitors could be amongst the 43 per cent offering flexible working – and it could be the reason why a candidate chooses their organisation over yours.

4. Technology has made flexible working easy to manage and integrate

With advances in technology, flexible working can easily be integrated into a wide variety of workplaces. Conference calls can easily be made with employees offsite, video meetings can be set up in minutes and emails and instant messaging mean that teams can be in touch even when they’re not in the office.

Make sure your team all has access to an easy to manage flexi-time tracker – like our Excel flexi-time calculator.  Take advantage of cloud storage too. With cloud storage you’ll be able have documents and resources easily accessible at all times and in all locations.

5. Flexible working is desirable amongst all types of candidates

We’ve established that flexible working is popular in Peterborough but we also wanted to highlight that flexible working is also popular amongst individuals at all stages of their career.

Newly graduated candidates will see flexible working as a forward-thinking approach to employment, allowing them to manage work and personal life as they see best.

Those who are a little later in their careers can benefit from flexible working to bring a change in routine and the opportunity to bring in a new work balance when they previously may have had to mould commitments around work instead.

Hopefully my five pointers will have helped you to understand how flexible working could help with your recruitment and retention. If you are now considering making flexible working a perk for employees, please do keep in mind this last bit of advice – shout about it in your job profile and employer brand!

It’s all well and good offering flexible working hours, but if your organisation is able and happy to provide flexible working then let job seekers know. Create some HR case studies talking about how flexible working has benefitted your employees, list flexible working as a job benefit and talk about it during interviews. With just under three quarters of Peterborough job seekers naming flexible working as a stand out job benefit, it could be the deciding factor between your company and a competitor.

Don’t forget that you can join in with the flexible working in Peterborough debate on LinkedIn and on Twitter. Follow our company page or use the hashtag #FlexiWorkPboro.

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder

Owner

Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.