The cost of recruiting the wrong person can be staggering. However, over half of Hiring Managers struggle to find people with the right skill-set, partly due to talent shortages and competition. This leads companies to settle for whoever they find, rather than hiring the best person for the job.
Companies need to raise their game in the attraction of talent, to think outside the box and wear the shoes of the people with the skill-set that they desire, to stand out and appeal to those people.
An example of a company that has done this is PWC. As one of the big four, you might be mistaken to think that a prestigious company like that does not need to be all singing and dancing to attract talent. But, they’re ahead of the game and know they need to have a degree of flexibility to meet the desires of today’s workforce to gain an advantage in the race for talent.
In August 2018, PWC set up The Flexible Talent Network after their survey concluded that 46% of people prioritised flexible working and a good work-life balance when choosing a role. The Flexible Talent Network enables people to list their skills and preferred working hours or patterns rather than applying for a specific position. They then match those requests to suitable projects or needs of the business. This appeals to workers who, for a variety of reasons, do not want to work the typical 9-5 schedule.
Not every business can afford to establish a scheme like PWC. However, there are many options businesses can offer to enhance their employee's work-life balance. The development of technologies means that employees don’t need to be sitting in an office for set hours. Employees can take laptops and work elsewhere, while still being in touch with colleagues over email, or collaborative working apps such as Slack and video conferencing tools. Indeed, taking advantage of new technology and using this to offer flexible working will give you a distinct advantage in attracting talent to your business. Your roles will appeal to a broader range of people, with far-reaching skill-sets.
At the recent TUC conference, the subject of working a four day week was raised. It’s hard to see this becoming the “norm”, but it is worth considering. A four day week does not have to mean fewer hours; the same number of hours can be worked over a four day week leaving a day off through the week. For some companies, this may disrupt service level agreements with clients who expect a service five days a week however for other companies it may be achievable. A four day week gives employers an extra day to enjoy personal activities while reducing commuting times and saving on operational costs.
As we all strive to achieve a work-life balance, companies can use technologies to offer more flexible working patterns for their employees. It seems that companies who are willing to do this will have the edge on attracting the top talent, and retaining existing talent, and a distinct advantage over those companies sticking to traditional working hours and practices.
Flexible working is a benefit which appeals to many, but it doesn’t please all. Therefore it’s vital that your benefits package includes other features that suit your wider workforce, and people with different priorities. The factors and benefits that appeal to people can vary between sector, job roles and location. Often, it is useful to conduct research to establish what the priorities are for the types of candidates you want to hire. Exacta Research can assist you with this by undertaking research to establish the factors that are important to your potential candidates. This information can help you to shape a benefits package which appeals to your ideal employee.