By Amanda Fone – Founder of f1 recruitment & search.
Technology has revolutionised our lives. Our work places are slowly adapting. But with 93% (Timewise survey Sep. 2017) of job seekers looking for more flexible working options, companies are simply not moving fast enough to secure the best talent for their workforces.
For The 62th successive month in a recent REC* survey we learn that the volume of people looking for permanent roles in London has shrunk and yes one of the sectors that is suffering is Marketing and PR.
The majority of new permanent roles are still advertised as full time ie Monday to Friday and office based. At f1 over 95% of the new permanent roles that come to us at all levels are described by our clients as needing to be full time Monday to Friday!
Consider the following
From Timewise survey in September 2017 we know that many employers already offer flexible working to their current workforce. In fact a stunning 63% of full-time employees already work flexibly in some way.
The preference for flexible working is strong for both sexes: 84% of male full-time employees either work flexibly already, or say they want to. For women this rises to 91%.Younger workers want it most: 92% either work flexibly or say they want to.
- But the % that is really staggering is that 93% of non-workers who want a job would prefer to work either part-time, or flexibly in a full-time role.
What do we mean by ‘flexible working’? Flexible working means different things to different people. The Timewise research focuses on the following types of flexibility, which are generally seen as favourable for the employee:
- Flexible working hours (sometimes called ‘flexi-time’)
- Working from home or remotely (for some or all of the working week)
- Shift work (with the ability to choose favourable shifts)
- Term time or seasonal work
- Part-time hours
There is a really strong BUSINESS IMPERATIVE TO HAVE A PROACTIVE STRATEGY FOR FLEXIBLE WORKING
- The Timewise research found that the UK appetite for flexible working has been grossly underestimated. The proportion of full-time workers who are already working flexibly (63%) far surpasses previous estimates, let alone the proportion of people who would prefer to (87%).
- The research also confounds the idea that flexible working is only of business interest as a solution to diversity and inclusion problems. It may well help to solve those problems, but the demand for flexible working goes much further – cutting across all ages and genders.
- To attract the best talent, it is clearly no longer sufficient to have a flexible working policy in place, offering flexibility only to existing employees on request. Employers must build a proactive flexible working strategy that makes it part of ‘the norm’, and opens it up to all employees equally, rather than targeting it at specific groups.
THE NEED TO OFFER FLEXIBLE WORKING IN THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS
- When 87% of UK employees either work flexibly already, or would prefer to, it makes no sense at all that fewer than 1 in 10 job adverts offer flexible working as an employee benefit.
- Candidates who need flexibility are worried about applying for roles that don’t specifically mention it.
- The result is that many excellent candidates get stuck in their flexible jobs, preferring to stay in place even if it means they miss out on career progression.
- ‘Flexible hiring’ is lagging far behind the take-up of flexible working in the UK. Greater transparency is urgently needed in job adverts, followed through with much more open conversations around flexible working during the recruitment process.
f1 recruitment& search has been pioneering flexible and remote working for 14 years and has access to some of the best Marketing and PR practitioners in the Capital and beyond. www.f1recruitment.com & www.f1search.com We have been lobbying for two years for the drop down boxes Part Time and Full time to be eliminated from all Job Boards and recruitment websites in order to level the playing field for applicants that need some flexibility in their roles. All that would exist for employers to tick when they post a job would be Contract or Permanent – no more full time or part time drop down options.
The infographic below was published 5 years ago – technology is moving fast and the next generation, 5G is expected to be rolled out in 2020 – sadly, progress on improving flexible working options for new roles has not kept pace.
*REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) – monthly labour market data and analysis