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How Flexible Working can Help you Beat the Talent Drought

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 3 years ago
  • Author: Jon Armstrong

The UK recruitment market is incredibly competitive. Attracting and retaining the people you need to grow your business can be an uphill struggle.

And that hill is only likely to get steeper as demand for skilled workers soars, particularly in the tech industry, where businesses of all sizes are competing for the same tiny pool of qualified people.

In this climate, how can you make sure you attract the talent you need?

The answer used to be simple: money. But these days, pay isn’t the only factor people consider when looking for a job. Perks like gym memberships and childcare are important, but not sufficient. Today’s workers want something money can’t buy: freedom.

Post-COVID, allowing your people to choose when, where, and how long they work is more important than ever, as many employees have discovered a taste for flexible working. Studies have found that flexible working is very attractive to prospective new hires and can give you the edge over the competition. Here are some reasons why:

  • They want time for childcare: 77% of women have experienced discrimination around pregnancy, maternity leave, or returning to work after having children. And one in ten workers has actually been forced to leave a job over their childcare commitments.

  • They want a better work-life balance: Only one UK worker in three is happy with their work-life balance, and 63% say it’s more important than how much they’re paid.

  • They don’t want to relocate: 64% would not move to London if their job moved. The number of people willing to move for work has fallen by a quarter since 2000.

  • They want to use their own equipment: Over half of workers say they feel more productive when they can use their own devices. Research by Samsung found the average productivity boost is 34% – nearly an hour a day.

  • They want to save the planet: The pre-COVID rush-hour commute emitted 32.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year, meaning the average worker could heat their house for 7 hours for the same carbon cost as their daily commute.

As you can see, the benefits of offering flexible working go beyond the attraction and retention of talent. You’ll also cut equipment costs and carbon emissions, and boost your employees’ productivity. The question this year is whether you can afford not to.