Today’s employees are challenging established working practices, with more people than ever looking to work outside of the office and at times that suit their own personal working preferences.
For the recruitment sector, this change in workforce expectations can be interpreted as a new challenge or a potential opportunity. Where traditionally, recruitment firms would sell potential roles based on salaries and company benefits, there is now an opportunity to attract candidates through far more subtle considerations around work-life balance, flexibility and the provision of technology. In fact, for the new generation of workers these considerations can be even more important than salary, with Fuze’s research showing that half of workers will change jobs for greater flexibility, while 1 in 5 would go as far as to accept a reduction in pay.
These changing expectations must be reflected in the tactics and techniques used by recruitment firms when adopting new staff. As such, recruiters must keep these preferences front of mind when speaking to potential candidates. Here’s the top three ways in which they can achieve this:
Offer staff the freedom to work from anywhere
Workers now want a greater balance between their careers and personal lives, which has given rise to a new way of thinking about work that’s removing the restrictions of what we’re traditionally used to.
In fact, Fuze research carried out with 6,600 knowledge workers has found that 79% of workers want to work outside the company office on a regular basis.
What’s more is that the majority of staff are willing to make sacrifices for the flexibility they seek. A quarter would give up company benefits like healthcare, one in five would take a pay cut, and 54 per cent would consider moving jobs to gain the freedom to work how and when they want.
Leading organisations recognise that to attract new talent, they must offer staff the freedom to work from anywhere. Therefore, recruiters should put flexible working at the forefront of the recruitment process, or risk losing potential candidates to a competitor who will provide them with the flexibility they need.
Promote a healthy work-life balance
Where once having a positive work-life balance was seen as a perk, employees now expect it to be a requirement. In order to recruit and retain the best staff, businesses must adopt an equivalent view.
Discussions about work-life balance have rapidly moved beyond improving productivity and are now incorporating everything from employee engagement to mental wellbeing. In fact, our research shows that employees who have achieved a healthy balance between work, family responsibilities, hobbies and event pets, are those most likely to come to the table with a fresh perspective and broader base of ideas.
Furthermore, encouraging mental wellbeing amongst your staff ensures that when they do come into the office, they will be the best version of themselves. And if your workers are happy and motivated, they are more likely to continue working for you.
As human creativity becomes the driving force behind the new workplace economy, encouraging this balanced mindset will prove vital for businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition. If recruiters can show candidates that they promote a healthy work-life balance, this will help to attract people to their company.
Empower workers with the right technology
Technology is impacting our lives both in and out of the workplace. It’s now a vital component of everyday life and has the potential to transform how we work in ways that we still haven’t comprehended.
However, many companies are failing to provide their staff with the technology required to do their jobs no matter where they are located in the world. Our own research has found that 37 per cent of workers can’t access their desktop from outside of the company, 43 per cent don’t have access to the same messaging and conferencing tools and almost a third (30 per cent) can’t access files on the company system.
On a positive note, there are business leaders who are starting to understand that technology has a fundamental role to play in truly embracing worker demands and driving future ways of working.
The key is to think about tactical fixes — things like making it easy for staff to access files and documents from any location or enabling colleagues to send messages via smartphones for quick responses. In fact, our research has found that video can help boost productivity. When users turn on their video or screenshare during meetings, 87% of the attendees stay connected. Without video, only 75% will remain connected to the meeting.
Another key element for recruiters is the ability to be contactable and available to potential candidates. With traditional technology, recruiters need to share multiple phone numbers so a candidate can get in touch no matter what time of day. But with world class collaboration solutions, recruiters only need to provide a single number that they can reach you on — no matter where you are in the world or what time of day it is.
Recruiters should also make the process of introducing candidates to potential employers as seamless as possible by incorporating similar live video technology into their own approach. The worst thing a recruiter can do is become the bottleneck between a candidate and an employer. As such, it’s vital that recruitment firms also adopt the latest communications and collaboration technology to help connect both parties seamlessly without the need for numerous in-person meetings.
Ultimately, if you want to recruit and retain the best talent, applying these three guidelines will help you to meet the demands of a digital savvy workforce who need the freedom to unleash their creativity and productivity, while also prioritising personal commitments.
Recruiters who get this right will certainly reap the rewards of a more motivated, engaged, and productive workforce.