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Flexible Working In Recruitment: Does it work?

Date: 15 January 2019

Who really benefits from flexible working?

For many recruitment professionals, flexible working may seem a far cry from the 9-5 office-dominated work culture generally regarded as the industry norm. Now, with full days in the office giving way to a mix of flexi-working initiatives at many companies, HR departments, and senior management are starting to understand the mutual benefits that flexibility can bring to their workforce.

Flexible working and the value it brings for employees is now beginning to make significant headway, fast becoming a priority for employers and employees alike. The benefits of adopting newer, more fluid ways of working are getting more attention as companies realign policies to accommodate flexi-working, as a means to attract and retain the very best talent.

From home working and sabbaticals to job share, part-time hours, and glide time, flexible working offers endless opportunity to improve the ways in which we work and to improve work-life balance.

Statistics show flexible working is valued by employees – and good for business

According to a recent survey, two-thirds of employees would like to be given the option of flexible working. More than half (58%) of those questioned said they would feel more motivated and become more productive (53%) by working away from the office. 
Workforce management expert Quinyx and Development Economic and Censuswide reported that by implementing a wide range of flexible working options and reaping the associated rewards – such as lower staff turnover, improved productivity, motivation, and wellbeing – UK businesses have the potential to generate an extra £12 billion per year within the next five years.

Flexible working in recruitment

Within recruitment, flexible work arrangements are proving to be attractive to recruitment professionals at all levels of seniority. When choosing a new employer, flexibility to working arrangements is seen to reflect positively on workplace culture, and to convey the value and trust placed upon its people. Having flexible working in place can paint the organisation as forward-thinking with progressive leadership.

Challenges do remain within recruitment to not only diversify flexible working offerings but to also shed the perception of ‘presenteeism’ – the accepted norm within the industry that in order to thrive as a consultant and be as productive as possible it is vital to work long, office-based hours.

Employers leading the way in realigning workplace cultures to accommodate this shift towards a flexible future are investing time to redevelop flexible working policies, engage management to lead by example, and nurture and facilitate open conversations about the prospect and benefits of flexibility in the recruitment space. 

What’s more, the results of a jointly commissioned survey by Timewise and Deloitte identify that improved flexible working practices directly help to alleviate gender disparity within a professional workplace setting – an encouraging finding and which can be applied to a wide range of organisations, both within and outside of the recruitment industry.

With 70% of employees believing that flexible working will make their job more appealing, responsibility to drive forward the necessary culture change falls to both employee and employer. By voicing an interest in – and highlighting the importance of – the diversification of in-house flexible working policies, staff have the power to redefine the perception of normal working arrangements within the industry. Likewise, now is the time for employers tasked with conducting benefits reviews or culture projects to assess the value of flexible working to your organisation, and to see if it could work for you. 

Are you interested in working for a company that offers flexible working? Then get in contact with us today and become part of the Phaidon story.