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Flexibility is Now Crucial to Successful Accounting & Finance Talent Acquisition in Auckland’s Employee-Favoured Market

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As Auckland’s economy continues to strengthen, candidates have more choice than ever before. For most businesses, attracting talented Finance professionals is a challenge. What we are currently experiencing is an ‘employee-favoured market’.

High calibre candidates often have several employers to choose from at the offer stage. Therefore, the value proposition from each of these employers must be clear to secure the candidate. However, what we have experienced when working with great candidates, is that many have shifted what they now consider as the most important aspect when seeking a new job or company, but most businesses have yet to react. This disparity between employee and employer expectations is causing organisations to lose out on great people, and yet the solutions can be quite simple.

Location is Auckland’s New Remuneration Package

When facilitating the next role for these candidates, the first question we are often asked has shifted from “What is the role paying?” to “Where is the company located?” This indicates that less time stuck in Auckland’s traffic is often more valuable than a higher salary. This is key in the employee value proposition – to achieve an impact on the candidate’s work/life balance.

The reality of the Auckland’s work commute and its impact and effect on sourcing talent is becoming more and more apparent. Auckland’s traffic is now officially worse than Hong Kong, despite having nearly six times fewer people. As Auckland grows and more affordable housing is built further away from commercial hubs, commutes to and from work will continue to become lengthier. Three years ago, a commute from outer city fringes to the CBD in rush hour was 20-minutes. Today, driving 11km can now take up to 50 minutes and this is the new reality for most Aucklanders.

With no end to Auckland’s traffic woes, North Shore roles are no longer appealing to Ellerslie candidates, and the perfect Penrose job just isn’t attractive to a professional living in Takapuna. Many of our key partners are taking proactive measures to achieve flexible arrangements and look at how they can facilitate business operations around high performing talent – both to attract and retain these individuals.

Should an in-demand candidate receive offers from two different companies, the one offering flexible hours will win over a relative higher salary more often than not? When you’re looking to hire your next high-calibre team member, the question you have to ask yourself is “Are we going to lose out on the candidate due to our eight-to-five policy?”

Being Flexible with Flexibility

Flexibility costs the organisation very little in monetary value, and there is sufficient evidence to prove that trusting an employee to manage their own time actually improves their diligence and attitude towards their work and improves productivity. Flexibility now needs to be considered an integral part of our company culture rather than a privileged employee perk.

So, one of the keys to attracting your next star will be opening your organisation up to flexible working. What that will look like will differ from role to role but can largely depend the frequency someone interacts with others and the nature of their work. For example, communication can often be a large hurdle for Finance Managers as flexibility can restrict their ability to manage teams. However, communication tools, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, can limit the need for employees to be at arm’s length to collaborate effectively.

There are obviously particular professions that won’t be able to work remotely regardless of technology, but that doesn’t mean they can’t provide a certain amount of flexibility either. Making simple adjustments to working hours to help people avoid rush hour traffic, can greatly reduce how long employees spend commuting and improve an organisation’s position as an employer of choice.

In Summary

As Auckland continues to grow, the location of employers will increasingly become a higher priority for professionals all over the city. Exploring flexible working arrangements can really make a difference when attracting and retaining exceptional people. For more detail on what it takes to attract high calibre talented Finance professionals throughout Auckland, get in touch today.