Flexibility – it’s the new frontier of the recruitment world. With the market always changing, traditional roles have taken on a new scope and candidates’ expectations have shifted. Because of this, having more flexibility in both the hiring process and around the job itself is a guaranteed way to stand out and enable you to secure the best talent for your organisation. The question is: how can increased flexibility really make a difference in the long term, and where is the best place to start?
The Challenges of Finding People with the Right Skills
There is fierce competition for talent in the market right now, making it challenging for employers to land the people they need, particularly if they are looking for someone that ticks every box. As a result, employers who are open to upskilling and reaching out to a wider pool of candidates (e.g. students and working parents) quickly find that there is more than one way to fill a position.
Another key challenge is a business’s internal hiring strategy – while it can be useful, it can quickly become problematic when the ever-changing market outpaces it. This can happen when hiring processes have too many steps to follow, resulting in a lengthy procedure that doesn’t account for candidates getting snapped up quickly by the hungry market. From the moment a candidate responds to your ad, you have a tight timeframe to secure them. Hiring with the right sense of urgency means not missing out on the best of the bunch.
Similarly, candidates themselves have changing expectations around the hiring experience, with many moving on to new opportunities after a week or more of no response to an application. The good news is that, by moving with the market and being flexible with your approach to recruitment, you can increase your chances of finding the right people much faster and more often.
How Flexibility Can Help Secure Quality People
When it comes to standing out as an employer, flexibility is the magic word. Being adaptable around what the business looks for in candidates, how you manage the hiring process and even the benefits you offer will all go a long way towards upping your candidate attraction and securing people that will stay with the company for years to come.
This flexibility can take a variety of different forms: for one, the criteria in the job advertisement. Employers should aim to tick most, but not necessarily all, of the boxes. For example, try being open to someone who has the skill set you need but achieved those skills in another industry. By considering a wider selection of candidates and hiring for potential, you have more opportunities to secure top talent.
Keep in mind that a person’s CV often doesn’t tell you about their more elusive qualities, such as their ability to respond to challenges and learn new things – so if a candidate looks promising but doesn’t fit the bill 100%, it may still be worth interviewing them. Often, when you sit down and talk with someone, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of their work personality and other skills that are not listed on their resume.
This approach can also be beneficial for the candidates, as it gives them the opportunity for professional growth and to break through to new industries. This means that the candidates you choose will be more invested, helping to improve retention in the long term.
With contractors, on the other hand, it’s important for employers to look for someone who is a specialist and adds value – someone that ticks almost all or all the boxes. As with other candidates, you’ll need to move quickly to secure them, so if your current procedures are slowing things down, try revisiting them to ensure they’re as efficient as possible.
Another opportunity to provide flexibility is in the working arrangements or benefits you offer candidates. This is dependent on your organisation’s requirements, the sector you are in and the role type. However, there are different options an organisation can look at including, but not limited to, job-sharing arrangements, shorter weeks, the option to work from home and/or remotely, and adaptable or flexible working hours. Since many candidates who are attracted to these arrangements are less focused on salary, incorporating such benefits will be in your best interests.
Creating a flexible hiring strategy can seem complicated – but the good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Working with a recruiter can speed up and optimise the process enormously, as we maintain contact with many of the active and passive candidates through our nationwide database. As a result, we can not only save you time and stress, but help you find the right balance of flexibility to secure the talent you need.
If you’d like to know more about leveraging flexibility in the hiring process or need help with securing great talent for your team, get in touch with me today.