Flex appeal: How offering flexible working will widen your talent pool

Many of our clients come to us having tried - and failed - to fill a role within their business. Attractive salary, central location, growth opportunities. Tick. All the buzzwords are there, but they simply can’t recruit the talent that they need. So why is this?

Could embracing a flexible working culture be the key to unlocking a wealth of untapped talent?

24 January 2019

In order to find the best candidate for a role, you need to attract a pool of applicants which is as wide and diverse as possible. One way to immediately broaden this pool is by offering the role with potential for flexible working - whether that’s part-time, compressed hours or the opportunity to work remotely or from home on a regular basis.

What is clear is that the traditional 9-to-5, Monday to Friday working week no longer fits with what many want from work today. The view that flexible working is simply a family-friendly initiative has evolved. When you have employees who genuinely don’t need to sit at the same desk all day, every day, why would you require them to do so?

The reality is that too few jobs are being advertised as being suitable for flexible working - severely restricting the candidate pool from which they can recruit. So rather than avoid mentioning flexible working options in your job ads, be upfront and use it as a tactic for talent acquisition and engagement.

Casting your net wide and widening your talent pool means that you’ll reap the benefits of a diverse workforce - one that brings a mix of skills, experience and innovative ways of thinking. A win-win for all concerned, surely?

From a candidate’s perspective, if they’re looking for a role for flexibility, they’re much more likely to respond to a job ad which makes it clear that flexible working options are available. Simply doing this will immediately open the role up to huge pool of talent of talented, high calibre individuals - those who might otherwise have considered the opportunity with your business as being a poor fit for them.

It isn’t easy to move to assumption of flexible working by default; particularly if your business follows a traditional work pattern. But flexible working offers huge (and well-documented) benefits for both employees and employers.

Progressive employers trust their staff to work where, and indeed when, they feel that they need to in order to be most effective. This might be in the office, but equally it might be at home or in a co-working space. It might mean working around the school run, or simply working when the employee feels they are most productive - after all, not everyone is a morning person!

However support for flexible working needs to come from the top down. You can start by encouraging your hiring managers to think about the role they’re recruiting for and how flexibility could work within that role.

Taking just a few simple steps can open up the talent pool and change the way you recruit candidates - and the diversity of those candidates - for good. And that can only be a positive thing for business, right?