Recruitment fails to capture flexibility

8214124711_00705fe5fe_oManagers are missing a trick when it comes to recruiting flexible workers, according to research by the Timewise Foundation.

A poll of 1,161 workers found that two in five want to work flexibly, equating to 8.7m full-time workers across the UK. It also interviewed 500 managers and found that 91% are open to discussing flexible working options when recruiting and 7 in 10 feel flexible workers are under-used as a pool of talent.

However, only one in four of the jobs the managers advertised stated whether flexibility was possible and 57% said conversations about flexible working tend to occur at interview stage. Timewise says this is too late for many candidates who are left dealing with a “hidden” flexible jobs market. Previous research showed 42% of candidates felt mentioning flexibility would damage their chances of getting the job.

Managers also said flexible roles are less available the higher up the organisation candidates apply. While they believe flexible workers are often skilled and experienced, 69% said they were “less ambitious” than colleagues. Crucially, 75% have never had any training on how to handle enquiries about flexibility.

Timewise co-founder Karen Mattison said:“Flexibility is moving from niche to mainstream. In today’s post-recession market employers are having to fight harder for talent, and yet by playing their cards too close to their chests when it comes to alternative working structures, they miss a key advantage.”

The organisation today launched its third annual Power Part-Time list, looking for top executives working on a flexible basis. Lynn Rattigan, EY’s deputy COO in the UK & Ireland and a member of the judging panel, said: “There is still a cultural challenge for many businesses around flexible working: to understand that reduced hours doesn’t ever mean less commitment. I have seen first-hand at EY how it can help attract and retain the best and brightest talent, lead to higher levels of client service and create competitive advantage.”

For a nomination form visit Timewise.co.uk/PowerPartTime

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/slightlyeverything/

 

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