In a year where unemployment has reached its lowest level since 1975, are we to assume that this correlates with satisfied workforces? Sadly, it would appear not as recent studies conducted by Investors in People (IIP) identified that 47% of employees surveyed were intending to find a new job during 2018.
A significant proportion, so what are the underlying reasons behind this surge?
Well, one of the commonalities surrounds the subject of flexible working. It is estimated that approximately three-quarters of UK employees favour a position that is not so restricted or rigid.
All well and good, but given that flexible working is not something that is encouraged for 47% of full-time workers* it suggests that despite the change in attitude, management strategies have not yet fully adapted to meet employee demands.
Where you would traditionally associate flexible working with education or banking sectors, one local business that is actively bucking that trend is Mick George Ltd. The construction focused organisation already recruits more than 1,000 staff from within the locality of its operating sites but it’s latest recruitment drive is targeted specifically towards those seeking flexible working conditions.
Kate Cavanagh, Head of Human Resources at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’As a business we’re constantly looking to improve and that means attracting the best talent. We recognise that lifestyles have changed and what may motivate one prospective employee, is likely to differ for another. We’re hoping that a more tailored and bespoke approach to recruiting will entice a wider pool of suitable candidates.’’
The landscape is certainly changing, money is no-longer the only variable for consideration. A study completed by POWWOWNOW has indicated that as much as 30% of employees would favour flexible working over a pay-rise. Similarly, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported that many would actively take a pay-cut to achieve fewer working hours.
The driving forces behind why flexible-working is so desirable seem to be wide ranging. For many it is to generally attain a better work-life balance, while for others it could be to reduce commute times, assist with childcare, generate additional finances or just as a matter of convenience.
Although Mick George Ltd have a comprehensive range of positions available, the business is intentionally targeting ‘Finance Administration’ and ‘Customer Services’ roles, that are typically fulfilled by the so-called ‘millennials’ who have such an aversion to the stereotyped 9am-5pm jobs. Timewise, advocates and creators of the first flexible jobs marketplace, in its latest survey revealed that 92% of 18–34-year-olds wanted flexible working hours as part of any employment agreement.
Cavanagh continued: ‘’Our option of flexible working comes in various forms; job-share, flexitime, remote working and part-time. We’re reaching out to candidates who are already in employment and are on the look-out for reduced hours, and for those currently unemployed whereby flexible working is much more of a necessity.
There are lots of skilled individuals within the mature generations who are currently unable to withhold positions that satisfy their needs, so this should appeal.’’
Timewise also reported that flexible working isn’t just something that is being sought by females, four-in-five males expressed the appeal of the variable too, for which the roles in question have a proportionate gender mix, so should offer a solution for those males looking to pursue a new career with the added benefit of flexibility.
Cavanagh continued: ‘’The growth that the business has sustained in recent years means that we’re continuously expanding. Subsequently, even those that are employed on flexible contracts, are more than likely to have the option of additional working hours should they wish.’’