At Stopgap, flexible working is one of the most frequent conversations our consultants have with candidates whilst searching for a new job.
As 84% of candidates would choose a role that offers a flexible working arrangement over one that doesn't - it can be considered as a deal-breaker.
For clients alike, it is something that is becoming a priority for businesses to implement. Stats show that a flexible working environment can boost productivity, better employee health, and increased loyalty and employee engagement.
However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Figures range from 50% to 75% of businesses operating in Australia offer flexibility as an option and only 15.5% of jobs advertised state that businesses are open to flexibility.
A number of reasons are cited as to why it isn’t an option - fearing a negative impact on company culture and productivity, or unwillingness/uncertainty of the steps needed change the organisational structure to accommodate these workers to name a few.
Therefore, businesses which fail to offer this as an option to job seekers are either missing out on the opportunity of hiring or retaining this talent.
It is true that there is also an issue around companies offering flexible working to an exclusive segment of employees. Whether you have a large or small family, children to care for or sick relatives, female or male – flexibility offerings should be all-encompassing.
Stopgap has compiled some resources below to help both candidates and clients explore their options around flexible working, and help identify ways in which this can be achieved.
Puffling is a platform, which works with a number of high profile organisations to promote flexible working and workplace equality. They specialize in senior roles and have different styles of working arrangements, including job shares.
A tool for job seekers and businesses to advertise flexible working opportunities, as well as return to work and future-of-work consultancy services for businesses looking to make the change towards a more flexible workforce.
Flexjobs is a job board, which advertises only flexible working opportunities. As well as this, it has a blog, which gives useful job search tips, and a blog which focusses on things like how to adjust to these types of roles.
Once a year the annual flexible working day is on our calendars (10th June this year) – but their website has a host of resources which can help you or your business identify areas in which they can improve on. We recommend downloading the ‘flexibility kit.’
Safe for work is a series with the goal to help listeners find balance and happiness in their career. It covers topics such as preparing for discussing salary, dealing with difficult colleagues, but also work-life balance and why it is important.
Interviews with psychologists, neuroscientists and workplace experts on how you can improve your job, which covers the 4 day work week, the gig economy and Annie Auerbach’s “Let's talk about flex”.
What we do at stopgap, and how to approach it
At Stopgap we are a fully flexible team, with the opportunity to work from home and some of our consultants doing a 4-day work week. We haven’t struggled to retain staff in a traditionally high turnover industry, with a combined tenure of 37 years, we owe some of this down to the flexible office culture we have established.
If you are looking for a new role with flexible hours, ensure your recruiter is aware of this upfront, be clear about what you mean by flexibility, what you can and can’t consider and why?
Communicating this is important. When looking for a new role, waiting until the job offer stage is too late to let your potential new employer know of your need for flexibility is too late. It is important to be clear and open about what you need and would like.