Recruitment and Hybrid Working: How the Post-COVID Workplace is Driving Change
After almost two years of homeworking, workers have new demands, and as a result, are reshaping the workplace. Whilst some companies are opting to stay remote, most are meeting their employees halfway with the ‘hybrid’ model.
Hybrid working post-COVID has been firmly established as a need rather than a want; with a better work-life balance and potential productivity increases, it can be mutually beneficial for both worker and hirer. And with many workers prepared to resign to get it, it is essential that companies move with the times.
As hybrid working rapidly becomes the norm, it is vital that recruiters get to grips with the changes too. With the new workplace comes new recruitment needs. And though there is potential for success, the nuances of hybrid working must be considered proactively to achieve real results.
So how exactly is hybrid working transforming recruitment?
1) A Broader Talent Pool
Skill shortages have afflicted several industries after the collision of Brexit and COVID-19. And with the ‘Great Resignation’ seeing workers moving on in large numbers, many companies are severely short-staffed.
However, with the benefits of hybrid working, hirers can attract a larger pool of candidates. By offering a better work-life balance, monetary and time savings (e.g., commuting times and costs) and better job satisfaction, value propositions can be improved and help fill vacancies faster.
It can also remove proximity barriers. Depending on a company’s exact hybrid working model, hirers can cast out a geographically wider net in recruiting. With less time in the office, many employees will accept a longer, but much less frequent commute.
In cases where the model is mostly or fully remote, companies are free to recruit from anywhere. Further, some companies are adopting extensive use of Zoom and Microsoft Teams to offer employment to international candidates willing to work UK hours.
2) Increased Diversity & Inclusion
Hybrid working is also a critical opportunity to increase diversity & inclusion. Whilst the 9-5 in-office job was, for some, exclusionary, more flexibility could open new doors. For example, disabled individuals or those with caring responsibilities (58% of these being women—Carers UK) can better balance full-time work with their individual requirements.
This means they are no longer limited in making meaningful contributions and thus have better access to career development and promotions—increasing diversity & inclusion at the top too.
3) Hiring Process Efficiency
Virtual hiring is another factor which can help combat skill shortages. With the ability to interview more candidates within a shorter time span by video call, vacancies can be filled more efficiently.
Virtual hiring drives time AND cost efficiency. Expenses like recruiting events, venue hire, printed materials, and travel expenses cease to be necessary in running the process virtually. Candidates can easily be sourced online, and leads can be followed up with swift virtual communication.
It’s important, however, to remember that hybrid means a happy medium between in-office and remote. Whilst virtual hiring saves time and money, later stage interviews (especially for senior-level positions) should offer more insight into company culture with in-person interviews, as it’s also critical to show candidates that you’re invested in them.
4) Worker Retention
‘The Great Resignation’ is a term which has come to describe the mass number of workers quitting in search of something better in the wake of COVID-19. It has left hirers especially fearful in light of skill shortages and demands that job value propositions are vastly improved.
Of course, resignations are driven by differing factors. However, according to a number of studies hybrid working is becoming a key deciding factor on whether to remain in a job.
According to a recent Microsoft and YouGov survey, 51% of employees would consider leaving a position that doesn’t offer hybrid working. IWG research indicates that workers are also willing to forego a pay cut of as much as 10% to continue having the remote option.
For hirers concerned about securing long-term worker retention, the solution is clear; hybrid working is key.
5) Worker Well-being
An increased work-life balance is one of the greatest appeals of hybrid working. Cutting out the commute, better sleep quality, increased social time and saving costs are just a few key motivators for hybrid work.
If not managed correctly, however, it can result in blurred lines between work and home life: digital presenteeism describes the pressure to be reachable online at all hours. When clear boundaries aren’t established, this can negatively impact worker well-being and lead to undue overtime.
However, by establishing clear expectations, separation between work and home life can be easily maintained and greatly increase worker satisfaction.
What’s next for recruitment in the new hybrid world of work?
Though it’s still in a transitionary period, widespread worker demands strongly suggest that hybrid working will last long into the future. For that reason, job propositions are rapidly changing in favour of worker well-being and improved work-life balance.
And with 57% of companies reporting increased productivity (PWC), hirers are keen to take on the hybrid model too. Though clear boundaries must be set, they are quickly adapting with the vital help of recruiters. And with a more motivated and productive workforce, companies can successfully compete and succeed in the new hybrid working landscape.