Companies Will Need to Embrace Flexibility to Attract Digital Talent

Candidates looking for a new job have changed their priorities when it comes to “non-negotiables” in a job offer. Hiring companies need to listen in order to attract and retain digital talent.

We recently surveyed our networks and 54% of people out of 248 said their priorities have ‘changed massively’ compared to pre-Covid, with 38% saying ‘some of their priorities have changed.

Before the pandemic, it was very clear the priorities candidates were looking for in a job offer, and the order thereof:  

  1. Net salary
  2. Benefits (medical, car allowance, flexible hours)
  3. Job title

However, since August 2020, a very clear change has occurred, with candidates’ motivations for being attracted to a job now geared towards the following:

  1. Remote working (different location to the office)
  2. Flexible working hours
  3. Company culture
  4. How the company handled the toughest times of the pandemic

This isn’t to say that salary has been completely forgotten. Along with working from home, candidates are wanting their salary structure to include benefits dependent on where they are based, for example, Wi-Fi and cell phone allowances for employees in South Africa and private healthcare in the UK.

The push for flexibility is fuelled by two factors: safety from Covid but also the realisation that our old ways of working did not necessarily work for some people. In fact, studies have shown that 71% of candidates are more likely to apply for a position that directly mentions flexibility.

Flexible working hours have lots of benefits for some people, from being able to work around the school drop off or caring responsibilities to being able to have more time to enjoy passion projects or hobbies due to not commuting. Not to mention, increased productivity, employee engagement, higher retention, and well-being.

Another key factor is how businesses responded during the pandemic – people want to know how the business adapted, how employees were treated, and plans for the future. We’re also asked about the team culture, values, and mission statements. It’s more important than before that people’s values match the environment they’ll potentially work in.

On the other hand, 8% of the people we surveyed said their priorities haven’t changed at all. It can be argued that the success of working from home was driven by the pressure of working in an economic crisis and that collaborative team and office culture is a lot harder to replicate remotely. However, research has shown that 68% of people surveyed want to be in the office between 2-4 days a week, so this suggests that the majority can see the benefits of both office and home working.

The pandemic has been tough on everyone and there is a strong desire to get back to “business as usual” as soon as possible. However, instead of rushing back to what we did before, companies need to take time to evolve and listen to people to find out what works better for them. There has long been a push for more flexibility in the workplace and this is a great opportunity to implement it.

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