Like most businesses, resource went into hibernation during the pandemic and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d have the energy to reboot it when we emerged into a post-covid world – whatever that looked like. That felt a lot like starting over. And if you’ve ever had a start-up business, you’ll know it’s flipping exhausting.
That decision was, however, taken out of my hands a few months ago with the resource phones ringing and emails pinging, as businesses in reboot set about finding great people once again. resource just took off organically, and my work life went full steam ahead aboard the recruitment express.
Every day, we hear about the massive staff shortages in Australia, and it’s not just the travel Industry that’s crying out for talent––it’s every industry. What’s more, those workplaces that we all walked out of two years ago, don’t cut it for employees anymore. The sooner employers grasp that the better, if they want any chance of attracting the best talent.
Maybe it’s a generation-gap scenario. Because what I’m seeing is that it’s senior leaders, more than anyone else, that want their staff in the office. They say they want people in the same space so they can collaborate, share ideas and connect, and that’s fair enough, I suppose. But it suggests that remote-first teams can’t do the same.
And let’s face it, there are many, many roles where the employee is, overwhelmingly, on the phone or in virtual meetings. There’s absolutely no need for these people to travel to the office and take a seat at a workstation each day.
More than ever before, I’m finding that flexibility is as important to job seekers as salary, perks and super. Candidates know there’s a skills shortage, and in many ways they’re in the driver’s seat. For employers, that means salary costs are on the rise. If you can’t meet the candidate’s salary expectations, what else can you bring to the table? For the right person, does it really matter if they’re not in the office every day? If it does, then you’re limiting your talent pool to only what’s available within a reasonable commute radius of your office.
I have no doubt that, five years from now, we’ll look back and be able to see which organisations failed the flexibility test. They’ll have diminished or be gone altogether because they failed to adapt.
Here are my 5-cents on the topic:
> What are the 3 biggest drivers for a candidate if the salary isn’t quite there? Attitude, location and flexibility. You can’t just say you have a great working culture––you have to live it and show it. What are you doing around attitude, location and flexibility to stand out?
> Remote work and hybrid models: The first question you’ll hear is can I work from home? If you run your business on a cloud-based system, the answer should be yes. Seriously, why shouldn’t your employees work from home some or all of the time? Productivity goes up, while the costs of running an office go down. It’s all about giving people the space and trust to be successful, and if you don’t trust them to work independently then you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.
> Flexibility: Isn’t just about working from home. Other things you might consider include shorter work days, condensed work days [full-time hours completed in four days, for example], or alternative start and finish times to suit a front-line worker’s personal life and cover extended business hours. Let’s be honest, the old school of 9-5 in an office doesn’t fit our lives anymore––it’s not 1928.
> Belonging: Belonging is about creating a genuine sense of community. It doesn’t matter where people work or the specific location, you don’t have to be in an office to have great culture––it’s about allowing people to be heard. Have you asked your employees lately what do they really want? You might be surprised by the answers.
> Attitude over Skills: In a heartbeat, I would hire someone with the right attitude over someone with 10 years experience but is high-maintenance and jaded. Yes, they are green and you have to invest in them, but get it right, and they’ll feel valued and invested in what they’re doing for you and your business. The ROI on that is, frankly, priceless.
Things have changed. The world is different. Priorities have shifted. Business as usual doesn’t cut it anymore.
Are you ready to take a leap of faith into the new world of talent acquisition?
I’ve got you.