Flexible working could be the secret to recruiting the best PR talent

By Chris Stappard, Managing Director of Edward Reed Recruitment.

The flexible working revolution is well underway. If employers want to attract the best talent they should consider implementing a flexible or remote working policy.

Over the past six months the world of employment has been turned on its head, with the COVID-19 crisis transforming us into a nation of remote workers almost overnight. And, after three months of lockdown, the government is still advising those who can do so to continue working from home, meaning it doesn’t look as though offices will be re-opening any time soon.

As a result, many employees in the PR and marketing sector are starting to see flexible working as the norm, which could have big implications when it comes to future recruitment.

So, if employers in the PR sector want to remain competitive, they may need to think about making their flexible working a permanent policy. Here, I’ll explain why remote and flexible working can help companies attract the brightest and best talent.

It’s a very attractive prospect for potential candidates

There’s a huge amount of evidence to show that employees prefer having some control over how, and where, they work. Over 87% of all workers either currently work flexibly in some way, or would like to have the option to do so, according to research by Timewise. Those surveyed cited skipping the commute and having a better work/life balance as some of the main reasons they liked flexible and remote working.

Clearly, this way of working appeals greatly to a lot of people, and, as a result, it’s only natural that many candidates would be more likely to accept a job offer from a company that gives them some say over their working patterns.

Additionally, the changes that we’ve seen over the past few months have it made it more likely that remote working will become the ‘new normal’ for many sectors. As such, there’s a real chance that employees could start to view remote and flexible working policies as a necessity, rather than a perk.

So, any employers who don’t offer these policies could be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to competing for the best talent.

Employers can attract top talent with lower salaries

It used to be the case that the easiest way to attract talent was with competitive salary offers. But now, there’s something of a cultural shift happening, with more and more workers prioritising work/life balance over pay when job hunting. According to a report from Hilary’s, nearly half of all workers would take a 20% pay cut in order to work more flexibly (Workplace Insight). By offering more flexible and remote working policies, employers could be in with a chance of hiring the best workers out there, without needing to offer the highest salaries.

It’s a win-win for both employers and staff.

Flexible working allows employers to draw from a wider talent pool

Under the usual 9–5 office model, staff need to live within a reasonable commuting distance if they are to be physically present in the office every day. But, when employees are allowed to work remotely, it allows employers to recruit from a much wider pool of talent, without the need for them to relocate. Instead of being limited to employees in the surrounding area, employers are now able to recruit on a national, rather than local, scale. With online meeting software capable of facilitating online “face to face” meetings and interviews, the entire hiring process can now be carried out digitally, making it easier than ever to find talented individuals from every corner of the country.

The way we work is changing, so if employers in the PR sector want to find the best hires, they’ll need to ensure that they’re offering as much flexibility as possible.

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