The job market is still a candidate’s market.
They have unprecedently high expectations for their future jobs and employers. All of this means attracting talent has never been more competitive for employers.
But The Flex Report, which surveys 4,500 companies representing more than 100 million workers globally, has found that workplace flexibility could be the solution. The survey was conducted by Scoop for Work, a HR communication platform vendor.
The data appears to show that flexible companies are winning the war for talent.
Over the last 12 months, organizations embracing hybrid or fully flexible work (the latter includes fully remote or employee choice models) have added headcount to their teams at almost twice the pace of fully in-person companies.
Fully remote was adding headcount at the fastest rate (6.9%), compared to 5% for employee choice, 4.1% for hybrid and 2.6% for fully in-office work.
This comes to fruition across companies of all sizes, but it is particularly stark for companies with between 500 and 5,000 employees. For that company size group, the positive impact of flexibility on headcount was almost triple.
The report stated: “While it’s possible that full time in office companies require less headcount for an unknown reason, the more likely insight is that full time in office companies are having a more challenging time attracting talent compared to their more flexible peers.”
What type of flexibility to offer
The Flex Report’s findings come in the context of many companies re-evaluating their working policies. Of course, some are embracing fully remote work, but the majority are leaning more towards a return to the office as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes away.
Companies like Snap, Disney, and BlackRock have called on employees to return to the office four days a week. The likes of Goldman Sachs and Twitter have gone further, and pushed for fully in-person work.
Whereas some companies, like Zoom and Citi, are keen to embrace flexibility and have only asked employees to work in the office two days a week.
The Flex Report found that the number of days that employees were asked or mandated to be in the office a week had a big impact on talent attraction and headcount growth.
The data showed that there was little difference between one and three days required in the office (4.8% vs 4.4% headcount increase), there was a significant drop at four-days in the office (3.8%), and then 2.6% for five-days.
“It appears that four days per week in office is crossing the line for many potential job seekers”, concluded the report. And HR leaders need to be aware.
Of course, “headcount growth is not a perfect proxy for economic growth, but it is likely that the companies that are adding headcount are also the ones that are growing sales”.
“Put simply, the growth in the economy — at least for corporate employees — appears to be with the companies that are offering flexibility.”
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