How to Retain & Recruit Employees in The Work From Home Era
It seems like a lifetime ago that we were all getting into our cars for a lengthy and congested commute to the office, be it on the roads or public transportation, 7am was a fury of people scrambling from their homes with a degree of angst to get to their office on time. It was ritualistic wasn't it? Wake, brush teeth, scramble to decide on what to wear, skip breakfast or commit to a drive-thru, get the kids out the door, sit in bumper to bumper traffic, arrive to work, settle in, go through the morning discussions with colleagues on who won the big game or the latest breaking news headlines. Rinse, wash repeat. If the great pause of the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that this was not working for the majority of North-Americans. So much so, that amidst the reopening of many offices and workspaces now as vaccinations numbers increase and covid-19 case numbers decline, many people are quitting their jobs if they are being forced to give up their remote/work from home flexibility.
"As office returns accelerate, some employees may want different options. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39 per cent would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49 per cent, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News."
These indicators need to be well noted by employers who are looking to recruit top talent to their company. Especially now, with reopening and many people returning to the job market, we as a recruiting agency have seen an increase in candidate inquiries for jobs begin to skyrocket. So how is your company staying competitive when it comes to recruiting top performers? If you are inflexible about the opportunity to work from home, chances are looking very strong that you will be missing out on the opportunity to recruit the best talent in the market who are looking for this level of work from home flexibility. Now of course, there are a lot of jobs that cannot be done from home, and therefore a return to the workplace is likely welcomed by employees who had been furloughed etc. However, if the job can be done remotely, then going into 2022, it would be detrimental to a company's recruiting efforts to be inflexible on this policy. The best employees will start contacting the best recruiting agencies out there and put recruiters on notice that they are on the lookout for new opportunities, that specifically are advocates for a work from home work culture.
Now, I think there is a reasonable middle ground for companies that will allow them to retain their top talent as well as recruit and attract new talent, and that will be a hybrid model, where employees will have a true work from home option as well as in office availability. This type of model has existed in the tech space now for quite some time, and a lot of the incentives you see from the pandemic's work from home fallout predate the pandemic in the tech community such as: work from home flexibility, dressing casually, unlimited vacation, and amenities that rival a wreck room or pool hall. If companies want to have the office space compete the the comfortability and flexibility or working from home, they are going to have to invest in making the office space a destination that employees are going to want to spend time at, but the reality is being close to home gives parents options to managing their children's schedules, responsibilities in the home, and reducing commute time.
So all in all, if you do not want to be left behind during the great re-hiring spree of 2021, make sure your company's policies are reflective of the voices and needs of your existing talent, and attractive enough to attract and recruit top talent in a candidate heavy job market as things begin to ramp up. Working from home is here to stay.