5 Things Recruiters Should Know About Flexible Working Arrangements in 2016

5 Things Recruiters Should Know About Flexible Working Arrangements in 2016

Emily Check

What a better way to understand what interests today’s candidates than looking at their search terms on job boards? Indeed has done a great job at this, releasing several studies now that show trends in the types of searches and clicks on their site. One of their most recent studies, Labor Market Outlook 2016: Uncovering the Causes of Global Jobs Mismatch, explored the rise of flexible work arrangements.

Simply put, flexible work arrangements are alternate arrangements or schedules from the traditional working day and week. We’ve taken a look through the report and pulled out five things recruiters should know about flexible work arrangements in 2016.

 1. Worldwide interest in flexible work arrangements has been growing for years

Growing Interest in Flexible Working Arrangements

Over the last 3 years, the desire for flexible work arrangements has steadily increased, even dramatically so in Australia. This means recruiters should consider this as a serious decision-making factor for some candidates. The idea of flexible working arrangements can vary between countries, and individual experience. It’s important that recruiters assess the candidate’s idea of flexible working arrangements and understand what they expect from the company. Neither parties will be satisfied if there is misunderstanding in the recruiting process about what the candidate’s working arrangements will be.

2. High-skill occupations are attracting searches for remote and flexible work

Typically when we think of high-skill workers, we assume they bring high-value to the workplace. However, in many cases they may able to contribute just as much from a remote work place, or within flexible working hours. Workers that are able to work within their own parameters often show higher levels of employee satisfaction and productivity, both of which could really affect the bottom line of a business, when it comes to a high-skill worker. For recruiters, this means they must make a point to include flexible work arrangements in a job description and explain what that means throughout the interview process. For a candidate that is skilled in their expertise and may be highly sought after, this could be a determining factor between an opportunity at your company and a more flexible opportunity elsewhere.

 3. Part-time and temp work is more common in some markets than in others

Most employers are in need of workers to fill temporary or flexible positions. And typically employers will specify these requirements in job descriptions. However the standards vary greatly across countries. For example, China and Thailand are rather rigid on their flexibility policies and offer mostly full-time positions. Markets such as Japan and Korea offer more flexibility with a significant portion of part-time jobs. And in Europe, temporary jobs are most common as contract work is popular.

See the graph below for the top five markets for full-time, part-time and temporary job postings as a share of all Indeed job postings in each country:

Temporary and Full Time Workers

Recruiters in each market must understand what candidates are used to and what other companies are most likely offering in terms of contract and flexible positions.

4. Searches for “gig” jobs have increased dramatically over the past two years

As job seekers have expressed more interest in flexible work options, they’ve also shown an increasing interest in “gig” jobs, which refers to positions that are contracted, and offer employees to work as many or as few hours as they like. Companies that employ “gig” workers include Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Favor, Postmates, and Grubhub, to name a few. This type of work is often appealing to workers that desire to work part-time around their other responsibilities, as a supplement to a regular full-time job.

5. The gig economy may not be as large as everyone thinks it is

The rise of the gig economy has had an enormous impact on the lives of consumers with the offering of new services that make things like getting a ride, ordering groceries, and delivering meals simpler. But as much disruption as it’s caused in our day-to-day lives, it hasn’t affected the labor market with much force. The amount of “gig workers” make up just a marginal portion of entire workforce. Across all industries, the popularity of “gigs” may not have a direct impact on every business, but some employers may need to adjust their definition of full-time employment to compete with the more flexible options. For recruiters, this means discussing options for flexibility in certain roles with the hiring manager, especially if you are getting feedback from interviewees that this is important to them.

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