No? Well, the Flexible Working Task Force, a partnership across government departments, business groups, trade unions and charities, wants to encourage you to consider advertising jobs at all levels and pay grades as flexible. It has created a strapline "happy to talk about flexible working" and logo which you can add to your ads.
Parents with young children and those with caring responsibilities have been able to legally ask to work flexibility for a number of years. In 2014 the "right to ask" was given to all employees who had worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. Despite these changes, a recent study by the CIPD indicates that the numbers of people who work flexibly has not increased since 2010.
The taskforce believes that employers who don't consider flexible working from "day one"are losing out on talented individuals. According to its research, nearly 9 in 10 UK employees either work flexibly already or wish they could. Many of them will only apply for a job where this is possible. Yet only 11% of jobs with salaries of £20K+ FTE are advertised as being open to flexible working options.
It has launched a campaign to increase the uptake of flexible working which includes guidance and support.
How will flexible hiring help your business?
The report suggests offering jobs on a flexible basis will:
• Attract extra candidates: If you don’t offer flexible working at the point of hire, you are cutting yourself off from the large proportion of candidates who won’t apply for traditional full-time jobs.
• Progress your best people: Flexible hiring will also improve mobility within your business – enabling talented employees who work flexibly to apply for promotion, taking their flexibility with them.
• Skills utilisation: Flexible hiring will ultimately help you build the best team, optimising performance and productivity.
• Diversity and the gender pay gap: Worrying about these relatively new inclusion issues? Flexible hiring will go a long way to solving them.
• Employer brand: Flexible working has become a key employee benefit in recent years – second only to salary. Promoting your openness to flex will help make your organisation a place where people are keen to come and work.
A word of caution
Don’t use the strapline and logo as a blanket organisational statement. It should be used on a job by job basis, to avoid candidates wasting their time (and yours) by applying for unsuitable jobs.
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Please contact our employment partner Alan Lewis to find out how we can help your business attract and retain the staff it needs to flourish.
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“The government is committed to enhancing the quality of work ... To build on this upgrade, we will also be considering a duty for employers to consider whether a job can be done flexibly and to make that clear when advertising a vacancy." Kelly Tolhurst, business minister.