The past year has had an enormous effect on flexible jobs and how they are advertised. The pandemic has reshaped both employees and employers’ views of the risks and benefits of remote and part time working – and that has translated into increases in flexible jobseeking and flexible job advertising.
A survey by Accenture in July 2021 – just before Covid restrictions in the UK were fully lifted – found that one in four City workers did not want to return to the office and would rather work from home full time. A further 13% said they had considered leaving or did not intend to return to the financial services industry at all.
In response, many London employers are now implementing hybrid working practices – offering a blend of remote and office working to give employees greater flexibility.
This is seen as a benefit by most job applicants today, so employers are increasingly highlighting flexibility in jobs as part of their recruitment strategies.
Most flexible jobseekers already have experience of working flexibly, are often well-educated and are several years or more into their careers. Remote and home working are the most sought-after arrangements, but flexible scheduling, part-time work and freelance contracts are also in demand.
The 2021 workingmums.co.uk Flexible Working survey found that 53% of women have now turned down a job offer because it wasn’t flexible enough.
The most sought after flexible arrangements are:
That said, the 2021 survey found that 42% of the women interviewed had never had flexible working, and 22% have had a flexible working request turned down. 28% of flexible workers believe it has affected their career progression.
While things are moving in the right direction, clearly not all employers are embracing this way of working.
WM People was created in 2006 when we recognised the growing need to help working mums find jobs that were better tailored to family life. This has expanded over the years to also include working dads and older workers, as flexible working becomes an aspiration for people from all walks of life.
Our vision is to improve the world of work, by offering employers a platform to promote their progressive employment policies and advertise quality employment opportunities. We are also focused on sharing best practice in diversity and inclusion.
Employers advertise more than 10,000 flexible jobs with us each year. For us, flexibility is about offering employees more control of their working lives, through flexible hours, remote working and the opportunity to design their work patterns in a way that suits them best.
The quality of the employer brands that work with us today are a strong indication of how far flexible employment has now progressed. Employers we work with regularly include numerous government departments, Sky, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, Cap Gemini, Pfizer, Volkswagen Group, Next, John Lewis Partnership, Amey and Vodafone.
These brands recognise the quality of the candidates we can connect them with. 47% of jobseekers across our jobs boards are manager level of above; 67% have 10 years’ experience or more and 36% have more than five years’ management experience.
We are enormously energised by the groundswell of support for flexible working practices. We are working with both employers and candidates to make sure that we maintain the new level of momentum gained in flexible jobs.
This is a practice that works for everyone.