25. May 2021

The Challenges of Hybrid Working in Recruitment

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Recruitment Agencies and hybrid working go together like jelly and marmite-flavoured ice cream

Top analysts and senior figures are predicting that the UK workforce may never return to the full-time office working scenario we had prior to the pandemic and that a hybrid working model is likely here to stay, with traditional office workers now adopting a blend of home working coupled with office-based attendance.

Although it appears that organisations have seen the benefits in allowing their teams the autonomy, freedom and trust in working from home, the increases in performance, wellbeing, motivation and dedication from employees have not been enough to stop them from being pulled back into the office.

Traditional recruitment agencies with the “this is the way it’s always been done” attitude will soon see themselves losing team members to more progressive agencies. As staff look for more of a work-life balance and lean towards businesses choosing to adopt greater technology, it will become a battle of the bosses as to who will come out on top.

What actually is a hybrid working model?

At its most basic, it’s when a company has employees working both in-office and remotely. But there’s a range of hybrid setups that companies are considering or have already implemented.

Having a flexible model such as this allows consultants to fit their job around their life, and not the other way around. It’s not about allowing people to simply do whatever they want though, it has to be an agreement between both parties.

In practice, it could be anything from 100% remote to flexi-hours or simply coming into the office for meetings to working in another country.

So how exactly can agencies benefit from a hybrid working model?

  • Some team members may feel safer in their own environment
  • You can have a more productive business – with the right tech
  • Collaborating will become more natural and easier
  • Staff will be happier with a healthy work-life balance
  • You will save money – Ditch the fancy offices and corporate lunches (sorry to those that love this!)

As we now pass the one-year mark of virtual work, the shaky foundation of many company cultures is cracking to reveal a lack of trust among remote managers and employees. Companies should be looking to create resources to support them with this new model of working. Investing in training that focuses on education around the benefits of remote working is a great place to start, in sharing how to devolve autonomy of workers and how to manage by results.

If all of this wasn’t enough, think about how a hybrid working model can help with adding diversity into your talent pipeline. Many roles feel closed off to people who may have a disability that would make getting around an office difficult – and simply not hiring these people is not good enough. You can either spend money making your office more accessible or switch to a hybrid-working model which would allow for employees to work remotely if they’d like.

Why can’t teams just come back into the office?

Employees have been fighting for flexible working for many years, and now they’ve had a taste of it. If you can’t offer some sort of hybrid working model in your recruitment agency, then you’re behind the times and talented team members will simply go elsewhere.

If you’re feeling nervous about what to implement and how to do it, simply have a conversation with your consultants, or even better, let them fill out an anonymous survey highlighting the things they’d prefer. Ultimately hybrid working and flexible working models are all about one thing… choice.