After reaching the half way point of the financial year, Grafton HR has seen a rise in newly created HR Generalist vacancies across Northern Ireland. This includes public, private and third sector organisations and is a very positive indication of confidence in the marketplace, reflecting the fact that most organisations are adopting a business as usual approach to hiring and Brexit is not having the impact on growth that some may thought it would have.
The key hiring trend within HR we have noticed however, has been the huge upsurge in Internal Recruitment & Talent based roles, with companies understanding the value that this function can add, in terms of return on investment, enhancing of the company brand and the time it provides the other members of the HR team to refocus on areas such as Training, Reward, Engagement and ER. Over the past 12 months, we have sourced and placed over 20 Talent focused positions, ranging from Specialist to Director, within Engineering, Legal, Financial Services and IT.
During the recruitment process, we screen and select candidates based on skill and cultural fit, but also from a candidate perspective, try to provide opportunities are aligned with their financial and aspirational requirements, and a very common trend during this process, has been the motivation to secure employment, that will enhance the actual work life balance, including reduced hours, flexible working patterns, working from home and remote access. So much so, that candidates are willing to forego an element of financial reward to help attain this balance. The benefit for the employer is that it now makes it more feasible to compete for Talent, if flexible working can be provided.
Flexible Working Options
A survey conducted by Timewise (https://timewise.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Flexible_working_Talent_-Imperative.pdf),which surveyed 3000 UK adults, found that 90% of employees dislike the nine-to-five day, with many employees preferring to have flexibility of working from home some days, working part-time at the same hourly rate, or working a different set of hours spread across several days.
The study also discovered that the key motivation for employees to obtain flexible working options included a number of things, such as reducing commuting times, increasing leisure / study time and assisting with childcare.
Another interesting observation is that young people are most interested in flexible working, with 92% of 18-34 years olds showing a keen interest, with 88% of 35-54 years olds and 72% of those aged 55 and over.
The Positive Impact of Flexible Working on Company Culture
The Timewise study concluded that flexible working options are becoming more and more important within the work place, essentially business as usual for many companies. In a highly competitive marketplace, it is essential that progressive business’ look into the flexible workings options for employees, a measure that will not only help attract top talent, but ultimately retain existing talent.
A lot of companies have a pre-existing culture, that doesn’t place an emphasis on flexible working as an option. For these organisations, there needs to a be a cultural shift, were they evolve and aim to embed a new culture of flexibility, rather than this being perceived as special treatment that may be resented by others. Natalie Pancheri, HR Policy Advisor at the London School of Economics agrees that “the benefits of flexible working are well established, from increased employee engagement to better overall performance”.
HR in Northern Ireland
As a dedicated HR recruitment team, it’s our job to educate the clients on the importance of incorporating “flexibility” in the work place, a benefit that a large portion of the HR community are seeking as standard. As previously mentioned, a strong work-life balance not only contributes to a positive company culture, but also employee performance, due to higher levels of engagement and productivity. It is fantastic to see more and more clients showing openness to incorporating flexible working, ultimately seeing the bigger picture and the long term benefits to the employee and the business.
It is important to realise that this shift is happening now and take the necessary steps to ensure that you retain and attract top performers before someone else does.
To discuss how Grafton HR can support with attraction strategies for your next HR hire, or provide market intelligence for retaining your current employees, please get in contact with one of the team.
Ryan Calvert (Assoc. CIPD)
Recruitment Manager | HR Recruitment Specialist
Richard McFarland (Assoc. CIPD)
Head of Specialist Recruitment N.I. | Senior HR Recruitment Specialist
Senior Recruitment Consultant | HR Recruitment Specialist | Contract & Interim roles