What Does the Workforce Care About?

Julie Shenkman
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Technology advances at a rapid pace, so it makes sense that companies need to remain flexible in order to stay competitive and attract the best job applicants. This means that in addition to job skills, general human behavior should be considered when developing a strategic hiring plan. Basically, in order to attract and hire the best applicants, you need to know what the ever-evolving workforce cares about.

Workplace Flexibility

According to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, two-thirds of the people surveyed believe that organizations that have adopted a flexible, mobile and remote work model have an advantage over a work model that requires employees to be in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday. This doesn’t mean that you have to alter the way your company works in order to stay competitive. There are several ways to incorporate flexibility into your employees’ schedules when needed, including:

• Create split shifts that allow employees to work in the morning, take three or four hour lunch breaks, and return to work in the evening.• Allow employees to work from home. If needed, they can come into the office for regularly scheduled meetings.• Have flexible work weeks that allow employees to take a day or two off during the week if they work over the weekend.• Create telecommuting positions where employees spend half their time working from home and half their time working on site.

Find Common Ground

When it comes to hiring new employees, hiring managers and human resources professionals don’t always see eye-to-eye. For example, approximately 58 percent of HR employees would consider hiring someone with only a video conference. However, most hiring managers—more than half—prefer to conduct face-to-face interviews. Unfortunately, in order to stay competitive and attract serious job applicants, HR employees and managers need to find common ground, and develop a solid hiring strategy for the future.

• Create a step-by-step outline for the entire application process.• Conduct interviews via video and phone conferencing to narrow down your selection of candidates.• Determine if your main hiring focus should be finding people with the right job skills or people with strong personal skills.• Decide how flexible you want to be with new hires’ schedules.

Consider Flexible Salaries

Approximately one in five Gen-X and Gen-Y employees are willing to take a pay cut if it allows them to work from home. If you want to stay competitive, use this to your advantage. Consider giving new hires an option. They can work in the office for the full-salary amount, or they can work from home for less money. It’s a win-win situation that makes your company stand out from the crowd. Not only are you showing your new hires that you’ve chosen to incorporate flexible schedules in order to stay competitive, but you’re giving them two options to choose from and filling your company’s needs at the same time.

The fact is, offering high salaries isn’t enough anymore. If you want to stay competitive and attract top-notch employees, you need to be flexible, have a solid hiring strategy, and show new hires and job applicants that your company cares about their personal needs.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net


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