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Flexible work ‘recruiting limitation’ for firms on the hunt

Flexible work has just edged out career opportunities as a pull factor for new recruits, and firms with meagre policies are losing out.

Professional Development Katarina Taurian 05 June 2018
— 1 minute read

A Hays Recruitment survey of about 3,000 organisations, including those in financial and professional services across Australia, showed 73 per cent of Australian workers would like a job offering with flexible work practices.


About 72 per cent cited career progression opportunities as a reason for switching, and 59 per cent said ongoing learning and development is a priority.

Traditionally popular drawcards like annual leave entitlements — 28 per cent of workers listed this as important in their job search.

As it stands, about 70 per cent of those surveyed already have a flexible working arrangement on offer, but about 45 per cent of employees are very or extremely satisfied with their current work/life balance.

“An organisation that doesn’t offer flexible working options is now in the minority and this has an obvious impact on attraction and retention,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

“You can get back in the game to compete for the top talent by reviewing and implementing policies in this area, such as staggered start and finish times,” he said.

Flexible work arrangements in accounting is a contentious issue. Firms like PwC are staunch advocates of flexible working, particularly on grounds of staff retention. However, the firm has struggled to push past cultural barriers of the non-traditional working arrangements, with some unable to shake productivity concerns.

PwC’s research late last year also found workers are often fearful that taking on a flexible working arrangement will have negative cultural connotations.

“There is still a perception in Australia that taking up flexible work options will be seen as career limiting,” PwC chief diversity and inclusion officer, Julie McKay said.

“Despite more awareness about flexible work leading to significant productivity gains, we have not shifted work culture to enable the benefits to be realised,” she said.

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Flexible work ‘recruiting limitation’ for firms on the hunt
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