As we regain normalcy in a post-covid era, some employers are reverting to fully on-site work models. Not all jobseekers, however, have returned to this mindset, and recruiters in our Banking and Commercial Finance Practice are urging employers to approach the conversation with an open mind. With phrases like “we are just an in-person culture,” and “that’s what we have always done,” hiring managers and executives in this space are pigeonholing themselves into an even smaller talent pool than they already have. Not only is this limiting new talent flow, but employees who have been told to return to the office–after proving their trustworthiness at home–are starting to seek new opportunities.
Jay Boone, Stephanie Maas, and Courtney Rice are three recruiters in our Banking and Commercial Finance Practice, experiencing the disconnect first-hand between managers who insist on hiring on-site employees and candidates who are just not interested. To serve their clients by finding them the best talent available, these recruiters offer three benefits of hybrid and remote work models for consideration.
Benefit 1: Trustworthy employees will fill their eliminated commute time with other productive work.
Jay Boone estimates that eliminating someone’s commute to an office can save them about 2-3 hours per day. Those who work hybrid or remote can choose to spend that time other ways. If talent managers are hiring candidates who have demonstrated excellent work and personal responsibility, they should be thrilled to give time back to their employees, trusting that it will be used in a way that benefits the employee and the organization. Jay even noted that some people in his network are working more hours because they are at home. “They’re working longer days because they don’t have that drive time,” Jay says, “and they’ve got that flexibility to unplug and plug back in, especially if there is a family commitment in the middle of the day.”
“These are people who we trusted to do their jobs during the crisis,” Stephanie Maas says. As the crisis fades, we can continue to trust them to do their best work.
Benefit 2: Employers with a flexible work model have access to a much larger candidate pool when hiring new talent.
Jay, Courtney, and Stephanie all agree that a job’s on-site requirements are its largest constraint to finding good talent. As Courtney put it, “when you insist on limiting your search to candidates who are consistently commutable to your office, you might end up with a different level of candidate than what you initially intended.” This may not necessarily deter recruiters from working with clients who are insistent on having employees on-site, but in these three recruiters’ case, they let their clients know that it will “hinder their ability to find top talent in an already shallow pool.”
On-site roles are no longer the norm for jobseekers. Jay, Stephanie, and Courtney all have anecdotal examples of searches being constrained by a client’s insistence on a rigid work schedule, and the recent record of placements in the Banking and Commercial Finance (B&F) Practice also speaks for itself. A recent survey of a handful of our top producers in this Practice found that only around 15% of job placements in the B&F Practice in the past year have been fully on-site roles. In a market as candidate-driven as this one, it may be time to give candidates what they want and have come to expect.
Benefit 3: Having a remote or hybrid option does not mean that employees will never come into the office again; they will just be happy to be there when they are.
No one is saying that all employers must become exclusively remote operations. Nor do our recruiters say that assigning employees a few days a week to be in or out of the office is going to do the trick. The distinction, as Stephanie and Courtney pointed out, is that organizations must give their employees “choice or the perception of choice” over when they come into the office. In Jay’s experience, offering a hybrid schedule is no more compelling for a candidate if the hybrid schedule is mandated for them and they have no more flexibility than they would as an on-site worker. As Courtney puts it, “people will come into the office if they see that it is advantageous for them to do so.” Her advice for employers who prefer to have their employees in the same location a few times a week is to “demonstrate the value of coming in. Show that being in the office creates opportunities for growth, collaboration and even advancement that being remote does not create.”
As we return to “normal,” we recruiters encourage our clients to reconsider what they think that means. In the height of the pandemic, Banking and Commercial Finance professionals stepped up to the plate, many with heavier workloads than they had ever dealt with. They learned to manage and steward their time away from the office, reaching their own personal records of efficiency. Now, we ask our clients to trust their talent and not force them back into an office unless it is on their terms. Being flexible to remote and hybrid opportunities will free your employees for other productive activities, give them the autonomy of choice, and help you find talent from a much broader pool.
To start a conversation about hiring in the Banking and Commercial Finance space and read more about Jay, Stephanie, and Courtney, reach out to any of our award-winning recruiters here: https://thinkingahead.com/specialty/banking/