The ‘Covid Impact’ on job seekers behaviours has been highly evident over the last few months and we have seen some key trends and changed mindsets as a result of lockdowns. These are not going anywhere and appear to be here to stay. People have largely had time to reflect on what is really important and to experience a ‘New Normal’ and, in some instances, a taste of what they had forgone and been missing in their existing work and life routines.
For many this has meant having the opportunity to routinely work a proportion of their week remotely from home and to spend less time travelling to and from work. This has meant losing less time in traffic, which in Auckland otherwise is a significant challenge for all.
Whilst we have seen various responses to remote working and how this is embraced by employers and employees alike, a vast majority of the larger employers in Auckland have now recognised that this is viewed as a significant value add. Most employees do not want to return to a 5 day, in the office mantra. Many are now working a 2-3 days in the office, with remote working 2-3 days, according to role requirements and feasibility and how this works for individuals.
We have experienced the ‘largest global trial of remote and flexible working’, starting in the midst of Covid lockdowns.
The ability for organisations to quickly pivot, switch to online and remote working arrangements and ensure systems and technology could support this, is also a true business continuity and risk management exercise. This has largely been a huge success and demonstrated for most, that people can be trusted and will be highly engaged and productive, where enabled to do so. Covid lockdowns have perhaps done all of us the one favour of fast tracking our mindsets around this shift and starting to really address the rapid advancement of technology. The pace and increasing expectations on all of us is to be available for longer hours, to reply to emails, calls and texts with serious pace. For leaders, it is to be across larger remits, with more complexity and to be coaches and mentors, with additional skills, investment and time required on all fronts.
Whilst all of the above has been steadily increasing for some time, the demands of being on your phone from early until late and being responsive and the demands to be more visible online, for rapid pivoting and ‘Complex Change as a Constant’ has led to increasing wellbeing concerns. For some, this has meant an inability to disconnect, relax/unwind and to gain the right mix around work and personal. Whilst this will differ hugely from individual to individual around what energises you and what you value, Covid has forced us to Stop, Pause & Reflect on what is important and what we need to be energised and engaged and how we do this and what we need to do differently.
‘The NUMBER 1 factor on most people’s job search list is … you guessed it… FLEXIBLE WORKING’.
What has become abundantly clear is that ‘One Size Does Not Fit All’ and that Flexible Working in fact should be just that, tailored to the needs of both individual roles and people and to that of the organisation, to meet joint goals.
‘This collaborative and personalised approach has, will no doubt demonstrate high levels of engagement and assist employers to attract top talent, given the high importance being reflected by job seekers’.
The above is then closely followed by a relatively even spread of the following considerations:
- Interesting & Diverse Work
- Team & Culture, including a strong focus on wellbeing
- Opportunities for Coaching, Mentorship & Development/ Stretch
- Remuneration, with a high emphasis on base salary components at this time vs at risk components and additional benefits
Key Themes for employers to have on the radar and be responsive / talking about, with a strategy that wraps around both talent attraction and retention in 2021 onwards are:
- Flexible Working (which is tailored, truly flexible and non-prescriptive)
- Wellbeing Strategies/ Culture Interface (this is not referring to fruit bowls and ping pong tables but encompasses the whole individual, including flexi-working, leadership support, growth opportunities, culture & engagement, safe & inclusive work place initiatives, health & wellness programmes, managing financials and stressors support/ EAP and much more)
- Attraction & Retention of Key Talent
To discuss aspects of this blog/ find out how we can help you in these areas – visit us at: