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This is What It’s Like to Be in the Middle

In the Middle

Here at That’s Good HR, we are always carefully looking out for everyone’s best interests. We often find ourselves navigating “the middle” between what works best for our candidates and what our client companies need. The “Big Quit,” and growing demand for more remote positions and flexible work schedules have created unchartered waters for everyone. We are working hard and learning fast about what it’s like to be in the middle of the varied opinions on remote and hybrid work. We also see the opportunity for different generations of hiring managers and candidates to learn from each other on these topics

Remote work by the numbers

The majority of hiring managers (60%) have agreed that a full-time return to the office would be required for their companies by the end of 2022, reported in a GoodHire survey, while 64% of employees have said that they would look for a new job if they had to work in their office full time. Breaking that down by generation, a Bankrate survey reported that most younger employees (60% of millennials and 62% of Gen Z) rated a hybrid working schedule as their top priority while searching for a new job. Although it was less important to older generations, flexible work arrangements are still important to Baby Boomers at 47% and Gen X at 54%, with higher pay rates ranking higher for Boomers and equal for Gen X.

But since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, with Gen Z not far behind, hybrid work schedules are likely to become the norm for many companies sooner than later. As Sid Sijbrandij, CEO of GitLab Inc., one of the largest international all-remote organizations, said in a recent op-ed for Fortune: “For every company that is unwilling to provide any remote work flexibility to their employees, there’s another company, just around the corner, ready to poach their talent.”

Learning to be flexible

Although a number of candidates are seeking out jobs that are fully remote, many still want at least a few days in the office each week. Still others may want to be in the office every day, but would need to adjust their working hours. Employees with children in school or daycare may need to come in earlier so that they can pick their children up from school, or vice versa for morning drop-off. 

Some of our biggest advice to our employer clients is to learn how to provide flexibility to candidates wherever possible. As That’s Good HR Founder and Partner Mary Springer explained, “After two years of non-traditional work schedules due to the pandemic, we have discovered that candidates want flexibility – they want remote options and autonomy over when they come into the office.”

When remote options aren’t possible

With some companies, and for some hiring managers, remote work simply doesn’t seem possible. What do we say to clients when this is the case for their open position on our job board? “I’m honest with employers. If you are trying to fill an in-office position, you will have a limited number of candidates,” said Springer. “I also suggest offering direct-hire positions, rather than temp-to-hire. Temp-to-hire has worked well in the past, but today’s candidates want the security of a direct-hire position.”

Engaging candidates and new hires well is another way to encourage applications to your in-person position. As Springer explained, “You need to engage your employees to keep them. If you are going to ask them to come to the office, make it fun.” In-office perks can include a more casual dress code, free snacks or meals, parking stipends and team-building activities. The needs and wants of your workforce can change quickly, so checking in with employees about their individual situations (and supporting them wherever possible) will make them more likely to stay. A well-managed onboarding program is another opportunity to show employees you care, especially with a mentor to guide new hires through their first weeks and months.

If you need support in hiring for your next hybrid or in-office position, creating more flexible work arrangements or building out a new onboarding process, That’s Good HR can help. Contact us today online or at 317-469-4141 to learn more!

We’d love to help you. Give us a call. 317.469.4141