Flexibility and balance key for job hunters

Long gone is the idea that a job fits neatly, and strictly, into a standard time slot, with a couple of tea and lunch breaks in between.

Today employees often like having – and even expect – a level of flexibility that supports their particular version of work/life balance.

Whether it’s working from home, or starting and finishing earlier, many job hunters are looking for an employer who supports this.

How do we know? It was a key finding in our latest Employment and Job Hunter Intentions Report, where we surveyed both job hunters and employers on their challenges and successes of 2018 and their intentions for 2019.

Keeping work close to home

Today’s job hunters have an expectation that work will slot in with the puzzle that is life, and vice versa.

Our survey found many respondents – particularly women – are actively looking for more flexible working options, and also at getting a job closer to home.

It makes sense. Compared to a few decades ago, more women are in the workplace than ever before, yet family commitments remain the same. If working closer to home means a parent can pick the kids up from school without being stuck in traffic for hours, it will be an appealing opportunity when considering their options.

Flexibility and balance is key

While most people who responded to our survey are still moving jobs to find better career prospects – a result that is in line with last year's report – there is a definite shift in job candidates’ other priorities.

Climbing the career ladder was closely followed by ‘other’ reasons in the survey, the most common of which was moving to a role that allowed for more flexible working.

This is probably not news to anyone who works in recruiting or human resources.

Thanks to the internet, working anywhere, anytime, has fast became a reality and as technology evolved, so have workplaces. With more advanced flexible working opportunities and tools becoming available all the time, it has become more meaningful and important to workers’ lives and careers.

Employers, take note

As the priorities of job candidates and employees shift, it’s up to employers to find new ways of offering what job hunters are asking for.

And that, according to our survey, is a good work/life balance and flexibility.

Work/life balance was the factor that most people rated as very important (49% of people surveyed), over feeling valued for the work they do (44%) and job security/stability (42% people).

More people even rated work/life balance as 'very important' when looking for a job over pay rate/salary package - 49% compared to 36%.

That may seem surprising; after all, aren’t we all working to make money and pay the bills? But, today’s job hunters have their priorities firmly set on getting the best of both worlds where work fits in with life, not takes over life.