Embrace The New Way of Talent Acquisition and Retention: The Need for Flexible Working


The need for flexible working is growing. The opportunities and challenges put forth by the changing context of work can only be met if companies provide flexible working arrangements. It is a great way to accommodate generations, and create choice and agility. The shifting priorities of Gen Z, evolution of technology  and an increasingly competitive landscape have contributed to significant adjustments in the working models globally. Companies are now adopting a flexible workforce model and a gig-based labor model to remain relevant in the changing landscape.

Benefits of a flexible workforce


Implementing a flexible workforce model is a win-win since it yields objectives and benefits for both employees and employers.

Lower employment cost: Hiring professionals for specific projects or seasons results in lower employment costs. Companies are not obligated to pay any fixed costs like healthcare and other benefits that entail with full-time employment. Other costs common with onsite employees are also eliminated.

Access to talent: Engaging a flexible workforce allows access to expert talent from across the globe without the constraint to geography. It increases the scope of talent recruitment globally which means employers can hire subject-matter experts for highly-specific projects without disrupting the workflow of regular employees.

Multi-generational support: Today we can see multiple generations working in the same team. Every generation has its own needs, like work-life balance, retirement, reduced working hours, which employers need to understand. A flexible workforce model can help address concerns specific to each generation and allows businesses to appeal to a diverse range of talent.

Loyalty and productivity: These days work demands employees to be present beyond the standard working hours. This resulted in burnout among employees. By offering flexibility in the workplace, employers can build morale and improve their retention rate. Hiring freelancers for short-term projects can help decrease the workload of regular employees, and promoting flexible schedules and remote work places the company as progressive and committed to the well-being of its employees.

Speed and scale: With the evolution of technology companies are facing staffing challenges related to scalability, timeliness and quality control. Customers are looking for immediate answers to their queries, web content has to be up to date and accurate, and user-generated content requires real-time moderation. One benefit of a flexible workforce is the ability to adjust staffing depending upon project or season in order to meet shifting business priorities.

Better Continuity During Uncertainty: Organizations working in a flexible model are prepared to face any uncertainties head-on. By having a workforce distributed among different places and equipped with using different media, organizations are better able to handle uncertain situations that would ideally be difficult for an organization located centrally. Covid-19 has definitely made it clear that uncertainties are inevitable and everyone must be prepared to handle the worst.

A company should have flexi-staffing measures in place to deal with any natural or man-made disasters, technological environment, regulation or even economic changes. Companies that are flexible in their approach and have adopted IT contract staffing solutions will be able to attract top talent, promote innovation, develop cohesive teams, and build a sustainable model for the future.

Expand your footprints with Tier 2 and Tier 3 talent

With the pandemic changing the workplace and workforce dynamics, organizations worldwide are leveraging competitive advantage from new and emerging talent markets and scenarios. As in the past, we have only seen companies setting up their sales and marketing offices in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. However, today we can witness an amazing number of companies, especially tech companies moving to and employing staff from smaller towns and cities. This not only helps companies in expanding their footprint at a lower cost but also helps in accessing the untapped talent in these areas.

According to Randstad Talent Trends Report 2023, among the tier-2 cities, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Indore, Coimbatore, Kochi, and Trivandrum are emerging as key IT employment hubs. At the junior level of talent, Vadodara leads with 14 percent of the IT jobs among tier-II cities, followed by Chandigarh, Jaipur, Coimbatore, and Kochi.

Source: Randstad

Read on to understand what is driving the push:

High attrition rate: Post the pandemic, employees are more inclined toward having the right work-life balance and are prioritizing their health and well-being above everything else. Competitive salaries are not the only drivers, employees want to stay closer to their families. In the year 2021, we have seen a high attrition rate in the IT sector. Companies are leaving no stone unturned to retain their employees, even if it means letting them work closer to their hometowns. Work from home, remote work, and flexible working hours are some of the hybrid working styles that enable employees to stay closer to their families and maintain a work-life balance. This helps employees to be more productive and happier, thereby adding value to the company.

Access to a wider talent pool: Setting up offices in smaller towns and cities, helps companies have a wider IT talent acquisition system that is untapped and looking for opportunities. As tech-focused companies are hiring remote developers across tier 2 and tier 3 cities, it will help increase the regional diversity and offer a diverse range of career opportunities to the many bright young talents that are based there.

Cost of living: As reverse migration and hybrid working are prevalent trends, another facet that is in favor of tier 2 and 3 cities is the cost of living. Everything from food, rent, and transportation can be cheaper as compared to tier 1 cities leading to enormous cost savings for employees and organizations alike. Above all, one can find affordable housing options in these cities. Moreover, the availability of relatively larger spaces in these locations allows companies to set up and design offices that are sustainable, spacious, and better provisioned. Finally, there is lesser competition, and that makes it easier for organizations to create a brand presence for the future.

Companies are resorting to tier 2 and 3 cities to onboard people to meet the workforce requirements. It is believed that employees from these cities have a highly positive attitude, are eager to learn, and possess outstanding entrepreneurial abilities. Furthermore, the employment forecast for smaller towns and cities is likely to grow even more diversely. Work from home is the new normal for everyone. As reverse migration and hybrid working models are becoming the norm, tier 2 and 3 cities stand poised to drive the next technology revolution.

Flexibility promotes growth, increases productivity, and instills trust

Source: Getty Images

The workplaces of today are evolving. Instead of micromanaging employees, managers prefer to give their teams freedom to be more independent in the workplace. Such styles of working empower employees to take charge of their work, increase their productivity, foster growth, and instill trust and overall satisfaction among employees. This is an era of empowered employee experience and organizations can no longer afford to be complacent about employees’ needs. Employee engagement and retention are top priorities for employers in today’s dynamic environment.

Today’s employees, especially the younger workforce, want their work to be aligned with their personal values and professional goals. They expect the organization they join to help them grow and succeed. Therefore, it becomes imperative for any organization irrespective of the industry to transform its employee experience in a way that appeals to multigenerational preferences.

Here are some strategies to help you build an edge in developing employee experience.

Embrace flexible work hours: The shift to remote work and flexible work arrangements is perhaps one of the biggest changes to come out of the pandemic. Employees need autonomy in deciding when, where, and how they do their work. Companies must embrace this change and trust their employees.

Mentor employees when they make mistakes: When your employees make a mistake, instead of rebuking them guide them to a resolution strategy. Mentoring your employees through their mistakes will create a culture of growth and resilience.

 Provide feedback: Give proper and constructive feedback to your employees. It not only encourages them but also helps them rectify wherever required and gives them a direction towards what to continue doing in the future.

Recognize employees: Encouraging your employees and recognizing them for their hard work pushes them to put in even more effort the next time they take up a task. It gives them a sense of belongingness and makes them realize that their efforts are being noticed.

Involve employees in decision-making: Whenever possible involve your employees in the decision-making process. For the tasks they own, give them complete authority to make the decision they find appropriate. Also, seek recommendations from your employees for decisions that may affect the company at large.

Build a thriving culture: To attract and retain employees, it is important to build a company culture employees crave. Managers must schedule on-to-one meetings with their team members to understand what their goals are and help them towards achieving those goals.

Let your employees know they matter: Make your employees feel responsible for what they do. Let them know how their efforts matter and how they can make a difference that impacts the business at large. Let them feel valued in whatever they are doing.

Build mutual trust: Businesses need to acknowledge that there is no dearth of jobs these days. Employees want to come back to a workplace that not only empowers them to grow but a place that’s fun. Build a strong professional relationship with your employees based on mutual trust.

Summing up

Organizations that ignore or fail to follow a human-centric approach will ultimately lose their top talent. It is important to cultivate a growth mindset that helps in bringing out the best in each team member to engage and retain your employees. Sticking to traditional ways of doing business is no longer going to work.