The recruitment sector has been changing for some time but the pandemic may have been a catalyst for developments at a greater rate than expected. In this blog we look at the move to a dispersed operation for many companies and the potential that investing in our young people brings to the labour market.
First of all, the move to working from home will undoubtedly lead many bosses to question whether their expensive, high street locations are still required. Not only will footfall be low for the foreseeable future, the overheads of centrally based locations may be a significant cost saving given that most organisations are now managing to operate effectively with a dispersed team working from home. We also predict working from home to be an expected benefit for the masses rather than a ‘unique perk’ for a few organisations.
Working remotely is not a new phenomenon. Many entrepreneurs and start-up businesses have been working without fixed offices and overheads for many years in coffee shops, community spaces and shared enterprise hubs. However, this could be an approach for larger organisations where their teams may benefit from being around colleagues on an ad hoc basis to collaborate and check-in but have the flexibility to continue working from home. In addition, the employer benefits in multiple ways, from having less overheads compared to their own city centre based buildings to increased colleague satisfaction and retention.
At ALS we’ve always operated with a limited office infrastructure and dispersed teams right across the UK. This approach has allowed flexibility for our people as well as the ability to be onsite with our customers, understanding their business and their goals and supporting our workers.
Next, we consider how young workers in the UK are being affected by the pandemic as youth unemployment continues to rise. Yet we are facing a huge skills gap ahead of more automation and digitisation in the workplace. These two factors don’t marry and companies can use their social responsibility agendas to help provide opportunities for young people as well as futureproof their workforce for the times ahead.
Young people face increasing challenges in the employment market with a skills mismatch and lack of entrepreneurship and life skills in traditional education. But young people are the future of work and investing in them now gives them a greater chance to succeed in life. For employers, this means focusing on providing opportunities for young people and helping them develop key skills and attributes that will be at a premium in future, including resilience, adaptability, resourcefulness and problem solving. The similarity with the current situation is palpable – these are many of the attributes of the colleagues at ALS People, all of whom have helped us thrive through the current pandemic.
Perhaps key things for all employers to consider include preparing for increasing diversity in the workforce, both culturally and generationally, and supporting a greater range of flexible working arrangements. Firms also need to look at developing organisational values to create authentic meaning and value in their business practices to attract and retain the right people.