Why flexible hiring is the missing link to recruiting the best talent

27 Oct 2016



Hire Me My Way is a national campaign created to increase the number of part-time and flexible jobs, as well as improve the transparency around whether employers are to open to flexibility at the point of hire.

For millions of people in the UK, knowing whether a job can be worked flexibly is as important as knowing the salary or location. It is one of the fundamental factors that decides whether you will make that application or not, and defines what makes that role ‘workable’.

Ten years ago I was searching for flexible work, but I couldn’t find a single, good quality job to apply for. I was told the same thing over and again by recruiters – that what I wanted didn’t exist. That it wasn’t possible to find a good quality part-time job at my level. This is why Karen Mattison and I started Timewise and Timewise jobs.

Ten years on, less than one in ten jobs is advertised with flexible or part-time working options. It’s progress, but it’s still not good enough. Demand is outstripping supply with more than half the population wanting to work flexibly. To give you more context, over 1.5 million people in the UK are trapped below their skill level in low paid, part-time work, simply because they can’t find a flexible job. As a result, we see candidates getting ‘stuck’ in the same role, or having to down skill to get the flexibility they need.

Employers embracing change

Times are certainly beginning to change, and there are great employers out there that are ahead of the curve when it comes to flexibility and recognising that people need it in new roles. Employers that support the Hire Me My Way campaign strongly believe in the future of not just flexible working, but flexible hiring. Capgemini has just launched its Work Life Harmony initiative; EY advertises all of its roles as open to flexibility; Dixons Carphone, Kellogg’s, Diageo, Pets at Home and innocent are now adapting how they approach candidates’ need for flexibility during the hiring process; and Virgin Money will match existing flexible working arrangements for a number of new hires.

How recruiters can help

We still have a way to go, but we now need to see a similar change in the recruitment market. Proactively discussing flexibility at the point of hire can open-up an even bigger talent pool of candidates to give employers a real competitive advantage.

Employers want the best person for the job. How and where they get the job done doesn’t matter, just so long as it’s done well. Candidates want to find employers who embrace new ways of working. It’s time we advertise jobs to reflect this.

Join Hire Me My Way and back our call for change. We now have a recruiter zone for consultants and jobsites that promote flexible working.


The REC supports Hire Me My Way, which alongside the Good Recruitment Campaign can help companies improve their hiring process. The Good Recruitment Campaign helps organisations benchmark their current recruitment methods and reinvigorate their strategies in order to attract the right candidate.

Organisations signed up to the Good Recruitment Charter aspire to meet its nine key principles, including ‘flexible working arrangements and adaptive working practices, wherever possible, as a way of boosting inclusion and attracting talent.’

Tweet @recmembers using #goodrecruitment to show your support.

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