Every now and then, we get a client who wants us to find someone for a role that is particularly hard to fill. 

In the current climate – a candidate’s market – there are more of these. As employers, we’ve been used to filling most jobs and getting plenty of applicants. I think we’ve gotten a bit complacent. Sometimes we are just expecting too much of people. 

Since the lockdowns, many potential candidates have re-assessed their lives and aren’t prepared to work the kinds of hours they used to.

It’s not unreasonable for candidates to have a personal life and see their friends and family sometimes. There was a time when lots of people worked very long hours. I know; I was one of them. 

I used to work shifts and had several teams working different shifts. Interestingly, I discovered that those working the “evening shift” (half the hours the full-time people worked) actually produced two-thirds of what the full-time people produced. In other words, they were much more productive. So we would have been much more productive as a company if we’d had all part-time people. 

This finding is completely aligned with the research on working hours that shows most people’s productivity tails off after three hours or so. 

So why are we so keen to hire one person for 40 hours a week instead of two people for 20 hours a week? It’s probably just because that’s what you’ve always done, and the extra administrative work involved for every additional person on your team can feel daunting. Or it might be the “Elon Musk” approach where you think everyone should work extremely long hours. 

If you are struggling to fill a full-time position, it might be an option worth considering, and you would probably get better value for your money.

I think many employers will have to learn to be much more flexible and start thinking differently to get the people they need. We need to be prepared to tailor jobs more to suit candidates with the right skills rather than expect them to modify their lives to suit us. 

Often when you do, you’ll be surprised and how well it works.

If you’d like to discuss this or any other issues, please just book a slot with Nancy here: https://go.scheduleyou.in/GJwevE.

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