Leading UK employers call for flexible recruitment by default
Published: 10 Oct 2022
To mark National Work Life Week, we have released a joint letter from over 20 of our employer members—several in the FTSE 100—who have committed to advertising all roles with flexible options by default, and who are calling on other UK employers to do the same.
The pandemic has ushered in a new era of work, and one thing is clear: the future is flexible. As leading employers, we embrace this evolution. Because we understand the far-reaching benefits of flexible working, each one of us has committed to advertising all of our vacant roles with flexible options by default. Not only is this change necessary; we believe it’s vital to creating a more inclusive, robust workforce.
The Timewise Flexible Jobs Index 2021 found that only a quarter of jobs adverts offer flexibility. That means that three-quarters of job adverts are effectively locking out a valuable pool of talent: those who require flexibility to be able to work. This especially impacts people with caring responsibilities. Research by charity Working Families shows that 82% of UK parents are likely to apply for jobs that advertise some form of flexibility, compared to only 31% who would apply for jobs that don’t. And over half of UK parents would consider leaving their current job if they found another with more flexibility.
Flexible working is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s good for people and good for business—boosting productivity, employee engagement, and staff retention. Advertising roles with flexible options isn’t just a perk we offer to our candidates; it’s a vital part of our recruitment strategy.
Recruiting flexibly isn’t just for jobs that can be done remotely. With almost half of UK parents working in roles that are tied to a location and cannot be done from home, the flex of the future goes beyond hybrid and home working. As employers of all sizes from a diverse range of sectors, we are living proof that—with a willingness to find solutions—flexibility can work in all jobs and all industries, not just desk-based roles.
Beyond the many benefits to our business and our culture, we are also championing flexible working because, for many, it’s a direct path to employment. With the current cost-of-living crisis putting so many families into financial jeopardy, offering flexible roles at the point of recruitment opens opportunities to those who have caring responsibilities but who desperately need additional income.
This National Work Life Week, we’re proud to use our collective voice to encourage other employers to follow our lead and recruit flexibly by default. We believe recruiting in this way gives us access to high-quality, diverse talent; fosters a committed and engaged workforce; and paves the way for a more equitable society that provides opportunities for all.
Executive Director for Corporate Services
Chief People Officer
Cambridge University Press & Assessment
Head of Talent Acquisition, Colleague Mobility & Early Careers
HR Director UK
Chief Executive Officer
Chief People Officer
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Human Resources Director
Genome Research Limited
Head of People and Culture, Strategic Leadership Team
Grant Thornton UK LLP
Director of Human Resources
Hill Dickinson LLP
Chief Operating Officer
Independent Living Fund Scotland
London Legacy Development Corporation
Managing Director – People Experience, MINT
Markel International Services Limited
Chief People Officer
Mishcon de Reya LLP
Regional HR Manager – UK and Europe
Executive Director of People & Culture
Pinsent Masons LLP
Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity
Director of Talent Acquisition UK&I
Commercial Director and D&I Champion for the Parents, Carers, and Flexible Workers Network
UK Health Security Agency
National Work Life Week is an annual, national campaign to get both employers and employees talking about wellbeing at work and work-life fit. This year it runs 10-14 October 2022.
Read the press release about the polling results.
Read our blog about the polling results – Why flexible recruitment matters.
For a limited time we are giving away a free flexible recruitment guide in the Working Families shop.