If you’re like most companies, you have some sort of flexible work arrangement in place. It may be formal or informal, but your employees probably telecommute from time to time; work flexible hours to fit in doctors appointments; or maybe work extra hours during the week so they can take Fridays off.
Over 60 percent of employers offer some kind of flexibility and the most frequently offered flexible work arrangements are flextime, ad-hoc telecommuting, and flexibility surrounding meal times and breaks, according to the Society of Human Resource Managers.
But more formalized work flexibility is becoming a must-have for employers in order to recruit and retain professionals, and companies who brand themselves as a flexible workplace will have an easier time in both these fronts. After all, 75 percent of people currently searching for a more flexible job are already employed, which means that employers who don’t offer flexible work arrangements will quickly lose talented staffers to those who do.
To take your work flexibility to the next level, it’s time to brand your business as a flexible workplace. Here are five ways to do so:
On your Careers page. It’s probably stating the obvious, but just in case… make sure you mention the types of flexible work arrangements your employees are able to take advantage of directly on your careers page. State Street does a great job of talking about their Work and Life initiatives on their Careers page.
In each individual job post. If a job is eligible for telecommuting, flexible or alternative scheduling, compressed workweeks, job sharing, or any other type of flexibility, mention it in the benefits or perks section of the job posting, or better yet, create a new section called Work-Life and talk about it there. Xerox is one company that includes whether a position is virtual or work-from-home in its job listings.
On your About Us page. While previous generations may have hoped for flexibility, Generations X and Y are openly seeking it, and will pass up employers who don’t seem to support it. You don’t have to go in-depth here, but a brief mention of your support for flexible work options and a link to your Careers page for more information is a great way to start.
Through outside workplace flexibility initiatives. Companies that want to take the next big step should pledge to support initiatives that support work flexibility, like 1 Million for Work Flexibility, for example. Getting your company’s logo out there as a flexible work supporter, and displaying the logos of organizations you support to yours sends a clear, visual message that you are dedicated to flexible work and work-life balance. Companies and organizations like Thomson Reuters, Convergys, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UnitedHealth Group, and World Travel Holdings are choosing to show their support of work flexibility this way.
On your social media properties. This is really where the rubber hits the road in terms of using work flexibility as a recruitment tool. Once you start branching off your company’s website and start talking about flex on social media and other locations, it really becomes a part of your corporate identity. Social properties like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are excellent places for your flexibility branding. Even Pinterest has become a recruitment tool for companies like GE and Taco Bell.
Branding is the next logical step after formalizing your workplace flexibility program with clear guidelines, policies, and practices that make it fair for all employees. With more studies showing that today’s entry and mid-level professionals are not only hoping for flexible work arrangements, but more often demanding them, smart recruiters will take the steps necessary to brand their company as a flexible workplace.