Increased diversity – Another potential benefit of hybrid hiring is increased diversity in your workforce. When I wrote about how we could all overcome the skills shortage, I noted that there was “an opportunity for businesses to create a more diverse, equal and inclusive workforce.” I believe the same is true of hybrid hiring.
The Hays report found that women were more adversely affected by the pandemic than men: “This is likely due to a number of factors, including female employment being more concentrated in worse-hit sectors, and women being more likely to take a greater role in childcare and caring for family members, meaning they were more likely to exit the labour market during the crisis.”
These added pressures have led to burnout escalating faster among women than in men. According to McKinsey: “One in three women says that they have considered downshifting their career or leaving the workforce this year, compared with one in four who said this a few months into the pandemic.”
And there are other groups who would benefit your business if hybrid hiring was implemented. According to a 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, over six million people in the US workforce have some form of disability. In the UK, that figure was 4.4 million in Q2 of 2021. The disability employment rate in that period was 52.7%, compared to 81.0% for non-disabled people.
Whilst there are many factors contributing to the above, hybrid hiring and working can help. What may seem like a simple commute to an office for some, can be highly challenging for others. A hybrid approach can play some part in levelling the playing field.
A hybrid model of hiring and working in general removes some of the pressure on those to commute, to consider childcare, or to think about the school run, whilst improving your company’s diversity. After all, diversity strengthens companies and cultures and, as leaders, we should be playing an active role in supporting groups who face barriers to succeed in their careers. In doing so, we are helping build a better world of work.
The benefits of hybrid hiring could not be clearer. But are we honestly doing enough to create a successful model that will improve our businesses and the working experience for our employees?
There is evidence that companies are not taking hybrid hiring and office-less working entirely seriously. In research by McKinsey last year, whilst nine out of 10 businesses surveyed combined remote and in-office working, 68% had no detailed strategy to communicate regarding their hybrid plans. This is dangerous and opens businesses to the distinct possibility of missing out on the benefits listed above.
As we enter a new year, it is clear that 2022 will be full of challenges. But they are challenges we can overcome if we do not slip into old habits, but instead embrace change. Hybrid hiring has the potential to improve the future of work.
Alistair has been the CEO of Hays, plc since Sept. 2007. An aeronautical engineer by training (University of Salford, UK, 1982), Alistair commenced his career at British Aerospace in the military aircraft division. From 1983-1988, he worked Schlumberger filling a number of field and research roles in the Oil & Gas Industry in both Europe and North America. He completed his MBA (Stanford University, California) in 1991 and returned to the UK as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. His experience at McKinsey & Co covered a number of sectors including energy, consumer goods and manufacturing.
He moved to Blue Circle Industries in 1994 as Group Strategy Director, responsible for all aspects of strategic planning and international investments for the group. During this time, Blue Circle re-focused its business upon heavy building material in a number of new markets and in 1998, Alistair assumed the role of Regional Director responsible for Blue Circle’s operations in Asia, based in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. He was responsible for businesses in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Subsequent to the acquisition of Blue Circle by Lafarge in 2001, he also assumed responsibility for Lafarge’s operations in the region as Regional President for Asia.
In 2002, Alistair returned to the UK as CEO of Xansa, a UK based IT services and back-office processing organisation. During his 5 year tenure at Xansa, he re-focused the organisation to create a UK leading provider of back-office services across both the Public and Private sector and built one of the strongest offshore operations in the sector with over 6,000 people based in India.
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