- The preference for flexible work options continues to gain traction: 41% of more than 2,000 employed adults in Spherion Staffing Services' "2018 Emerging Workforce Study" said they would only work for an employer offering agile work options. Fourty-five percent of employees said they are very or extremely satisfied with their work-life balance. The online survey also included responses from 704 HR managers representing companies around the country. They said the presence of contingent workers in their workforces grew from 15% in 2017 to 29% in 2018.
- Almost half (48%) of millennials said they will look for a new job in the next three months, and 56% begin their search in the next year. They cited dissatisfaction with current salaries, growth opportunities and office culture as the top motivators for their job change. Employees said their top concerns during their job search would be their experience in the hiring process, the number of perks, programs and benefits a company offers to help workers with work-life balance and their connection with a company's culture and values.
- Study results outlined reasons why employers like having a contingent workforce, which include the ability to adjust staffing levels based on economic volatility, protect their full-time workforce and maintain a higher-quality workforce. Managing and engaging a contingent workforce remains a top challenge for employers.
Other studies have shown that workers are on a continuous hunt for better job opportunities. Some employees aren't dissatisfied with their current jobs, but they are passively looking at other options. And a growing number are eyeballing employers' online ratings to decide if they'll apply for a job. In a tight labor market, employers that want to attract, engage and retain employees will need to work harder and get creative. Building and maintaining a winning brand, solid reputation and positive culture is critical, especially in the current labor market.
"In the current job market, with the unemployment rate the lowest the U.S. has seen in nearly two decades, finding the right mix of talent — and then retaining that talent — is crucial for a company," Spherion Division President Sandy Mazur said in a press release. "What employees are looking for and what employers need from their employees continue to evolve in the age of increased digitization and cultural and generational shifts."
As the Spherion study highlights, benefits count in the war for talent, and flexible work options have proven themselves powerful weapons, so to speak. Seventy-seven percent of workers, in fact, said they would more likely accept a job if they knew they could telecommute for even some of the time, a Robert Half study said. Options that allow employees to telecommute or work remotely may attract and retain talented workers, who may have caregiving responsibilities, want shorter commutes or need more time for personal duties during traditional office hours.
Employers must be sure to distinguish employees with flexible schedules from contingent workers. Contractors, freelancers and temporary workers supply and must not be managed as employees, as mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act.