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July 08, 2021

Attracting Talent Without Remote Work Options

We recently shared our key takeaways on attracting talent post-pandemic, leveraging data from our surveys of 2000+ experienced professionals and 100+ employers

The research shows a clear mandate — the majority of candidates (84%) want some remote work options post-pandemic. In fact, certain employers have seen spikes in applications after adding a new remote work option.

Although candidates prefer remote flexibility, it is inevitable that some employers will still be unable to offer it. In this guide, we outline steps employers can take to attract and retain talent when remote work is not an option.

(1) Allow for flexible working schedules.

In the absence of remote flexibility, candidates seek work flexibility in other ways — and being able to set their own schedules is one of them.

72% of candidates rate flexible working schedules as a highly important factor in accepting an offer from an employer requiring a full return to office.

Luckily, there are a variety of options from which employers can choose to build flexibility into schedules. 

For example, a compressed work week would make a job opportunity more appealing for 71% of candidates. Iceland recently experimented with a shortened work week and had stellar results — including no change in productivity and less employee burnout.

(2) Offer a competitive PTO policy.

For 3 out of 4 candidates, a competitive paid time off (PTO) policy is a highly important factor in the decision to accept an offer from an employer requiring a full-time return to office. 

“The thing that is most important is flexibility,” one candidate said in an interview with Veris Insights. “That’s what I hope that we can take from this whole experience … to follow your own schedule in a way that is empowering.”

To create benefits packages that resonate with candidates, companies’ PTO policies must be competitive by market standards. 64% of candidates rate at least 3 weeks of paid time off per year as a competitive benefit. 

But while more paid time off is certainly a compelling benefit, there are nuances to consider. In particular, creating a workplace culture that supports taking PTO.

“[I would like] unlimited PTO, but with a company whose culture where they actually take PTO,” another candidate said. “Because I know that a lot of companies have unlimited PTO, but the culture is that you actually don’t take it.” 

(3) Provide parental support.

Employers should also consider the weighty impact of working schedules on parents, and design their benefits packages appropriately. 

“My kids are in daycare, but they follow the schedule at the public school,” one candidate explained. “They dismiss at 1 pm, but sometimes it’s remote … working from home allows me to accommodate my work-life situation.” 

Offering work flexibility can make all the difference in parents being able to successfully manage their careers and childcare.

Over one third of parents (38%) report that a childcare stipend would be a highly important factor in accepting an offer from an employer requiring a full-time return to office. Even more parents (54%) rate paid parental leave as a highly important factor.

(4) Compensation

Although it is not always feasible, perhaps the most obvious piece of an attractive total compensation package is a higher salary. In-person employees must commute to work, which consumes both time and money (e.g. increased car insurance, gas, parking, public transportation fare). 

In particular, Veris Insights research finds that a salary increase is more likely to attract entry-level employees and Black/African American candidates than relative peer groups.

Candidates’ preferences are leaning towards remote work flexibility. Companies must consider the role that other job benefits play in creating a compelling offer in order to attract talent without remote work as an option. 

Start acting on candidate insights in real time.

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