Recruiter Report: Planning for a Long-Term Hybrid Workforce

Posted by The Jacobson Group

In our conversations with insurance leaders, an increasing number of companies are sharing their plans to remain hybrid for the long term. In fact, our Q3 2023 Insurance Labor Market Study found 92% of insurers currently offer hybrid work, with about two-thirds expecting employees to be in the office at least one day per week through the end of the year.
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If your organization is aiming to maintain or implement a hybrid work model moving forward, there are several factors to consider. This includes the potential impact on recruiting efforts and expectations, especially now that many of today’s professionals are accustomed to fully remote work. In this edition of Recruiter Report we address the question, "How can you prepare to recruit for long-term hybrid environments?"

9 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Understand the impact on your candidate pool.
Recruiter Report Planning for a Long-Term Hybrid Workforce-01-1Hybrid work may sound like an effective compromise between fully in-person and fully remote environments. However, know that requiring employees to come into the office even once per week limits your candidate pool to your local market. At the same time, local candidates may have been abundant pre-pandemic, yet many professionals have since taken on fully remote positions with companies in other parts of the country. Outside of these blurred geographic boundaries, we’re also seeing candidates push back on positions that require going into the office at all, even when they live close by.

As you’re recruiting for open positions, ensure you are transparent with candidates – regardless of where they currently reside – about your organization’s longer-term plans. If you are marketing an open role as remote, but there are talks of returning to the office in a hybrid or full-time capacity, tell candidates that information up front to avoid surprises on either side.

9 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Consider how you can provide flexibility while achieving your goals.
Candidates are still largely seeking remote work and often requiring larger salaries if they’re being asked to come into the office on a regular basis. However, regardless of how much money you can offer, flexibility remains a high priority and common deal breaker for top candidates. In many organizations, it’s common for positions to be vacant due to individuals seeking more flexibility and fewer in-office requirements. This not only impacts your current workforce, but also may leave holes in your succession planning efforts.

Determine how you might be able to meet the needs of a broader array of professionals while still satisfying your in-office goals. For instance, perhaps you ask employees to come in for a few consecutive days a month and dedicate this time to in-person meetings and team building, rather than requiring everyone to come into the office once or twice each week. This achieves the same objectives, while also expanding your talent pool to different geographic locations. Additionally, consider letting local employees come into the office for in-person meetings when needed, with the option to return home to finish their workday. Focus on what you are trying to achieve and then develop your in-office requirements with those goals in mind. The more flexibility you provide employees, the more receptive they will be to coming into the office when necessary.

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9 Steps to Prepare for Vacay Mode-04Focus on young professionals and growing talent from within.
If you are intent on requiring at least one day in the office per week, consider revisiting your approach to recruiting and developing recent graduates and entry-level talent. Many insurers have sunset their once robust internship and trainee programs. However, reinstating these opportunities can cultivate a strong bench of local talent that can be grown into more senior-level roles. Young professionals are also more likely to appreciate the opportunity to be in the office, valuing the exposure, networking and hands-on learning experiences these in-person interactions provide.

Candidates’ mindsets have evolved in the post-COVID world; personal time is valued over commute time, and employers’ expectations may need to be reevaluated and reset. No matter how often you plan to require employees in the office, recognize the potential impact on your candidate pool and be as flexible and creative as possible in accommodating individual needs.

What has your experience been with recruiting hybrid talent? Share your insight in our LinkedIn poll below. For more recruiting best practices, view our past editions of Recruiter Report.

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