When you’re planning to recruit a new flexible member of staff, where should you begin? We share our top tips for flexible job design…

  • Develop an accurate job description – this will help you identify what elements of the job might affect the number of days, hours and format of the flexible pattern.
  • Define the flexible format – there are a variety of flexible options so which one will be best for your role so you don’t have to compromise on delivery or quality?
  • Estimate the volume of work – if the job already exists but the scope or workload has changed, you may be able to estimate the hours required for part-time hours. If you’re unsure, discuss this with candidates during interview as they may have some flexibility if these hours change over time.
  • Make sure it works for the team – the part-time presence of a new employee may affect productivity of the existing team. Discuss the flexible format with your people in advance of finding your new recruit – this will help with job design, induction and productivity.
  • Find the right person for the job – competency, experience and personality are more important than the number of hours worked. Employers often find they can access a higher level of skills and experience from the professional part-time working community, so make sure you take advantage of it.
  • Choose a candidate that really wants flexible work – you don’t want your new hire to quit early into the flexible job, so make sure they’re not filling the role as a quick fix. Ask probing questions at interview or better still, screen before they get to interview.
  • Take advantage of the talent available – for many professionals seeking flexible work, career progression and salary diminish in importance as suitable hours and location increase. It means you can attract a higher calibre of experienced people. Don’t let worries about ‘too senior’ or ‘will get bored’ get in the way of your selection process.
  • Prepare for the interview – some employers mistakenly fear that balancing family and work may affect flexible job workers’ reliability. If this worries you, a well-managed interview will help you understand a candidate’s desire for the role and strength of their capabilities – making questions about children unnecessary (as well as illegal!).
  • Get the terms and conditions right – reduced hours contracts can affect many entitlements, so work out what benefits will be associated before you interview or offer the job.
  • Agree to review flexibility in future – for the first few months of a role, there may be some adjustments to the days and hours worked. If both parties are prepared for this, it will help down the line so make sure it’s mentioned at the outset.

Start here with flexible job design…

As a flexible and part-time recruiter, we have a wealth of experience in helping businesses to create new job specifications. If you’d like to talk about recruiting a new flexible worker for your business, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

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