How to attract and retain talent in a hybrid working environment

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work. Today's employees are looking for flexible working models when applying to new roles, and businesses need to adapt to this demand to attract and retain the best talent. This is according to Nick Riggott, Country Sales Director, UKISA at Mitel.

Nick Riggott, Country Sales Director, UKISA
Nick Riggott, Country Sales Director, UKISA

Research from recruitment website, CareerBuilder has shown that jobs that allow employees to work remotely received seven times more applications than in-person roles.

Flexible working, coupled with high-quality collaboration and networking tools, are sought-after work ‘benefits’ that can help businesses attract employees from anywhere in the world, creating an important market advantage. Being an active player with deep expertise in the modernisation of companies, the channel is well placed to compete in the war for talent.

This is crucial in an environment where many sectors are currently experiencing growth. While the pandemic has put the well-being of employees at the centre, recruiting the best talent today represents a key competitive advantage for businesses of all sizes. The IT channel for example is greatly dependent on tech talent, one of the most in-demand segments in the labour market. However, 70 per cent of the tech industry currently experiences skills shortages, according to recruitment company Robert Walters, with high-calibre tech specialists in-demand to help firms adapt to a post-pandemic reality.

In this highly competitive market environment, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many businesses are looking to offer more work flexibility by adopting a hybrid working model where employees can combine working from home with working from the office. This raises the question of what Channel businesses can do to solve the challenges that come with hybrid working and ultimately get it right?

Designing an employee experience like no other

Working from home easily creates a dilemma around when the workday begins and when it ends each day. The blurring of boundaries also creates considerable challenges for our work-life balance and can lead to employee burnout. To prevent that, businesses need to ensure that employees can do their work efficiently by providing them with a seamless employee experience grounded on the best possible technology they can use.

Unpublished data from a TechAisle survey, commissioned by Mitel, has found that 75 per cent of respondents agree that better communication and collaboration tools can help them do their job better. Offering them suitable productivity and collaboration tools can help employees stay more engaged and satisfied regardless of their location. Ultimately employees need to be empowered with the flexibility to work smarter, not harder, from anywhere.

Redefining ‘the workplace’

While organisations need to support their employees at home, they also need to re-assess their view on the physical workplace. The office is no longer the place where all work happens but a physical hub where employees go for important meetings and ad hoc working days away from home.

Businesses, therefore, need to ensure a seamless transition from home to the office environment and vice versa while also evaluating the impact of hybrid working on processes, technology capabilities, and organisational issues such as employee training, team collaboration, and overall communication. In these new working environments, it is crucial that businesses maintain a culture of trust and togetherness and encourage their employees to regularly connect both in the office and virtually through video meetings or away days.

Whoever creates the best hybrid working environment wins the war for talent

To be able to succeed in their workforce transformation strategies as well as attract and maintain the best talent, businesses need to prioritise the wellbeing and engagement of their employees. Only by focusing on their needs can they nurture a thriving work culture and engaged workforce that will ultimately lead to business growth. This can be achieved through the right use of technology underpinning the key areas of the re-definition of the workplace that we are seeing today - from hybrid working and digital collaboration through to data-driven decision making and even skills and training.

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