The 4-day working week has been getting a lot of publicity recently. With some companies signed up to a 6 month trial, and more companies embracing flexible working, what does this mean to you?
It’s been almost 2 years now since we all picked up our desks and relocated them into our homes. But now, as we approach the end of restrictions, the want to be back in the office is returning. However, not full time! According to a recent report, 57% of the UK workforce want hybrid working options. And rather surprisingly, and in a shift from last year, just 5% want to work from home full time. So, the physical workplace is making a return. And then the 4-day week conversation start!
We look at the pros and cons of a 4-day week and what it means for your IT teams.
PRO – The 4-day week and its impact on productivity
You may think that a day less in the office, means losing 8 hours of productivity. In the most cases, this is a total myth! Reducing the working week to 4 days has proven to increase productivity by as much as 40%! There have been numerous pieces of research and reports that support the reduction in the working week. The idea of having 3 days off during the week, instead of just 2, is to regain some work life balance. Your team are more refreshed, have better mental health and will be more productive as a result.
Did you know that the average person is only productive for 3 hours in an 8 hour day? 3 hours! This is the thinking behind a 4-day week. If your IT team is only being productive for 15 hours a week, cutting down to 4 days in theory makes them productive for 4 hours a day. You may think that this is a crazy concept. And we know that for a slim minority who can focus for 8 hours solid, a 4-day week just won’t work. However, for the vast majority it will.
TOP TIP – When someone is focused on their work, an interruption can cost them dearly. Did you know that when you are ‘in the flow’ and someone interrupts you, it takes you 23 minutes to get back into the flow? Whether it’s your emails, phone calls, or just general office chat, minimising interruptions will make your team more productive.
if you want to find out more about this subject, we highly recommend listening to the podcast – The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett. In particular the session with Johann Hari on How to fix your focus and stop procrastinating.
PRO – A key driver for talent retention and happiness at work
Flexible working has always been a key retainer. And none more so in IT teams, particularly when it comes to development roles. With reports of over 60% of UK professionals wanting to change roles this year, 24% site the lack of flexible working for their reason to move on. The labour market, and in particular IT, is experiencing a skills shortage like never before. The UK has lost over 600k people from its labour market, and this means that we need new ways to attract the best people to your business. Being able to offer a more flexible work pattern, or indeed a 4-day week is definitely a perk that will persuade people to not only join, but to stay with your business.
Introducing a 4-day week can also help increase loyalty within your business. When we have more time to do the things that we love, we become happier in ourselves. Therefore, giving your teams that extra time off will mean that they are more committed to you. Studies have shown that it also helps to reduce absence. Those long weekends really do have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
CON – It’s not for everyone!
The 4-day week is only possible if you business is able to adapt to this new way of working. How do you decide what day people have off? Is it all together, or would it be allocated on a rota. This is something to seriously consider. It won’t work for every business, just in the same way that it won’t work for every employee. Some employees are naturally more productive than others. Some are able to be productive for 7 or 8 hours straight! These are the people that a 4 day week would have a negative impact on.
They are your team members that will be more prone to working longer hours in the 4 days and increasing the likelihood of work-related stress. This is an important thing to manage as the wellbeing of your team should be a key priority in 2022. Longer hours can also mean that mistakes will be made too as people rush or get jaded from a long day.
Are you recruiting?
If you are recruiting into your IT team and want some insight and advice into how to attract the best candidates, get in touch. We’ve been helping companies attract fantastic IT candidates for over 20 years and we’d love to do the same for you. Get in touch with our team today on 0207 788 6600 / 01244 566 442
Interviews – they are the most effective way to reduce your shortlist, while getting to know your new potential employees. You’ve probably completed lots of interviews, however, the power really is now with the candidate. As candidate experience takes over the hiring process, there are a few ways you can ensure a candidate will leave wanting not only the job, but also a genuine desire to work for your company. It’s easy, when it comes to interviewing in IT, to focus purely on the technical skillset. But it’s so important to also test for personality and team fit. Doing this right can mean that you retain your new employee for a lot longer than if you only looked at tech skills.
Why it’s so important to conduct an effective interview in IT
Interviews give candidates the opportunity to get to know your company more. It’s their chance to understand whether you’re the right fit for them. You are essentially being interviewed too. Even if someone isn’t the one for the job, leave them with a positive feeling about your company.
Candidate experience is important. We live in an age where people happily share their experiences with others. Whether candidates have a positive or negative experience in an interview, they are likely to share this with their network; influencing whether you’ll attract top talent in the near future.
It is still a candidate driven market, particularly in permanent IT recruitment. Your competitors are fighting for the same talent. Therefore, it is important that your interview process engages candidates, making them feel a part of your company, even at this early stage
Before you hold your next interviews, try to reflect on what your current recruitment process says about you. Then make effective changes if needed to ensure you’re being viewed as you’d hoped.
Check out our top tips below on creating the best interview experience for your candidates and get your first-choice IT hire.
Make the first impression a lasting one – for the right reasons
First impressions on both ends of the spectrum count. A candidate’s performance influences their likelihood of moving through the hiring process. Likewise, your processes influences a candidate’s decision if they want to progress to the next stage.
Is your company culture is relaxed and creative? Make sure that your interview has the same feel. A corporate interview style could potentially put those candidates off who will best fit your culture. An interview is the best opportunity to give candidates a true and transparent insight into your company and values.
Avoid a ‘checklist’ approach to your interview
Some hiring managers find interviews a little awkward. If this is you then you’ll probably find it easier to follow a checklist when interviewing. You may have heard that this is the fairest way to compare candidates? Whilst this is true, it’s important to still inject personality. A list of questions can be disengaging and often leaves you knowing nothing about the candidate’s personality or team fit.
Of course, there are key areas to run through and certain criteria you are looking for. However, finding the most perfect candidate by simply filling all of your tick boxes is unrealistic.
Instead of running through the same process, interview after interview, let conversation flow. How else are you going to really find out what makes the candidate tick? Don’t let your interview process drive your candidates to your competitors!
Share your company culture and values
It is important that you share your company values, goals, and ways of working at the interview. The way you conduct business will influence a candidate’s decision. With that said, it’s best for candidates to understand your culture now, and whether it is for them. This is key for both parties. A candidate who fits your culture is likely to be more engaged, more productive and stay with you for longer.
During this part of the interview, it’s also important to share what happens outside of the office doors. What exciting projects are you involved in? Do you with within your community to give something back? Candidates are keen to secure careers with companies that share their values. An interview is the perfect place to start.
Additionally, when it comes to IT, lots of candidates are keen to keep learning and developing their skills. Are you an early adopter of up and coming technology? Or, are you always looking for ways that technology can continue to help your business thrive? IT candidates love to hear about the importance you place on technology and what it can do for your business now and in the future.
Engage candidates as much as possible throughout the interview
Another way to ensure your candidates feel excited about your job offering and workplace is to ensure engagement is continuous. Provide opportunities throughout the interview for questions, share your own experiences at the company, and really humanise the conversation.
An interview should be a two-way exchange. At the end of an interview, you should feel that both you and the candidate have a better understanding of each other.
If you’re looking for the best possible candidates for interview, get in touch with our team today. We specialise in permanent and contract IT recruitment, helping companies just like you source the very best candidates!