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Flexibility is key for attracting and retaining top digital marketing talent 

By Brett Knowles

Published on 15-02-2022

flexibility-to-attract-digital-talent

​Around the year 1021, the Viking king of England Canute the Great set his throne on the sea’s edge and commanded the incoming tide to halt. The tide, of course, ignored him, and dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person. 

Hiring managers who continue to resist the remote working trend are like King Canute trying to stop the tide. By futilely insisting on a return to the office, they will find themselves swept aside as talent flows towards competitors offering greater work-life balance. 

In this article, we’ll show you why flexibility has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have, the different kinds of flexible work models, and tips for attracting talent with the promise of flexibility. 

Flexibility is valued now more than ever by digital professionals and professionals all around. In a recent survey conducted by PWC of 35,000 workers, 72% of people desire a mix of remote and in-person working. Motivated by COVID-19 and the Great Resignation, employees are looking for opportunities that fit their unique needs and provide them with autonomy. Employees want to decide where and how they work best. Therefore, especially in the current candidate-driven job market, employers must offer flexible working models to compete and succeed amidst the changing work dynamics and expectations.

Work-life balance is difficult to achieve without a flexible work environment, which is (in turn) enabled by a company culture of autonomy and trust. Together, these elements add to a company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which serves as a competitive edge. 

Different flexible work model options employers can offer:

  1. 100% remote work allows employees to work entirely from home. There is no expectation or requirement to travel or to come into the office. E.g. A social media manager can work entirely remotely. 

  2. Predominantly remote work requires a little bit of travel or some time in the company’s office, but mostly allows employees to work remotely. E.g. A customer experience manager can come bi-quarterly to meet with other stakeholders.

  3. Hybrid work is an option for employees who wish to commute some days to work, and remotely work on other days. The benefit of a hybrid working model is the flexibility of meeting in person for specific collaboration efforts. 

Flexible work models empower digital professionals to achieve company goals  

In the transition to flexibility, companies should tie their EVPs to company goals and values. To maximize productivity, creating an environment of transparency, trust, and autonomy is a must. EVPs works both externally to strengthen employer’s reputation in the market as a desirable place to work, as well as internally in terms of helping any culture change, and amplifying and reinforcing desired behaviours and mindsets. 

Flexible work models should empower the employee to succeed in their roles. With autonomy, employees gain a greater sense of ownership and their commitment to excelling in their roles increases.  

RELATED: 8 ways to revamp your EVP

How to attract and retain digital marketing professionals in a flexible work model:

1. Invest in easy-to-use digital platforms and collaboration tools

Many digital marketing professionals interface with different stakeholders across the company. Whether it’s content planning, social media planning, marketing strategy, or just overall collaboration / project management needs, digital marketing professionals need the right tools and platforms to thrive. These tools help remote professionals connect, collaborate, and innovate. 

According to Forbes, “Highly aligned marketing and sales teams collaborate on nearly every piece of content. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, more collaboration can lead to better content and alignment down the road…  By removing communication barriers, the two teams will have more access to the other’s material and an easier time collaborating. This will save you money, reduce unnecessary work, and drive sales success.”

If you have invested in a cutting-edge digital tech stack, you may be able to turn this into a hiring magnet. Consider incorporating the tools your digital candidates could work into your employer advertising. 

2. Transform prior office perks into remote community building opportunities 

Transitioning to a remote environment means finding new ways to engage a team and build a thriving culture. While companies attracted talent in the past with in-office perks, remote managers can fill this gap by offering experiences that replace those casual office chats, mentoring and coaching opportunities, social connections, and more.  

3. Create a system of reward and recognition

Whether it’s a simple chat message of appreciation, or a reward system for high performers, recognising a job well done is important. According to research by HBR on how a little recognition can provide a big morale boost, “...helping employees feel more valued and supported is important not just for those individual employees' wellbeing, but also for the organization as a whole… Studies have shown that when employees are more satisfied with their organization, they are more productive and less likely to leave.”  It is in the interest of employers to create rewards and recognitions to retain top talent. 

Don’t try to fight the tide. Get flexible, or risk losing the chance to attract the best digital talent in 2022. 

Speak to one of our specialist digital recruitment consultants or send us a job vacancy to fill.