Would the recruitment industry work better if employees were able to work flexibly?_

The recruitment industry in the UK is notorious for working long hours, including weekends and evenings. Hitting multiple KPI’s and sacrificing a work life balance is normal in exchange for financial success. Recently though, surveys show that employees put ‘flexibility’ at the top of their priority list when choosing a new employer and many recruitment firms have taken notice.

How would you react if your boss said you could have unlimited annual leave, no set working hours, and complete independence over what you wanted to do while working?

This kind of work place actually exists and is called a ‘Results Only Work Environment’ (ROWE), where essentially nothing matters apart from the results you achieve.

In a ROWE, employees can work whenever and wherever they want. Job performance is evaluated solely based on whether the necessary results are achieved by employees, not whether they’ve put in ‘face-time’ or ‘call-time’ at the office or have hit KPIs.

Implementing a ROWE within recruitment:

Case study 1:

A ‘Results Only Work Environment’ was implemented within a traditional recruitment agency. Employees had no set working hours, worked when and from where they wanted and managed their desks however they wanted to. They only had two KPI’s which they had to meet:

  1. To make a monthly gross profit
  2. To make a quarterly gross profit

It didn’t matter how they achieved them or even how many hours they put in to achieve them. The results from the case study, with recruiters working within a ROWE was fantastic. The manager of the recruitment agency said ‘Our working environment has been one of the biggest factors in securing new talent and investment. It’s something which differentiates us from the competition and alongside a great profit share and benefits package, it’s almost impossible to offer something better.

Case Study 2:

Launched in 2015, recruitment firm Sidekicks is living proof that you don’t have to sacrifice your values to get ahead.

Jessica Williams, Founder and Managing Director of Sidekicks explains why embracing flexible working has been a key part of her business’ success.

 “People within Sidekicks regularly work from home, some work part time, and one even works remotely from Paris, making the best use of technology to make that possible. My dedication to allow my staff flexibility has allowed me to hire the people I think are best for the job rather than being tied down to choosing candidates who can come into the office from nine-to-five every day”.

“We spend a lot of time talking about ‘work life balance’, but a lot of employers don’t seem to really want to give their staff the tools or the trust needed to achieve that equilibrium.

 “I honestly believe in ten years time we’ll all think it’s bonkers that we all had to get on a train and be in the same place at the same time every morning. When you put people in an environment where everything is geared towards convenience, support and common sense they will flourish – and so will your business as a result.”

So, what do you think of a Results Only Work Environment? Do you think you would thrive working in such a relaxed atmosphere or do you think employees need an office with a set structure to ensure they are reaching their fill working abilities?

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