Have you ever reached the point where you finally make an offer to your preferred candidate and then they tell you that they need flexibility in the 9-5?

There’s nothing more frustrating when you think you’ve found the perfect person for the job, you’ve spent time on the shortlist, had the interviews, done the reference checks, drafted the offer and then they say, “thanks but I can only take the job if I can work 4 days a week and 2 of those days I will need to work from home”. In some cases, this could be solved with an edit to the paperwork, but more often than not the flexibility the candidate wants does not align with the flexibility the employer can offer – especially so late in the piece – and so it’s back to square one.

This is a common story I hear time and time again. So much so that I’ll share with you what I share with my clients. This is why it happens and here are 5 reasons you should use a recruitment consultancy to get it right the first time. 

Recruitment for flexible roles

  1. Identify the required outputs of the role before you start advertising. Recruitment consultancies that specialise in flexible working will help you establish what your parameters are for flexibility within the role. This will help ensure you have a much clearer understanding of the outputs the person in the role needs to deliver. Your recruitment process then becomes inherently more accurate as you’re in the mindset of looking for the skills and competencies you need, rather than a ‘tick’ in the 9-5 box.


  1. Remove bias. Job seekers find it a lot easier to be open and honest about the level of flexibility they need to an independent consultant that supports flexible working, because the fear of judgement is removed. They can rest assured that the consultant is feeling out the appetite for flexibility at the other end and taking care of manager expectations.


  1. Appeal to a wider pool of talent. Having a clear idea of your parameters around flexibility for the role means consultants can target talent who sit outside the boxes of ‘full time’ or ‘part time’ categories. They can determine your ‘must haves’ from your ‘nice to haves’ and match your requirements with potential candidates from the outset of the recruitment process.


  1. Save time on re-work. Job seekers actively looking for new opportunities are faced with two options on job boards – ‘full time’ or ‘part time’. Highly skilled jobs rarely appear in the part-time category, so skilled professionals wanting any kind of flexibility are forced to apply for full-time jobs. They know there are constraints in making the commitment to 9-5 and are unsure about when is the best time to have that difficult conversation in the application process. If you get to the offer stage before the topic is raised, then you run the risk of having to repeat the process all over again.


  1. Make it a positive experience. Conversations around work-life balance and commitments outside of work are hard for people to have directly with an employer. They fear they will risk losing out on the job if they are perceived as being ‘less committed’ than other applicants. If they aren’t comfortable bringing it up, they could end up agreeing to a working arrangement that doesn’t suit them – thinking that perhaps they can negotiate something more suitable once they’ve ‘proved themselves’ and they run the risk of being unhappy from the outset.

Our rapidly growing database of candidates are all highly skilled professionals that fit outside the boxes of ‘full time’ and ‘part time’ and they aren’t afraid to tell us. This enables us to match their commitment to your requirements upfront before things get well…. awkward.

Remember it’s culture fit that counts. If you’re looking to expand your team or replace an existing role, get in touch with Freerange Works on 0800 04 FLEX and no matter the role, we’ll find you the best person for the job.