The birth of the roving recruiter

Flexible working in recruitment

When re:find started out, I worked on my own in a mixture of hotel lobbies, coffee shops, David Lloyd gym members areas, private members clubs, a friends office space and in my own home office.

It makes you realise the importance of 2 things. Plugs and free WiFi.

Just kidding! Well, not really. Anyone who has worked remotely will know that on a day-to-day basis, it’s mightily hard to get anything done without those. Saying that I think my next business venture should be a TripAdvisor-style app, which reviews UK plug availability.

What I’m really talking about here is freedom and work-life balance.

I previously worked in a large firm with an 8-to-8 culture. Apparently, this has changed a bit over the years to 8-to-7, but that could just be hearsay.

Most recruitment firms are still very much in the dark ages when it comes to all of this. They say they do flexible working. But what they really mean is, you can leave at 5:30pm, if you have hit your KPIs that week. It’s hardly revolutionary.

As we enter the ‘Gig economy’, it seems that there is no reason why recruitment firms couldn’t be more open to different ways of working. With the introduction of cloud-based systems, mobile phones and a variety of social environments to work in. In many ways, it’s never been easier to build flexibility into a recruitment model.

As mentioned in a previous blog, it all comes down to trusting people to do the job they are paid to do and I think a lot of the larger recruitment agencies still lack a lot of that. Which is a pity for a people business.

Clearly, there is a need to communicate regularly, to build a culture and to meet up as a team. But we are in the digital age and this can be done in many ways. With the use of social channels such as Skype, Google Hangout and Yammer.

Will the large agencies ever change or is this is the way recruitment is going? Are we all soon going to be roving recruiters?

To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

Workplace flexibility: Is it worth implementing?

Workplace flexibility

Many companies have integrated flexibility into their employees working life, but there are also companies that have not. This begs the question as to whether it is worth implementing flexible schedules or are more hassle then they are worth?

Flexible working is a working arrangement that gives an employee a way of working that suits their needs. This could be working from home or even having flexible start and finish times.

It has been brought to the forefront recently, that men have been given more ‘workplace flexibility’ than women. In an article recently published by HR Magazine, research showed that men are able to work six hours per week flexibly, whilst women are just getting three hours.

Given the rise of Generation Y and their desire to work to live (rather than living to work) it makes us question why more employers have not implemented flexible working?

Here are some of the arguments for and against:

Benefits of Flexible Working
More productive
Increase of morale
Enjoyment of work
Control over schedule
Reduction of tardiness
Increases employee loyalty
Reduces employee turnover
Reduction of employee burnout
Allows for a good work/life balance
Reduction of fuel costs and commuting time & stress
Reduces fixed office costs

Setbacks of Flexible Working
May not suit everyone
Managers may find it hard to adjust
No separation between work and home
Difficult to tell if someone is actually working or not
Some people may take advantage of the working arrangement
Are business systems capable of managing a remote workforce

As you can see from the two lists above, at face value, the benefits may seem to outweigh the drawbacks, which is why many businesses have already implemented this type of working practice.

However, in reality, it is still a big change for many employers who have not yet seen the benefits of this or for those who are change resistant and adopt more traditional working practices.

In our view, this will undoubtedly change with time, as one generation leaves the workforce and another takes prominence. The businesses that succeed in the new ‘gig economy’ will likely be the employers who get this quickly as they will become employers of choice and will win the war for talent – in what will be an interesting market for businesses and its employees alike!

To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.