Alternative work models are continuing to grow in popularity, with over a third (37%) of the UK’s workforce preferring this type of work. This is according to ManpowerGroup Solutions’ latest Candidate Preferences Survey, for which more than 700 UK workers were surveyed. The number of workers seeking different work types has increased by 5% in the past year, with more individuals now opting for independence, greater choice and a better work/life balance.
At a time when half of large businesses in the UK report difficulties in recruiting, it’s important that companies factor how people want to work into their workforce planning if they want to attract and retain top talent in the years ahead.
The survey also reveals:
UK workers’ preferences for alternative work models include part-time work (22%), contract-based work (6%), project-based work (3%), gig economy work (2%), temporary (1%) and seasonal work (1%)
Those workers that are choosing alternative work models, do so to gain autonomy and control over how they spend their time:
Workers preferring gig economy work cited entrepreneurial pursuits (53%) as key to their decision
Respondents preferring project-based work referenced self-enrichment (41%), family responsibilities (41%) and variety in work experience (41%) as important
Jill Bassett, Workforce Solutions Director for ManpowerGroup Solutions, comments:
“Alternative employment models are growing in popularity and so employers must ensure that they understand this dynamic to create roles and opportunities that promote a happier, more engaged workforce. With more than one billion young people entering the global jobs market in the next decade, UK employers must ensure that they are in touch with all their workers’ needs.
“As our research shows, some UK professionals are turning to alternative work models to make it easier to manage and enjoy their personal time more flexibly. For many, the ability to balance spending more time with their family can make the difference between the type of employment that they choose. If businesses fail to get employee engagement right, workers may well look at other options.”
As part of this survey, ManpowerGroup Solutions has outlined the following five steps to help employers balance workers’ preferred ways of working more effectively:
- Do not take a ‘one-size fits all’ approach – with so much variation in how candidates want to work, employers should look to create workforce strategies that match the worker preferences in each market.
- Create more flexibility in full-time positions – by offering flexibility and balance in full-time roles, employers can increase the happiness and satisfaction of their staff, which in turn reduces turnover.
- Prioritise progression and upskilling – workers looking at alternative employment models also place a high priority on opportunities for career progression and upskilling. Don’t neglect their aspirations.
- Understand preferences for job searches – UK workers that prefer full-time permanent work are more likely to search for jobs on a company’s website. Employers should therefore keep this in mind when it comes to where they place their job adverts.
- Seek expertise from professionals – recruitment professionals can help employers anticipate and manage their workforce needs because they understand the available workforce and the demand for contingent workers with various skillsets.