Data reveals huge mismatch between the supply and demand of part time work

Insight collected by global flexible working directory Flexa Careers has revealed a worrying trend within the job market.

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Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, Flexa was born. CEO Molly Johnson-Jones and her partner/co-founder Maurice O’Brien became disillusioned with the lack of visibility on the market when it came to working conditions and culture.

They were inspired to create a platform that could officially accredit companies as having great flexible working environments and benefits.

Fast forward two years, and the flexible working job search platform has been collecting data from user preferences and over 40,000 job searches per month.

The result? Some startling stats and employment market trends.

One such trend is the disparity between the amount of people looking for part-time work, compared to the number of companies offering it.

The demand for part-time employment from Flexa’s users alone has increased by 468% in the last twelve months. Equally, 47% of people would like to see part-time options in their job search according to Flexa’s user preferences.

However, the data has revealed that fewer than 1% of roles are advertised as part-time, even though this may be an option, as the majority of companies are unwilling to disclose they are open to it.

Discussing the figures, Johnson-Jones says:

“A lot of women had to drop out of the workforce during the pandemic, to shoulder the burden of childcare and other household tasks.

“However since then many of them need to return to work, but with the current cost of living crisis coupled with rising childcare/nursery costs, the demand for part-time work has skyrocketed.

“Despite this, a lot of companies still aren’t embracing it. It’s still seen as something that many companies are uncomfortable with. So there’s a real mismatch on supply and demand there.”

With the hiring crisis already a major issue affecting businesses around the UK Johnson-Jones argues that SMEs are missing out on recruiting top talent, because of their misconceptions about part time working.

“Until companies embrace part time workers, they are unable to tap into a massively underutilised workforce, which is a real shame and a huge opportunity missed.”

Until companies embrace part time workers, they are unable to tap into a massively underutilised workforce, which is a real shame and a huge opportunity missed.

Massive increase in demand to “work from anywhere”

Another illuminating trend revealed by Flexa is the huge increase in the demand for “work from anywhere” schemes. Due in no small part to the impact of COVID 19, many workers have relocated or would prefer to work from multiple locations.

Talking about the desire for work location flexibility, Johnson-Jones says:

“We’ve seen demand skyrocket by 280% since the pandemic, which is huge. Back in 2020, it was around 8% of potential employees that demanded this way of working.”

flexa team

How small businesses can attract top talent

When quizzed about how small businesses can ensure they get the right person for the job, Johnson-Jones believes that it is vital available roles are offered on both a part and full time basis.

By doing this, companies can tap into a whole realm of potential employees that they may otherwise have missed out on.

Johnson-Jones also advises startups and small businesses to build an effective and attractive employer brand.

“One thing all businesses can do is to drop the belief that potential employees are just going to know about how flexible, and amazing a place your business is to work merely through bio osmosis.

“It’s not going to happen if people have never heard of your company, so what businesses need to work on is improving their employer brand and being more visible to people looking for work.

“If you build a great employer brand, people will want to work for you. Which in turn will make hiring more efficient, and more cost effective as you won’t be spending a fortune on reactive hiring.”

If you build a great employer brand, people will want to work for you. Which in turn will make hiring more efficient, and more cost effective as you won’t be spending a fortune on reactive hiring.

Accreditation can help you hire the right people

As well as the above, businesses can also request to be ‘flexified’ – a phrase coined by Flexa!

This means that a company has successfully passed the flexible working search directories’ thorough accreditation process.

Once accredited, a business is certified on the Flexa global directory as a flexible workplace. This helps attract all kinds of talent who wouldn’t consider a position unless they know the work conditions are right for them.

Discussing how the accreditation process works, Johnson-Jones says “The index we’ve created literally quantifies flexible working conditions based on a number of data points, aka the averages that we see in the market. We assess five key parameters in terms of flexibility, before determining whether a company makes the cut.”

In order for businesses to be officially verified on the Flexa global directory, they are judged on the below:

  1. Location – office/hybrid/remote first/fully remote
  2. Hours – core or asynchronous
  3. Global hiring capacity – one country or multiple countries, or hire from anywhere
  4. Benefits – dog-friendly offices/enhanced parental leave/ enhanced annual leave
  5. Key cultural indicators – do senior leadership lead by example?

After HR or senior leadership teams have answered these questions, Flexa verifies this information with employees in the company.

It takes a significant amount of quantifiable data – this can be up to thousands of employees – to make sure the information presented is true and verifiable.

Once accredited, a business is added to the directory and Flexa’s users are able to search for available positions based on the criteria they are looking for.

To find out more information about how your business can sign up to Flexa and get access to a whole new pool of talent, visit the Flexa Careers website.

Written by:
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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