Securing the best talent is fierce currently, irrespective of your industry or location.

Within the industries I serve - Building Products & Construction - I have, and continue, to work on senior roles that dictate a fixed location, with heavy presence at head offices.  Such positions include a Managing Director, Operations Director and Commercial Director. Post pandemic this has further compounded the available pool of target candidates to headhunt and attract from, based on:

  • Already, a need to be situated in an office during the working week dramatically reduces the number of candidates
  • Irrespective of whether a candidate resides within commuting distance of the head office / plant, they have become accustomed to a hybrid working model. I have had droves of conversations with candidates who, although interested in the position, wouldn't consider it if it means fulltime office presence

Backing this up, I recently read an article from evaluating the optimum time senior employees work in the office and associated output from that time.  Studying 1043 people, 83% of them felt more engaged, have higher retention rates and provide more meaningful, profitable growth to the business from working in the office twice a week.  This figure drops to 63% for those working a fulltime office arrangement, and 77% for three to four days of office based work.

Furthermore, the report points towards 74% of those questioned feeling that their positions are sustainable working for a boss who empathises with a work life balance.

Granted, I appreciate that some positions, much like the ones I've outlined above, dictate heavy office presence.  However, if your business does want to secure the best possible person, and quickly, joined up, practical thinking needs to be applied when scoping the role.  This, and a consistent message throughout the recruitment process - from your recruitment partners initial headhunt call / advertising campaign, through to what is communicated at interview stage - needs to be outlined. Maybe a phasing in period can be agreed, whereupon the candidate works from the location for the first six months, and then evolves into a hybrid model. This should be firmly outlined in any contract from the off, too.

And so, please pause ahead of demanding your new recruit simply needs to be office located, purely due to that's the way it's always been.  You're dramatically limiting your chances of success.