Flexible working is key for professionals in the North West

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A combination of changing candidate expectations and the lasting effects of hiring freezes during the recession, have combined to create a significant skills shortage across the UK.

While the Northern Powerhouse continues to draw businesses and professionals to the region, it is more important than ever for employers to recognise what candidates want in a role, to ensure they can stand out against competitors and secure top-tier professionals to help drive innovation and growth. 

Robert Walters and Manchester Young Professionals have partnered to survey professionals across Manchester for their insight into what professionals look for when considering new roles, and what is most important to choosing their next employer.

Download a copy of the full Manchester Career Lifestyle Survey here

Key Findings

  • 80% of professionals say the ability to work from home is important when choosing a new role
  • Good work life balance and working on interesting projects are most important to professional job satisfaction
  • 78% of employers do not reward employees who work overtime
  • Professionals in the legal industry work the most overtime
  • Lack of career progression and limited flexible working options are the most common reasons professionals look to move roles

Work-life balance is key

Work-life balance is extremely important to young professionals. Over 50% of professionals say that a good work-life balance is important to their personal job satisfaction, and is a key factor when considering new roles.

Offering competitive policies can help a company stand out to professionals looking to move roles.

“Increasingly, we have found that professionals in the North West value work-life balance when considering a role. While remuneration remains a high priority for some candidates, in many cases, as long as salaries are competitive, professionals will consider other aspects of a role when making a decision," says Lucy Bisset, Director at Robert Walters. 

Recognising & rewarding overtime

In most industries, approximately half of professionals stay late or take work home at least 1-2 times a week.

The survey highlighted that professionals in the legal (55%) and accountancy & finance sectors (52%) work overtime the most, alongside professionals at manager or senior executive level (86%). 

Despite this, the majority of employers (78%) do not recognise or reward overtime in any way (including overtime pay or time back in lieu). 

Employers who recognise the extra effort employees are making, and the additional value added, are more likely to retain key staff. 

Working remotely

Of the different flexible working option, working remotely (including working from home) is the number one desired flexible working option. 82% of professionals say that the ability to work from home is important to their career satisfaction - followed closely by flexi-time options (81%). While remuneration remains a high priority for some professionals, in many cases, as long as salaries are competitive, professionals will consider other aspects of a role when making a career decision

"By offering the freedom to work remotely, employers can gain access to these talent pools which would otherwise remain unavailable and are more likely to retain top talent whose circumstances may change making it difficult to always work on site," Lucy continued. 

Professionals also consider the option to buy extra annual leave (55%) and the opportunity to work part-time hours (20%) important in a role. Many employers don’t offer these opportunities.

Only 65% of employers offer the ability to work from home, and less than four in ten offer flexi-time schedules.

Find out more

Download the full Manchester Career Lifestyle Survey today.

Contact us for more information about the survey, or to have a confidential discussion about your career or hiring needs. 

About Manchester Young Professionals

Manchester Young Professionals is a social network for young professionals working in and around Manchester, bringing together people from a variety of industries/sectors. Whether you’ve lived in Manchester all your life or you’re new to the city, their events offer the opportunity to expand your personal and professional networks all in an informal and relaxed environment.

Learn more about the Manchester Young Professionals networking group and join today:




Email for more information at youngprosmcr@hotmail.co.uk

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