It’s becoming more and more common for people to list flexible work as one of their most sought-after benefits in a potential job. According to some studies, millennials – who make up a significant, growing portion of the workforce – are even willing to sacrifice for it.

According to these sources, 22% of millennials would work more hours and 82% would be more loyal for a job that has flexible work options. On the flip side, 34% say they have already left a job because their employer did not offer this benefit.

This is becoming as important to some candidates as salary or health insurance. It’s a relatively new ask from employees, and businesses are trying to adapt accordingly.

But unfortunately, this is not possible for every job right now.  Tight deadlines and processes make it difficult for many engineering and manufacturing professionals work from home, set their preferred hours, and enact other flexible options. But with the rising implementation of automation in factories and as processes continue to be more efficient, we just may see more room for flexible working in this sector.

What To Do Until You Can Implement Flexible Work Options

The gap in the market and the slowing number of graduates entering the industry has been cause for much concern among business leaders in engineering and manufacturing. While the industry may lack the competitive advantage of flexible working in some areas right now, there are many other benefits and rewarding opportunities to be had that should be made known to all.

There is a real need to revive the image of the engineering and manufacturing industry and while we are seeing an increased focus on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects at school. There should also be more education surrounding the career paths available.

It is important to focus on the opportunities there are for professional to make an impact in your company, whether that be in terms of the role they play in the company or the wider impacts the business has on the community.

In fact, The Deloitte 2017 Millennial Survey highlights that “millennials feel accountable, to at least a fair degree, for many issues in both the workplace and the wider world. However, it is primarily in and via the workplace that they feel most impactful.” When combined with findings from the 2016 survey, that a strong sense of purpose, beyond financial success, directly links to higher levels of employee satisfaction and loyalty. By offering a clear vision and path for success in a role, you can build a more productive and loyal workforce which will in turn attract new talent.

Employee upskilling and training are other factors that are often overlooked, but to professionals looking to grow their careers they are attractive benefits. As highlighted above, development and career progression are key retention factors for professionals, so be sure you are offering both your existing staff and potential employees the opportunity to upskill in their roles, develop their understanding of new tech, and provide the environment for growth by offering mentorships or coaching where possible.

If you would like any more information, or to discuss how we can help with your recruitment needs, reach out to one of our expert recruiters.