If you have flexibility as a personal attribute and the organisation fosters a flexible working environment, then this makes for a winning combination.
Employers want to recruit adaptable staff. Being able to demonstrate that you are adaptive and flexible is attractive to employers. They will feel more comfortable that you can cope with the changing nature of roles within the organisation and any challenges facing the business. Here are some tips for students, outlining where you may have gained flexibility and what you will need to demonstrate. When assessing adaptability/flexibility, recruiters may look for:
• Intellectual flexibility – keeping an open mind is important. You should be able to demonstrate that you can integrate new information and draw conclusions from it, and that you can switch from the detail to the big picture.
• Being receptive – particularly to change. Being able to respond with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn new ways to achieve targets and objectives is a key competency.
• Creativity – actively seeking out new ways of doing things and not being scared to improvise and/or experiment.
• Changes behaviour – show that you can adjust your style of working or method of approach to meet the needs of a situation or emergency.
At Victoria University we suggest you use the CareerHub ePortfolio to document evidence on your flexible, can-do attitude.
Work cultures that recruit and retain top talent are also often flexible to the needs to their staff and foster an environment of respect. Read this article by Forbes on five reasons why workplace flexibility is smart talent strategy.
As a new graduate employee you will want to know there is employer investment in your skills development. This may require employer flexibility around training and a commitment to providing continuous training. Many graduates want to feel they can contribute early on to the growth of the organisation and that their ideas will be heard. Innovative, flexible approaches to ideas generation and less emphasis on rigid policy will be attractive to graduates. It is also likely you may want flexible working hours at some point in your career and if you are born between1980 and 1995 (‘Millenials’) you will want greater flexibility, work/life balance and global opportunities, according to recent research within PwC. This research shows many Millenials are unwilling to commit to making work lives an exclusive priority, even with the promise of substantial compensation later on. They want more flexibility about shifting hours – as do other older employees. Organisations need to adapt to meet the demand for flexibility or they will find the talent leaving for greener pastures.