The key to attracting and retaining the best team

It’s more important than ever that recruitment strategies focus on flexibility. In a challenging economic environment, appealing to a traditional audience isn’t likely to bring the results needed for growth and success, and flexible strategies will provide the differential needed to attract and retain wider pools of candidates to help secure your success. 

Traditionally, the early years sector has attracted younger team members and Gen Z still makes up almost a quarter of those working in private nursery settings according to a 2022 Department for Education survey. That said, 77% of remaining team members belong to different generations who might hold varying attitudes about the workplace and it’s therefore no longer enough to hold a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to recruitment and retention. 

Working life has changed dramatically in recent years, and team members across all generations are now seeking companies with a flexible approach. Why would a candidate choose your company if you’re not offering the flexibility they need, and what are you doing to keep your talented team members at your company in such a competitive market? I’ve thought long and hard about these questions and how we can attract and retain the best team at N Family Club, to set us up for success and ensure we’re providing the highest quality of education to our future generations. 

We now have 26 different working patterns to accommodate various needs, and through our N Academy we’ve opened up training and development opportunities to everyone working 20+ hours per week, enabling our part-time team members to benefit alongside those working the more ‘traditional’ 40 hours per week. 

Last year, data from the Office for National Statistics suggested a ‘great unretirement’ trend emerging and that companies are looking to the millions classed as ‘economically inactive’ in order to fill their open roles. Before this, we partnered with Rest Less to offer apprenticeships for over 50s, acknowledging the value of lifelong learning. We’re offering flexibility to this group because we know working isn’t the biggest item in their diaries day to day, and that people have outside responsibilities whilst still needing to be in employment.

As a B Corp-certified organisation, we’re committed to environmental and social responsibility, aligning with the values of those seeking meaningful work. This is something we’re incredibly proud of and combined with our flexible working patterns and training opportunities, we’re confident we have something for everyone within the early years sector! That said, it’s important not to be complacent. 

Attracting and retaining the best team members requires more than perks and buzzwords; it demands a genuine understanding of individual needs. It requires you to know and love your team and to demonstrate this in everything you do. Our approach isn’t one-size-fits-all and we believe that no company’s approach should be – flexibility is key!

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