Recruiting, Talent

How Entrepreneurs Use Flexibility to Attract Top Talent

We talk a lot about the importance of thinking beyond salaries and bonuses to attract top talent. Employees want to have top-notch benefits, as well as a comfortable, friendly work environment. Part of that includes flexibility, such as working from home, generous paid time off (PTO), and more.


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Generally, we consider these types of benefits to be within the purview of well-established businesses, but that’s changing. As one expert says, workplace flexibility can be effective at attracting top talent for, well, entrepreneurs.

Flexibility Attracts Talent

One real-life case study centers on Manon DeFelice, founder of executive search firm Inkwell, who tells Entrepreneur that after having her third child, she was struck by how hard it was to work a traditional job structure around family life and realized she wasn’t alone. “Research has shown that career women who leave the workforce for three years or more will lose up to 46 percent of their earning power. They’re full of ambition, but they can’t manage a 9-to-5,” DeFelice says.

Case Studies

The case studies she included focused on the following companies and benefits of added flexibility.

  • File-sharing service WeTransfer brought workplace flexibility culture from its home base in Amsterdam to its Los Angeles office, with the objective of finding executives willing to work just part-time.
  • Online auction platform Paddle8 found that by providing flexible options like being able to work from home part-time, it could attract executives for a much smaller salary than it would demand in a traditional work environment.
  • Crunchbase used Inkwell as a referral source for people to assist in diversifying its executive team. It found that by offering flexibility around family life, it was able to attract and retain top candidates.

The benefits of flexible working arrangements may be particularly well-suited to the agility required by entrepreneurial ventures. These companies are often rapidly changing and have less of a need for traditional, 8 to 5, Monday to Friday schedules that are often required by more established companies.
Why not use that to one’s advantage by attracting top talent that values flexibility? Regardless of company size, industry, or geography, flexibility is in high demand.

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