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World Cup 2014: A Test for “Flexibility” in Recruitment

By June 12, 20146 Comments

As I’m sure you’re aware World Cup 2014 kicks off in Brazil this morning at 8am NZ time (awesome breakdown of the “teams to watch” here).  Which is 1) why this is getting posted so early and 2) why it is very short.  You see, I, like many other football fans, will be enjoying the spectacle of the opening game between Brazil and Croatia, free to bask in the sweet joy of neutrality whilst legitimately taking time away from my desk (well I’ve managed to legitimise it in my own head anyway).  But then hey, I am the boss.  Kind of.

I wonder what other recruitment bosses around New Zealand will think about this though.  There aren’t many recruitment businesses in this part of the world staffed exclusively with football soccer-shunning kiwis refusing to acknowledge the existence of round shaped balls unless it’s red, hard, and hurled at a set of wooden stumps around summer time.  The clamour for flexibility in the workplace has been rising in recent years.  Recruitment businesses haven’t escaped this and now will contain large numbers of football-mad imports (and an increasing number of kiwi football fans, it must be said) fidgeting around distractedly as the 7am and 10am kick offs roll out over the next 2 weeks.

How flexible is your firm willing to be?

Suck it up and relax the reins, I say.  You’ll get more benefit repaid in kind in the weeks to come I’m sure.  The recruiters you force to pin to their desks because “it’s core hours” or some other derivation of that theme, will only be keeping half an eye on the scores anyway, in between glances at jobs within other less rigid-minded firms too, I’ll bet 😉  Let them free, the good ones will use the cloud-based CRM systems and mobile phone technology you’ve surely tooled them up with anyway, right?  Right?

One thing to remember though.  And this is important.  Not everyone will necessarily want to watch the matches.  Some would rather stay at their desks, especially while the noisy football banter has exited stage left.  Some, and I find this hard to understand, couldn’t give a fishes tit about the World Cup.  They will, however, want to receive the same treatment as the recruiters who do like football and want to watch matches away from their desks.  It’s like the non-smoker grudge, amplified ten times.  You know the one where workers who don’t smoke bear a grudge against those that do because over the course of a week the smokers get an extra 3 hours+ of break time?  At least in that scenario the non-smokers satisfy themselves smugly with the health benefits.

The only threat to the health of football watchers will be the vomit-inducing glimpses of Christiano Ronaldo.  Especially if he scores a goal.

So please, recruitment bosses, think “flexibility” over the next couple of weeks, but make sure the non-football fans get a piece of that sweet flexibility pie too.  Or they will be revolting.  Like Ronaldo.

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.