Flexible Working in the ERP Sector

Flexible Working in the ERP Sector

“Work-from-home”, “remote working”, “hybrid work policy”, “flexible working”

These are all terms that I hear every time I am speaking to new candidates. These terms have come to the forefront of people’s priorities in recent times. Why though?

That seems to be an easy question to answer. Having been an ERP Recruiter since early 2019, there is a clear ‘before Covid’ and ‘after Covid’ shift. I can confidently say that before the pandemic, working from home for any period of time was NOT on many candidates’ must-have lists and was something that was definitely NOT offered by employers. However, since the Coronavirus pandemic that has definitely changed.

The obvious reason for this is that having to work remotely during the pandemic demonstrated to many people that they could be just as productive, if not more so, from home rather than the office. Additionally, the lockdown caused many people to look inwards and be more reflective about what they wanted to prioritise.During lockdowns, we were forced to stay within the same household for months, unable to spend time with loved ones who did not live with us. For many people, this moved ‘work-life-balance’ towards the top of their list.

Speaking from experience, I had an extremely tough time as I am from a very close-knit family. We are used to spending time with each other on a weekly basis. Being unable to see them as much as I did before the Pandemic really emphasized how important my family-time was. At the same time though, when we were all forced into those bubbles, my son was 18 months old and I got to spend so much more time with him, watching him grow. I would have missed so much of his development had I been in the office from 7:30am to 5:30pm. Both sides of that lockdown-coin emphasized how much that time at home meant to me. Now, with my daughter having just turned 1 year old, I am lucky to work for a business who allows me a hybrid, flexible approach. This enables me to see her grow and develop as much as I did my son. All of this is relevant as I am just one example as to why many people now view home working as an important step forward.

Of course, from a client’s perspective there are some industries that can accommodate their workforce being at home, but others can not (for example, it’s impossible for hands-on employees in manufacturing to be anywhere else but onsite). However, I have even heard of some candidates retraining their skills to start a slightly different career, to allow them more flexibility in their workplace.

Speaking from experience, the businesses that I am working with that are being the most successful with their recruitment, are those who have adapted. A good example to use here is a client of mine in Germany who has InforLN as their ERP system. Before Covid, one of the main parameters that I was given when supporting them with a vacancy was that they must live locally. This meant, as many positions at the time did, it would have been 100% office based. There was no one who lived locally with the skills they needed or anyone who was prepared to travel to the office five days a week. Since the pandemic, they have become more flexible because they understand that there has been a change. This shift in policy has allowed them to hire a Head of ERP Development and a Senior ERPDeveloper, both of whom would have been unattainable before the pandemic as they lived in completely different states. An ability to adapt sees businesses such as this one continue to thrive and grow.

I have also seen recently, a lot more people open to working for Consultancies/ERP Partners. There used to be a very clear divide due to the amount of travelling and work that was expected of you compared to working for end users. However, now with the possibility of working from home and flexibility, consultancies have become a considered option that was not there before. A lot of clients are happy with video workshops and trainings, and now any travelling to the client sites are considered “onsite days”. Travelling has reduced and working from home is accepted! Some of my candidates who have made the shift to an ERPConsultancy are travelling less than their previous work commute for an enduser.

Regularly on LinkedIn, I see so many blogs and opinion pieces on ‘Work from home’. It is clearly a topic that divides people. There is at least one ‘Pros and Cons of Working from Home’ article that I see every week and most recently “Will the cost of living crisis force people back into the office”. Despite the topic being a divisive and regularly debated one, remote / hybrid working will be around for the foreseeable future, especially in the ERP space. Therefore, it is vital for businesses, where possible, to plan and continue to adapt to keep up with their competitors in the market place.

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