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Amid a whirlwind of sourcing leads, scheduling interviews and negotiating salaries with candidates, recruiting professionals are typically able to maintain a healthy work/life balance, according to Glassdoor’s new report on the 25 Best Jobs for Work/Life Balance.
Talent acquisition specialist ranked No. 3, with a work/life balance satisfaction rating of 4.0 out of 5. Recruiting coordinator was ranked No. 6, with a 3.9 work/life balance rating.
Data scientist took the top spot with a rating of 4.2.
To qualify for the report, job titles needed to have at least 75 work/life balance ratings on the Glassdoor website over the past year from a minimum of 75 companies and also were required to have the words “work/life balance” or related terms in at least 15 percent of their reviews.
“Recruiters can work from almost anywhere at any time thanks to technological innovations,” said Heidi Parsont, president of TorchLight Hire, a Washington, D.C.-based recruiting and staffing firm. “This provides a high degree of flexibility that isn’t always found in other jobs.”
The ability to work virtually and seamlessly with the market is a major differentiator for professional search consultants, said Jeff Kaye, co-CEO of Kaye/Bassman International Corp., an executive search and recruitment firm based in Dallas. “A search consultant with Internet connection and phone can conduct their business from anywhere in the world. There are people at our firm who spend part of the year in the U.K., the Colorado Rockies, beach resorts and the like.”
Recruiting is the art of connecting, said Rachelle Falls, a Phoenix-based technical recruiter and founder of Sun Strategies, a consulting firm focused on candidate engagement across social platforms. “You connect when it makes sense, not when the clock strikes a certain time referenced on your time sheet.”
This means it’s typically not a 9-5 job, as candidates sometimes need to talk before or after the workday, Parsont said. “It’s a client-driven, relationship-based profession which requires you to be readily accessible to your clients and candidates when they need you. But with a little careful planning and time management, work/life balance can be achieved.”
The lack of micromanagement and internal politics in the recruiting profession appeals to Kirk Sears, president of Precision Metrics LLC, an executive recruiting firm based in Tampa, Fla. “You have your portfolio of clients, and your depository of professional candidates which you are seeking. If you are good as a recruiter then you will be left to build your practice, and over time the business becomes easier as you build a relationship with both clients and candidates. There isn’t a big need to work after hours or the weekends except for the occasional cross-time-zone projects.”
Falls has found that when self-employed or working for a firm that values work/life flexibility, “there absolutely is a possibility to make your own schedule, and as long as you’re adapting your hours to the firm or the candidates you’re calling on, you can make it work.”
Organizations that value traditional work hours and face time in the office “may in fact be limiting your ability to reach out and connect with candidates. The good candidates are being snatched up by recruiters who are working flex hours while you’re stuck in that 9-5 box,” Falls said.
Employees Less Satisfied with Work/Life Balance
Overall work/life balance has decreased in recent years, according to Glassdoor, with employees across all industries reporting an average satisfaction rating of 3.2 out of 5 in 2015, down from 3.4 in 2012 and 3.5 in 2009.
According to an October 2014 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, HR professionals predicted that telecommuting and other flexible work options would increase during the next five years, yet nearly 75 percent said that managers do not support their workplace flexibility goals.
Of the 39 percent of respondents who said their organization offered telecommuting, more than one-quarter (26 percent) said it increased worker productivity, while almost one-third (32 percent) said the absenteeism rates of those who telecommute decreased.
“Most search professionals operate in true meritocratic environments, so their success is linked almost exclusively to results,” Kaye said. “So if a person who comes late and leaves early gets better results than a person who works all day and night, then he will still earn more.”
More than one-half of respondents said flexibility had a positive impact on attracting and retaining employees, turnover, absenteeism rates, productivity, quality of employees’ work, quality of employees’ personal lives, employee health, company culture, company public image, and employee morale and job satisfaction.
“The talent war is back on and as such, recruiters are in demand by clients and by search firms,” Kaye said. “Those search firms that want to keep their successful recruiters must ensure they have phenomenal work environments, so the flextime, job-sharing and incentive trips that are found in tech firms are also found in many recruiting organizations.”
Glassdoor’s Top 10 Best Jobs for Work/Life Balance
Technology, marketing, recruiting and data jobs comprise Glassdoor’s list. The sole exception is substitute teacher, which ranked fifth with a work/life balance score of 3.9.
Some jobs received the same work/life balance score, so Glassdoor then differentiated—and assigned a higher spot on the list—to the jobs that paid more. The top 10 list:
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him @SHRMRoy
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