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Agents changing work priorities because of Covid says personnel guru

The head of one of the industry’s foremost recruitment organisations says the pandemic has caused people to re-evaluate priorities and change their idea of success.

Property Personnel managing director Anthony Hesse says the anxiety and strains of the last 12 months, along with working from home and restrictions on private activities, have contributed to people seeing the concept of success in a new light.

“Before Covid, employment success used to be judged by two simple metrics – salary and job title. If there was enough money coming into your bank balance and you had a suitably impressive description on your business card, then by and large you could consider yourself successful.

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“But the pandemic has changed all that. People have spent more time working from home and with their family, with an opportunity to focus on the aspects of life which really matter. Not surprisingly, when you are worried about protecting yourself and those you love from a deadly virus, concern over your job title rather fades into the background.

“This is not to suggest that salary and position are no longer important ingredients in the recipe for success; it’s just that other considerations have joined them in the overall mix.”

Hesse, whose company is the longest-established estate agency recruitment consultancy, says the blurring of the line between people’s private and professional lives during the Covid crisis means that the number of items on employee wish-lists has grown.

“In the past 12 months, there’s been increased awareness of the importance of physical and mental health - not only for individuals, but also for those around them. So, having an employer who shows due care and consideration to these issues, and has procedures in place for when things don’t go as planned, has become all the more important.

“Similarly, the simple idea of job satisfaction has come to the fore. In the past, some employers seemed to treat the concept as an optional extra, believing that staff were just ‘lucky’ if they enjoyed their work. Now it’s one of the ingredients which employees are actively considering when they review their current position, or when they apply for another.

“Even free time has become a factor. Having a flexible approach to working hours makes a huge amount of difference to employees. Offering a schedule which allows for working from home, or for children to be taken or picked up from school – perhaps offering two part-time positions in the same role to cater for them – is a massive bonus.”

He says Covid has revolutionised the way employees see success with salary and job title longer the sole criteria. And he concludes:  "Wise employers are already starting to recognise this.”

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