2023 Recruitment Trends: Integrating (Not Just Balancing) the Professional and Personal Life

Feb 27, 2023

In this six-part series, we explore some of the talent acquisition trends to expect in 2023. A shifting job market has changed the way people think about their careers and progression opportunities, putting more power in the hands of the employer. As you explore these trends, consider how you can adjust your company’s recruiting and hiring practices to adapt.

We’re all familiar with the concept of work-life balance but taking it a step further can help boost your company’s recruitment efforts. The latest trend around the link between an individual’s personal and professional life refers to integrating the two.

What is work-life integration?

Work is a key aspect of life for most people. But that doesn’t mean it has to take over their entire life. Employees need and want to devote some of their energy and time to their personal lives, including their family needs and hobbies. The idea of work-life integration creates space for both personal and professional needs without drawing clear-cut lines between the two. An employee can take care of work needs while attending to personal duties.

Here’s a scenario to help this concept make more sense: Rita is a full-time, salaried employee who manages a team of five marketing professionals. As the marketing manager, she spends a lot of her time handling administrative tasks. A large portion of her day is spent in her email inbox, where she approves time-off requests, project ideas and concepts, and final drafts.

At home, Rita has three children who participate in various extracurricular activities. One of those children has soccer practice three days per week at 2 p.m. If Rita took the work-life balance approach, she might work from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., then take a break to transport her child to practice. Instead, Rita uses the hour-long practice to respond to emails and approve projects. Her personal life integrates with her professional life, allowing her to decide on the best time to take care of her responsibilities on both sides.

Work-life integration vs. work-life balance

Although the idea of balancing the personal side of life with the professional needs has been sought-after for years, several factors have caused a shift among many employees. Work-life balance involves creating firm boundaries, such as setting specific work hours and only performing work-related tasks during those times. But in today’s world, the balance approach doesn’t always work, especially for those with remote or hybrid schedules.

Both models hold their own benefits, and each individual will determine what works best for them. Someone with younger children at home might need to set their schedule based on when they have child care. An employee with teens could prefer to integrate their personal and professional lives as they may spend more time transporting their children to activities. If an employee doesn’t have children to care for, their scheduling desires could be based around other needs.

Offering flexibility

What’s important to consider is how your organization can offer flexibility to employees, regardless of their lifestyle preferences or situations. The option to choose working hours isn’t always available, such as for those who respond to inquiries during a specific timeframe or interact with customers. But in roles where the schedule isn’t vital to success, it’s certainly worth considering how to provide flexibility.

If an applicant feels like your organization is willing to work around their needs, they may be more willing to accept a position. And if that particular applicant is productive and highly engaged, they can quickly become an asset, regardless of when they complete their tasks.

When a company seeks to hire, offering the option for work-life integration might set it apart from others in its industry. This year, more employees and applicants are looking for ways to integrate their lives and set their own schedules. Providing flexibility in scheduling and work hours could be a key differentiator.

Did you miss one of our other posts on 2023 talent acquisition trends? Take a look:

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