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Adopting an Unconventional Business Model to Attract Top Talent

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These days, recruiting and retaining top talent is more competitive than ever. The Great Resignation has seen to that. This is a period in which more workers are leaving their jobs than ever before, and it means that businesses will have to shake up their models to keep their employees.

Monthly quit rates reached a peak in November and December of 2021 at 3%. Into 2022, these rates are still at near-record levels. In light of this data, unconventional business models and practices can be some of your best tools for combatting high levels of turnover.

That’s because unconventional business models often offer greater flexibility and work-life balance for workers. As a result, recruiters can more easily attract top talent. Explore some of these unconventional business models to get started.

What are some unconventional business models?

An unconventional business model is simply a business process that does not adhere to the standard expectations of holding down a job. Where a conventional model would feature linear production, nine-to-five work weeks, and strict hierarchical structures, unconventional models break these formulas.

From alternative work schedules to regenerative workflow and production, implementing innovative ways of conducting business make for better working environments. These are some of the unconventional business models you can adopt to attract top talent:

Alternative work scheduling

Alternative work schedules, or AWS, are flexible or compressed work schedules that allow workers to complete their obligations in a timeframe that suits both them and their companies. There may be designated hours that require employee presence and additional hours in which workers can voluntarily work.

In the case of a compressed AWS, working hours are kept within 10 days of a pay period. These options present opportunities for family-friendly work commitments that empower workers to balance all their priorities effectively. Businesses can build these policies with the help of guidelines like those used by U.S. federal agencies.

Asynchronous work

Asynchronous, or ‘async’, work is similar to alternative work scheduling in that it does not require all workers to be present or online at the same time. Instead, this working model focuses on individual goals and emotionally intelligent management practices to make production work over various time zones and employee schedules.

In the era of remote work, async business models are increasingly common. These offer benefits like increased autonomy and a decreased reliance on unnecessary meetings for streamlined productivity. With an async workflow, you can attract talent with diverse scheduling needs.

Circular production and distribution

It’s important to also consider the ways production models can be innovated to produce a more fulfilling working environment. A circular business model is one way to achieve this. That’s because circular models are all about distributing products that at some level are returned to the business for recycling and re-use.

While not every company will be able to institute these practices, the implications for attracting talent are important to consider. One report found that 65% of employees across the U.S., the U.K., China, India, and Germany want to work for a socially conscious company. Sustainability through circular distribution can get you there.

Freelance work

Freelance work represents paying workers for their labor as non-employees. They just issue an invoice at the end of the project or working period. This can have a host of benefits for both the businesses that utilize freelance workers and for the workers themselves. That’s because freelance work means independent workflows structured around specific goals.

By implementing elements of freelance work (even if you still employ workers full-time), you can build a competitive business model for job seekers. The data shows that 20% of full-time employers are currently considering freelance work, with another 31% having performed freelance work last year.

Regenerative business

Like circular production and distribution models, a regenerative approach to business focuses on aligning profit models with contributing value to an ecosystem. This means offering products and services that benefit people, economies, and the environment on a long-term basis.

Regenerative business models include producing biodegradable goods and coordinating supply chains to mitigate carbon emissions. Examples include the work of VF Corp brands in developing a regenerative rubber supply system. By implementing regenerative practices, you can attract talent that is committed to sustainability as a personal and professional value.

By incorporating one or more of these unconventional practices into your business model, you stand to open up talent pools and attract the best of the best. How? Flexibility and sustainability are among the top concerns of modern job seekers.

How can these models help you attract talent?

Understanding the impact an unconventional business model can have on your talent pool requires understanding how these factors affect the workforce. Work culture is more important than ever in the Great Resignation era, and your business model can influence this in a variety of surprising ways.

For example, the perception of your business’s role in society impacts your ability to select talent. You might miss out on your first choice for hiring due to a misalignment with worker values. You must consider work-life balance as well as social concerns since these statistics affect who you can hire:

  • 79% of workers believe that a flexible job improves work-life balance. This makes AWS, async, and freelancing positions more attractive.
  • 77% of full-time workers in the U.S. have experienced burnout. Working for a flexible and fulfilling business model can mitigate rates of burnout.
  • 72% of job seekers say they consider work-life balance in the job search. This makes highlighting unconventional features a priority for attracting talent.

With this data in mind, it’s time to turn to transformative business practices that can streamline your workflows and your ability to accommodate employees. From here, the right talent is just a recruitment strategy away.

Fortunately, you can adopt a business model built for attracting the best applicants to your open positions with the help of a few useful tips.

Tips for adopting a business model that works for your talent

Many of the strategies you can use to build a motivational company culture also come into play when making your company more attractive to job seekers. Follow these tips as you plan and implement an unconventional business model designed for employees:

  1. Create an open and inclusive working environment. Your employees should feel like they have a say in business operations because the workflow impacts their lives. Open up business model discussions to your entire team for more mutually beneficial solutions.
  1. Show employees you care. Open discussions are only effective if they lead to actionable change that reflects employee needs. Find feasible and lucrative ways to implement feedback and make work more flexible.
  1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for business model innovation. Changes to your business model should not occur simply for the sake of change. Ensure these changes start with goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  1. Make a genuine commitment to sustainability. An inauthentic approach to social and environmental issues will be reflected in job-seeker perception of your company. Ensure these policies make a real difference to attract more capable talent.
  1. Offer incentives with real value. Flexible schedules and fulfilling work can make all the difference in the desirability of a job. These conditions on top of competitive benefits and wages will ensure the top talent applies for your positions.

Securing top talent with unconventional practices

Embrace an unconventional business model as a means of attracting the best workers the global economy has to offer. Remote work policies make it possible to broaden your recruitment pool, but attracting top talent requires a focus on human needs.

Evaluate how unconventional practices elevate the working experience, then determine how your business model can change to implement them. The result will be a competitive working atmosphere designed to thrive during the Great Resignation.

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