Social Housing is An Awesome Career Choice – So Why Aren’t We Shouting About It?

Each year we have National Careers Week, and students up and down the country are visiting careers fairs, being bombarded with information from different organisations and probably feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by the thought of having to make informed choices about their future job prospects.

There are so many industries out there, but the thing is, the Social Housing sector will be missing a trick if we underestimate the outstanding qualities we have in abundance that the younger emerging workforce are seeking.

For instance, there are Four key things we know about today’s young adults:

1.           They want more flexible work conditions

2.           They are much more ethically aware

3.           They are actually less money focused than previous generations

4.           They are more transient

The Young are More Flexible!

The younger talent pool are seeking more flexible work conditions that fit around their individual lifestyle. They know they are less likely to stay on the same career path for the rest of their lives, are less likely to own their own home, and that technology now allows them to complete work in more adaptable conditions. Millennials are leading the way when it comes to new ways of working, with seven in ten (73 per cent) of those aged 18 to 34 who are working full time, doing so flexibly, according to the latest research from Timewise. And it’s not only the younger generation who are part of this new environment. Last year, almost nine in ten (87%) of the UK’s full-time workforce either currently work flexibly or would like to do so. 84% of the men surveyed work flexibly or wish to do so compared to 91% of women.

Karen Mattison MBE , Joint CEO of Timewise says “Today’s new research shows once and for all, that flexible working is a preferred way of working for both men and women at all stages of their working lives…Today’s workforce not only want it….they expect it. It’s time for businesses to get smarter and use flexibility as a tool to attract and keep the best people. Those who lag behind in adapting how they hire, will risk losing out on millions of skilled workers”. In a sector that has been starved of funding and subject to salary caps giving an unfair advantage to the private sector, Social Housing came tenth out of all UK industries ranking employment conditions, including flexibility, for working mothers and families, high above most private sector industries (Consultancy UK, 2017).

Ethics and Diversity Are Important

As well as demanding more flexibility, today’s young adults are more ethically aware, and socially conscious than ever before, and less money focused. Almost half now want to work for an organisation that has a positive impact on society. A recent study by Global Tolerance shows that 62% of young people want to work for a company that makes a positive impact, half prefer purposeful work to a high salary, and 53% would work harder if they were making a difference to others.

As society evolves the younger workforce are now seeking more diverse experiences as they navigate their work choices, rather than simply being focused on long term stability. They know the world is changing rapidly due to technological advances and faster communications. Social Housing has a hugely diverse set of career choices, with more freedom for young people to evolve their skill sets and direct career progression into a shape of their own choosing.

The UK Social Housing sector has the qualities the younger emerging workforce are looking for in abundance. Isn’t it about time we started shouting about it?

Alma Sheren is Head of Marketing and Communications for Greenacre Recruitment, and collaborates with the team and wider network on Leadership, Human Resources, Change Management issues and the challenges and transitions currently facing the UK housing sector.

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