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What's changed with notice periods

Posted 4 months ago by Rebecca Thomas
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The average notice period is around 4 weeks, however we’re starting to see a development in the market for longer notice periods of anything between 4-12 weeks.

Historically these longer periods have been reserved for high profile figures within organisations, including managers and directors whose roles may take longer to backfill and train new starters within. Yet, we’re seeing a trend for more junior level employees being required to work these longer notice periods.

Why notice periods are getting longer

Many employers are finding the talent market to not be as buoyant as originally considered. Though many have assumed the market to be full of job seekers following redundancies during the second half of 2020, they’re actually being greeted with the inverse.

The recruitment market is currently in short-supply of good talent and is compounded by two issues. Firstly, those who were made redundant last year have since been recruited into new roles and this mass movement of talent has created a shortage of otherwise prospective job seekers. Secondly, candidates are still having hesitancies about the stability of the job market and may be delaying searching until later this year.

This is creating the perfect storm of demand vs supply, where it is taking longer for businesses to find the right people. As a result, current employees are being asked to work longer notice periods to ensure the business is covered whilst they’re searching for a replacement.

Why longer notice periods aren’t a good plan

Sometimes a longer notice period can work out well, but nine times out of ten because the employee is leaving, they may become disengaged with the business. Many will get their work done, but they won’t go the extra mile like a new worker because there is nothing in it for them - a strong negative for businesses looking to undergo growth and expansion this year.

Alternative options

If the employee is likely to be disengaged, what is the benefit of keeping them on longer? Yes they know the systems and how the business works, but what is received in return?

For businesses whose minds are drawing a blank, why not look into pulling in a freelance or temporary worker to cover the gap whilst searching for a more permanent solution. Allowing business growth and projects to continue by using someone who is adaptable and agile in new environments and situations.

We’ve spoken about the benefits of using a temporary or freelance employee lots, but if there is something else on your mind which you would like to ask, feel free to reach out to Rebecca.