Remote Working Redefining Talent Acquisition: Navigating the New Normal in Luxembourg

We don’t need any introduction to the Covid pandemic. It’s immediate impact, by necessity blurred the lines of our home and place of work. It forced us to without planning or consultation to extend the sanctuary of our home lives and to form makeshift workplaces. Many of us struggled with this, others found a sense of liberty in its imposition. What is for sure though; Pandora’s box has been opened. It’s knowledge has forced us as employees and employers as to ask big and ongoing questions of what we are willing to accept as the right balance of home work and office life .


Remote working has emerged as a game-changer in the world of talent acquisition. As organisations continue to adapt to a new normal, the traditional boundaries of recruitment have blurred, opening up a world of opportunities for both employers and employees. In Luxembourg, renowned for its culturally diverse international business landscape, remote and hybrid working has reshaped talent acquisition strategies. However, it seems that despite this evolution a recent survey conducted by JLL, identifies that there remains is a disconnect between the needs of employees and the expectations of employers when it comes to hybrid and remote working.


Remote & Hybrid Working in Talent Acquisition:

Remote working can offer, in context, numerous benefits for the acquiring company. Employers are able to expand the talent pool by allowing access to a diverse range of candidates beyond geographical constraints. Moreover, reduced office occupancy (said to be at less than 40% according to one study) promotes cost savings through reduced office space requirements and direct overhead expenses. As a side note there has been a tangible shift in the Luxembourg market’s office real estate sector; patterns and trends are proving this shift in demand. There are arguments to suggest that a generous home working policy also significantly increases employee satisfaction and ultimately engagement. A content workforce, is, after all a productive one.


Challenges and Considerations:

Yet, despite its benefits, remote and hybrid working poses challenges for talent retention. One of the primary concerns is maintaining team cohesion and fostering a sense of belonging among remote, and frequently at home-office workers. Moreover, remote working may blur the boundaries between work and personal life, leading in some scenarios to reduced productivity if not managed effectively. Addressing these challenges requires the attention of leadership and the implementation of a sensitive and ever evolving approach to talent acquisition and remote work management.


Perspectives in the Real World

There are polarized schools of thought on this topic. However in our observation –whilst almost all organisaions now require employees to be present in the office, by our estimates, c.70% of firms in the Luxembourg funds and wider financial services market have opted to pursue a hybrid policy, typically with a maximum of two days per week at a home office. Yet despite the direct reduction in some costs, often this arrangement is made not by choice, but by a sense of necessity.


I speak to leaders of Luxembourg organisations for a living. There is a common quandary often summerised as follow: “I know that overall, my business benefits from a physically present workforce, however the resultant loss of my competitiveness to attract talent in a challenging labour market is forcing me to reluctantly offer a hybrid working model”. From the employer’s perspective, there is still a real concern that the hybridisation of work will frustrate both direct productivity and the cultural and social fabric of the organisation. This tells us that despite the headline opportunities for a hybrid working model, there is a common consensus that it is not aways to the advantage of the employer. There are outliers however, typically those who are structurally conservative institutions, many have taken a hard line and operate a zero home working policy. They often take the view that despite a loss of competitiveness in their resourcing efforts that the benefits of opting for a pre-Covid working arrangement outweighs the risks.


Whilst the labour market remains as robust as we become accustomed to, I foresee that flexible working strategies will, despite the numerous risks, will remain as going concern. This is therefore another tool that organisations are using to provide a competitive advantage in their talent acquisition planning.


First published AGEFI March 2004


Courtney Charlton


Courtney is co-founder of the Greenfield Luxembourg (2008) and has been active in the Luxembourg financial services and funds industry since 2006. Currently leader of Greenfield’s search practice. As a recruitment and executive search subject matter expert, Courtney has personally completed more than 500 successful appointments throughout his twenty-year recruitment career.