The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed the way we work, and one of the biggest changes is the exponential growth of remote work. Many companies that did not offer these kinds of positions before, are offering them now. According to a report by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote work has increased 159% since 2005, and 4.7 million U.S. workers (3.4% of the population) worked remotely before the pandemic. In 2021, it increased to 82 million workers (56% of the population) who worked remotely at least part of the time due to the pandemic.
How Remote Work Is Changing Talent Acquisition
For example, Gartner surveyed 127 company leaders in June 2020 and found that 82% are planning to continue offering some form of remote work options. Robert I. Sutton, of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, warns that “Bosses Better Adjust.” Companies like Twitter and Facebook have already announced plans to adopt remote options permanently. Perhaps most importantly, a large percentage of employees love it. Gallup surveyed 2,276 employed adults in March and April of this year and found that 60% of employees who switched to remote work due to the pandemic prefer to continue working that way.
Given these new circumstances, how will talent acquisition change? Most importantly, what do companies need to do differently to attract, engage, and onboard remote talent? Over this blog series, we’ll address those questions, including:
- How to ensure you make the right remote hire.
- Attracting candidates now that you can’t promote your cool office and on-site perks.
- Tips for remote interviewing.
- Adjust your employer brand to include remote work.
- Effective onboarding via videoconference.
Preparing Your Organization for Remote Workers
To kick things off, we’ll cover a few initial points about working remotely. Before you can bring on new talent, you have to make sure your company is ready. It is very important to take a deliberate approach to planning and implementing a remote model, which includes not only technology infrastructure but also many changes to your communications channels, meetings, and company culture.
For example, you need to be sure everyone has the technology they need, such as a laptop and reliable Internet access. Be aware that in some locations, such as California, employment law requires that you help offset the cost of working from home. Keep in mind that your company can save significantly on overhead costs, such as office space and furniture.
Onboarding of new talent will have to be supported by the right processes and technologies as well, to make sure new hires have the best possible candidate experience and to ensure your organization’s Employee Value Proposition is as competitive as it can be.
Your company will need solid technology infrastructure to ensure success in the remote world. Employees need to be able to access systems such as ERPs, document sharing, and project management platforms. If you don’t have a chat platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams, it’s important to get one. Not only does it allow instant communication, but you can also create different rooms for teams or projects. In addition, you can create social rooms like a break room, where employees can chat the way they used to around the water cooler. This helps stave off potential loneliness in working at home. Make sure technical support is available to employees.
Considering Your Talent’s New Challenges
You’ll need to take into account employees’ home situations as well. Singles and couples without children have a different experience than people with children and/or extend family in the house. For example, until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, many children are attending school virtually. That means that there may be conflicting demands for computer time, and parents of younger children need to help them log on. A study be the Institute of Fiscal Studies found that stay-at-home orders are harder on women than men, as mothers often shoulder a larger share of childcare responsibilities.
If your employees are spread across time zones, consider their schedules when organizing meetings. For example, if you book a meeting at 9 AM Eastern, that is 6 AM on the West Coast. If necessary, alternate team meetings so that the same group isn’t inconvenienced at every meeting. If you have team members in Asia or Europe, for example, you have a couple of options. You can schedule meetings so that the fewest number of people are inconvenienced, or you can record the meetings for people to watch later.
The Opportunities of Remote Work within Talent Acquisition
Finally, working remotely has advantages for attracting talent. At Pierpoint many employees were drawn to the opportunity to work from home — it’s what many people want. In addition, a remote arrangement instantly expands your sourcing pool. You can engage highly talented people from just about anywhere.
Please contact one of our solutions experts if we can help you improve your remote talent acquisition results.
Minakshi Sehrawat is a content writer that specializes in the HR industry. For the past 12+ years, she has worked with companies, social organizations, and newspapers offering writing services and solutions. Her strength is writing long-form content about HR, recruitment, management practices, technology, communities, and events.
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