Companies continue to struggle with determining the right approach to working. Some still insist that employees come back to the office full time, while others have evolved to embrace a remote workforce. In fact, more than 75% of businesses nationally have implemented or plan to implement more flexible work-at-home policies.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case locally. According to ConxusNEO*, 46% of respondents report preferring to work mostly or fully from home. But a quick survey of local job listings shows fewer than 1% of companies offer a remote or hybrid option. So while employers continue to complain about the lack of suitable applicants, they refuse to change with the times.
For employees, remote working has changed their lifestyles for the better. For businesses, the benefits may be less obvious. For one, remote working has allowed companies to broaden their talent pool, allowing them to reserve positions for the top applicants.
However, this is also a downside for people seeking work, as competition for remote positions is fierce, and the use of ATS systems leaves many feeling helpless to stand out in the crowd.
If companies want to remain attractive, they need to make significant shifts in mindset, culture, and flexibility. Only organizations that adjust these components will continue to secure the best talent.
This shift starts with the recruitment process. While many businesses rushed to adopt remote interview processes during the pandemic, critical steps must be taken to get remote recruitment right.
Without constraints on geography, companies can prioritize finding the best person for the job. By broadening the talent pool, employers will attract a more diverse people with non-traditional backgrounds.
If your customer base is diverse, your talent should reflect this. A diverse workforce brings with it new perspectives that will impact your culture and challenge old ways of thinking.
Remote working also removes the physical constraints that traditional work environments require. For individuals who may have difficulty with securing adequate transportation or those with physical challenges, remote work reduces the inequality in the workforce and is more accommodating to candidates. Remote interviewing is the first step in reducing these barriers and opening your business up to a wider selection of applicants.
This flexibility in the recruitment process is also a major draw for candidates increasingly looking for a workplace that champions an infrastructure based on human principles—one that puts its people first from the start.
Shift in Philosophy
With a broader talent pool, hiring managers must adapt their recruitment mindset. Now more than ever, companies should look for potential, assessing an applicant’s ability to excel in specific tasks or roles versus whether they have a proven track
record or previous experience.
Companies can do this by prioritizing curiosity, drive, and the right cultural attributes. Unfortunately, while many businesses continue to rely on automated systems to weed out candidates based on keywords, they are missing out on the larger opportunity. Shifting to a more personalized approach—one that focuses on a “by candidate basis”—is quickly becoming the future of recruiting and allows companies to assess candidates on their potential instead of their resume.
It is key for businesses to understand what their employees want from their work environment and how these needs can be translated into remote working policies. This process may include evaluating the technology used to manage employees, projects, and systems.
In addition to a remote or hybrid environment, businesses must make sure that they communicate a clear level of support to demonstrate their commitment to putting people first, such as technology allowances and wellness days to help draw lines between work and home.
Why You Should Care
Remote work isn’t going away. It is time for companies, especially local ones, to embrace it and its benefits to employees and businesses alike. Starting with virtual recruitment is the first step. Creating a culture that supports a diverse, remote workforce is equally critical to attracting and maintaining top talent.