Recently, I spoke to a client seeking to hire a senior recruiter. This new hire will replace a current employee who’s leaving for another company, one where she’ll be able to work remotely. The client, however, still prefers for everyone to be 100% in–person, especially in a recruiter position.
Our conversation made me pause. The company is losing a high-performing employee to more flexible opportunities, but they still expect to be able to hire top talent for 100% in-office positions. While I understand the reasoning behind in-office positions and the desire for recruiters to fully understand company culture, the lack of remote benefits drastically limits their talent pool. It’s that simple.
Part of the challenge is that many job responsibilities can be done remotely–– and professionals know this. Across all of the professional service roles we place, about 9% are roles that require someone to come into the office full-time. The other 91% can be done remotely.
Yes, those remote work benefits are real
Remember at the start of the pandemic when everyone panicked about remote work? We fashioned makeshift offices at home, worrying that a child might interrupt our video call or a colleague might notice a messy room.
Two years later, these concerns are solidly in the past and many of us have effective work-from-home routines. In fact, it turns out remote work can be pretty great for both company and employees, offering benefits like:
- Increased productivity. 90% of employees said they were more productive working remotely according to the latest Owl Labs State of Remote Work report. For recruiters, that means more calls to candidates, more research into company goals, and more efficiency in finding the right fits. With employee turnover proving costly, recruiters need to be at their most productive.
- Improved physical and mental well-being. When everyone was working at the office, our breaks usually consisted of going to lunch or chatting over coffee. Remote work affords opportunities for a midday neighborhood walk, a quick Peloton workout, or even starting dinner prep. We’re able to flow from professional to personal and back again.
- Lower employee costs. Global Workplace Analytics conservatively estimates an employee telecommuting just half the time saves employers an average of $11,000 per employee. Lower overhead allows companies to focus on other company initiatives, like hiring, training, and diversity efforts.
- Higher happiness and company loyalty. The combined feeling of getting more done and feeling better makes us happier people. That leads to more loyal employees—81% say having remote work options would increase their loyalty.
Why companies need a mindset shift
So many recruiters have gotten a taste of working remotely that they may never go back to being full-time in the office. In fact, 84% of all employees said working remotely after the pandemic would make them happier, with some offering to take pay cuts to do so.
Remote recruiting is becoming the norm for recruiters and employers. LinkedIn found 81% of professionals believe virtual recruitment will continue moving forward. Allowing both recruiters and candidates to work remotely provides quicker hiring processes, more flexible communication, and engaged new hires. Additionally, companies can cast a wider net by looking outside of their normal talent pools.
Company leaders must embrace new and creative success metrics that align with remote work. Even before the pandemic, companies were starting to move beyond the idea that face time or desk time equates with productivity. In recruiting, this could mean measuring how many candidates a recruiter is speaking to on a weekly basis, the number of quality candidates being presented to interviews and how quickly roles are being filled. For Talent Acquisition, metrics are a telling sign of productivity whether in an office or at home on the couch.
With the future of work pointing toward a hybrid world, employers who embrace this shift will open themselves up to a wider talent pool and, once those hires are made, increased employee loyalty.
Has remote or hybrid work opportunities impacted your company’s hiring options? Share your experience in the comments below.