By Arun Kumar
A study by Upwork found that:
Remote workers are also outperforming their in-office counterparts. In fact, one nationwide survey cited in this Inc.com article found that 65% of workers said remote job would give their productivity a boost.
The future of work is changing fast and now. Technology and a global economy are accelerating that change, with more and more workers opting for some level of remote job. Staffing firms need to understand the changing landscape and invest in technology to embrace and thrive in the changing global workforce.
While many jobs aren’t fit for remote job (especially those in manufacturing, production, and distribution, as well as direct patient care), plenty are. For example, developers, designers, marketers, writers, accountants, customer support specialists, and countless other roles are well suited to remote job.
And I’ve seen people thrive in these positions. Working remotely for the past seven months, I’ve met a variety of remote workers in jobs you’d expect: designers, software engineers, business coaches…and some you might not expect: project managers, lawyers, recruiters (yes, remote recruiters!), and I even heard about a brain surgeon (not sure how he worked remote, but he found a way).
Sometimes, the best talent lives far from your clients’ locations. Embracing a remote (and even global) workforce helps you find the best talent regardless of where they are. But preparing to source and place remote workers requires an investment in both your firm’s culture and technology.
Communication is the key to successfully recruiting, assigning, and placing remote talent; it needs to be intentional and meaningful. For example, invest in a good video conferencing system so your recruiters can meet face-to-face (virtually) for interviews, check-ins, and more. Video conferencing allows remote employees to feel connected, and it’s often more effective than a phone call or email.
Remote workers frequent boards and aggregators designed for their work model. Obviously, it would be best if you went where they’re searching to recruit them. Consider investing in remote job boards and adding a remote option to your jobs. Take a look at some of the leading job boards for remote job: WeWorkRemotely, Flexjobs, and Working Nomads. Remote Year, a travel company for remote workers, put together a great list of the Top 7 Remote Job Boards.
While it may not be feasible to fly in remote field associates or contractors for in-person team builders, you should still invest in tools and activities that allow them to interact and connect with their peers. So get creative:
Add content to your career site to build your employment brand and show how your culture supports and values remote employees:
If your remote workers are clustered in a certain geographic area, consider offering access to co-working spaces with reliable WIFI and a sense of office/community. Co-working spaces are a great way for remote workers to network, bond, and work around other people when they need to.
I wouldn’t trade my remote job experience for anything. I’ve learned more in six months traveling around the world and working remotely than I would’ve to work in the same office cubicle every day for a year. It’s opened my mind, connected me with people from all different backgrounds and stages in life, and afforded me the freedom and flexibility to do my best work while living the life I choose.
And with the right culture, technology, and processes, staffing firms can capitalize on this workforce evolution – driving success for their firms, their employees, and their clients, too.