Have you ever struggled to find enough qualified candidates for your job opening? It can be really frustrating. The hiring landscape has changed slowly and gradually over the years. Previously, only the newer and more progressive firms adopted remote work offerings for their employees. But when the pandemic hit, everything shifted dramatically. It was plain sailing and an easy transition for companies who already offered remote work – like we do here at Insight Recruitment – but for those new to it, we saw many struggling to make the change.
So, despite the challenging circumstances, how are some companies succeeding and standing out from the competition? And what can you learn from their successes?
In this article, we share some advice to help you hit your hiring targets and get more qualified candidates’ attention.
As you’re evaluating candidates, it is important to remember that talent worth having is evaluating your company too.
From a company’s perspective, hiring quality talent is the hardest it’s ever been. It is truly a candidate-driven market for several reasons. Firstly, candidates are far more critical than ever before, partly because they have more choices. They’re also interviewing companies just as rigorously as companies are interviewing them. Once satisfied with the overall job fit, salary, and compensation, many candidates place the companies they look at into one of two categories; those that offer more remote opportunities and those that don’t.
What questions are candidates asking about prospective employers?
The question on many companies’ minds these days is, “how can I attract more quality candidates?”
What questions, though, are candidates asking about prospective employers? Here are some of the common questions candidates consider during their job search:
- Do the company values and mission align with mine?
- Is the company a cultural fit for me?
- Will the company offer me learning and growth opportunities?
- What is the stability of the company?
Most firms are aware of these questions. But the question that employers often overlook is, ‘does the organization match my lifestyle needs?’
It is a big challenge for companies to find the talent they need for important, highly skilled positions. Not because the talent isn’t out there; they are. But because of the reasons mentioned earlier. Remote work opportunities are part of what candidates want because it ultimately gives them more of a work-life balance and a lifestyle that they’re looking for.
What do we mean by remote work opportunities?
Companies should really have a clear idea of how much and how often their employees can work at home. Even if you require your staff to work in the office one or two days a week, it’s better than nothing. If you can be flexible, however, then that’s even better. Your company should be clear on what your remote offerings are and stick to them because once a candidate gets the message that your remote offering is not congruent with what they were first told, it’s a big disappointment and often a deal-breaker.
It is also essential to evaluate your job openings because not all employee positions are suitable for working from home. Positions may require being on-site, and not all employees work effectively at home. If a position or employee isn’t conducive to remote work, other things can be done to make the job more appealing to a larger population of candidates. For example, you could allow employees to work four days in the office and one day at home. For teams that can’t work remotely at all, a 10-hour, four-day a week work schedule may be more appealing than a typical eight-hour day, five days a week.
What do you as an employer get by offering remote working opportunities?
Offering remote working opportunities to your employees has several benefits. Here are a few:
- You get a broader applicant pool, more people to search from, and more applicants applying for your jobs.
- There’s an increase in employee engagement and retention.
- There’s an increase in productivity because of fewer obstructions from co-workers dropping by.
- It improves employee health and reduces sick days.
- It enhances employee work-life balance and reduces overhead costs for the company.
What are some of the challenges an employer may face when offering remote work options?
The biggest challenge many employers struggle with is knowing if their team is actually working. To overcome this, your company needs to focus on being results-driven. This means focusing on employee outcomes and not obsessing over how many hours or what hours your staff are working. Trusting your team is key to having a very productive and loyal remote employee. Here are some ways you can accomplish that:
- During the hiring process, hire talent that’s driven to work remotely.
- Ask questions to assess a candidate’s ability to work well remotely.
- Ensure the position’s duties and minimum expectations are clearly outlined in the job description.
- Implement and utilize asynchronous communication tools and methods to streamline remote work efficiencies.
Another issue that many companies face is that it can be a bit depressing to come into an office that was once busy, which now looks like a ghost town because some people are working remotely. One of the best solutions to address this is simply to downsize your office space, which can also reduce overhead costs. This may work for some, but for others, it will not due to lease terms or property ownership. If you must work in the space you have, you may want to consider reconfiguring the office space to bring people on site closer together. For instance, you could turn the open space into a common area where people can work together or have a little bit of fun. The reality is that having remote workers should reduce your overhead costs, which should be an excellent thing for everyone in this current economy.
Networking and team building are not as easy.
Networking and team building is often perceived as complex when a team is working remotely. To keep a team networked and engaged successfully, you really must put effort into creating opportunities for your people to interact. When people work remotely, they’re not chatting by the watercooler, they’re not going to lunch, they’re not having drinks after work, and they’re not catching up in the hall.
So, how can you help to facilitate communication amongst your team? One idea is to create a watercooler channel on your preferred communication platform where employees can talk with each other during breaks and converse about non-work-related topics that they enjoy. Having a regularly scheduled team meeting with a specific agenda is really helpful as well. Team monthly meetings can include reviewing metrics, celebrating successes, sharing challenges, and discussing potential solutions. Remote wellness initiatives and virtual team-building games are always a plus as well.
It’s not an easy ride – managing a remote team can be more challenging for some managers.
Managing a remote team is very different from managing an on-site team. It requires a change in management style to be successful, which can be simple for some and very challenging for others. Managers who tend to micromanage in the office will have the most difficulty transitioning to managing a remote team. In fact, according to a study conducted by SHRM, 67% of the supervisors said they spent more time supervising remote workers than on-site workers. Is this really necessary? Absolutely not. Utilizing the tools and concepts presented in this article can reduce the need to micromanage your remote workers.
Once you have a trained team member, a weekly or bi-weekly meeting is usually sufficient. In addition, when assigning tasks, using a task board within a project management system can give visibility of tasks and projects and ultimately help manage remote teams.
Managing remote team members should be seen as an opportunity for growth. Overcoming these challenges will make you a better manager and will give you skills that can be used to expand your responsibilities.
The job market is becoming more and more candidate-driven, making it challenging to attract top talent. However, by following the tips provided, you can be sure to attract the best candidates and stand out from the competition.
At Insight Recruitment, we pride ourselves on our industry knowledge and candidate relationships. If you’d like help with tracking down your next star hire, get in touch.