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OncoreMay 31, 20234 min read

The Rise of Remote Work: How to Adapt Your Recruiting Strategy for a Distributed Workforce

The pandemic accelerated the global trend towards remote work beyond all recognition. While this has its advantages, it also presents a whole new set of challenges for recruiters.

The Rise of Remote Work

Remote work had already been growing in popularity for years, but the pandemic massively accelerated this trend with many companies forced to close their offices as millions of workers around the world began working from home.  Many innovative tools were introduced to emulate office-like engagement and communication, meaning that staying connected virtually became much easier .  Within 24 months working remotely became a very manageable, cost effective reality.

As a result of this new reality many organisations have made the decision to employ a permanent shift to a more distributed workforce, where globally scattered employees and their in-house employees work closely together seamlessly in a united team.

Advantages of a Distributed Workforce

Access to a wider talent pool

The Australian skills shortage continues to pose a significant challenge across many industries, as the demand for highly skilled professionals surpasses the local available supply.  By embracing a distributed workforce, organisations can hire talent from anywhere in the world, giving them access to a much wider pool of candidates unrestricted by geographical limitations.

Lower costs

A distributed workforce can help to eliminate or significantly reduce costs associated with maintaining a physical office space, equipment, and other overhead expenses.

Improved work-life balance

Remote work can offer employees a much greater flexibility and autonomy, allowing them to better balance their work and personal lives.

Lowered employee turnover and recruitment costs

Remote work options are highly valued by many professionals.  In Oncore’s recent State of Contracting survey, an overwhelming 93% of the 600+ respondents expressed their desire to work either entirely remotely or in a flexible arrangement between their home and the office. Offering a distributed workforce can help attract top talent and improve employee retention rates. Reduced turnover means fewer expenses associated with recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees.

Increased productivity

Studies have shown that remote workers tend to be more productive than their office-based counterparts and have higher job satisfaction. This can be due to fewer distractions and the flexibility to work during their most productive hours. Increased productivity can lead to higher output with the same or even fewer resources, reducing the need for overtime and ultimately reducing costs.

Adapting Your Recruiting Strategy

Emphasise communication skills

Communication is key in a remote work environment, so it’s important to look for and emphasise this skill when recruiting candidates. Look for candidates who have experienced working in distributed teams and who are comfortable using digital communication tools.

Prioritise self-motivation and autonomy: 

Remote work requires a high level of self-motivation and autonomy, so it’s important to look for candidates who can show that they can work independently and take initiative.

Use video interviews: 

Video interviews can help you to get a better sense of a candidate’s personality and communication skills, which are particularly important in a remote work environment. Video interviews also allows you to connect with candidates from anywhere in the world. This opens up the opportunity to tap into a diverse and global talent pool, enabling you to find the best fit for your organisation’s needs.

Focus on results, not hours worked: 

In a remote work environment, it’s more important to focus on results rather than hours worked. Look for candidates who are proven to be results-driven and who can deliver high-quality work within deadlines. Shifting the focus to results fosters a culture of accountability and ownership within the distributed workforce. When employees are empowered to take ownership of their work, they become more self-motivated and committed to achieving goals.

Commitment to training and support: 

In a distributed workforce, where face-to-face interaction may be limited, it’s essential that companies provide support and show a commitment to offering opportunities for professional growth. Offering a training program and ongoing support demonstrates that the company cares about their employees development and invests in their success. This, in turn, increases employee motivation, productivity, retention, skill enhancement and loyalty. By prioritising these aspects, companies can foster a thriving remote work environment and again create their competitive edge in attracting and retaining the very best talent.

Foster a strong company culture: 

A strong company culture is particularly important in a remote work environment, as it can help to keep employees engaged and connected. Be sure to encourage and foster a positive and inclusive company culture, despite the more transient environment. and a sense of community. Look for ways to demonstrate that the remote employees’ mental health and wellbeing are considered a priority.  Read more on the importance of a strong company culture to contractors.

Once you have one – sing about it! 

According to data from Recruiter Insider, hiring managers aren’t thinking about or are struggling to explain a company’s culture when sourcing talent, leading to much lower placement ratios.  In a competitive job market – these things can be the deciding factor to the successful hiring of the best candidates.  Take time to ensure these things are highlighted in your research and your pitch.

Time to ride the wave and adjust your recruiting strategy

Adapting your recruiting strategy for a distributed workforce is essential for success in today’s rapidly changing job market. With the right strategy and tools recruiters can support their clients in building a successful, talented, efficient and motivated distributed workforce, all while keeping costs under control.

If you would like to discuss your contingent workforce needs further with Oncore then do get in touch and we would be happy to chat through how we could support you and your clients.