Good recruiting is one of the pillars of business success. Employees come and go (hopefully not too often), and as you grow you’ll need to expand your team. But in an increasingly competitive labor market, it’s becoming harder and harder to attract top talent.
And if you’re lucky enough to hire an all-star, it’s often even harder to keep them around. In fact, some 70 percent of employees consider themselves passive job seekers, meaning they are just waiting for someone to come along and make them an offer that’s better than their current situation, putting you as an employer in a sticky situation.
To get people to want to work for you, it’s important you build a strong employer brand, but it’s also important to offer them the right set of perks and benefits. Salary is still the top reason people choose a job, but there are many other benefits people want that will influence their decisions when it comes time to change jobs.
Offering your employees the opportunity to work remotely is a great way to attract and retain top talent. Here’s why:
Expand Your Geographic Reach
Limiting your roles to traditional work arrangements means you can really only recruit from the city or state in which your business is located. Most people aren’t going to want to move far to start a new job, so your recruiting efforts will produce better returns if you stick your area.
However, if you make some of your positions remote, then you can cast a wider net when searching for candidates. This increases the talent pool you have to search from, improving your chances of finding a perfect fit. Furthermore, when people don’t have to move, it eases the stress of changing jobs. New employees who move to a new city may end up leaving shortly after starting because the stress of living in a new place combined with that of starting a new job is just too much. Offering remote positions removes this from the equation and makes it easier for people to stick out the transition period.
But if you’re going to do this, it’s going to be a good idea to get some HR help. Hiring people from different states, or even different countries, can be a logistical nightmare. Consider outsourcing some of this work to a professional employer organization (PEO). They can help you streamline payroll and also make sure you’re fully compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
Demonstrate Commitment to Flexibility
Although we all keep agendas, life does not run on a schedule. Kids get sick, family members need to be picked up from the airports and it seems like no one gets married on a Saturday anymore. Because of this, employees are demanding that their employers allow for more flexibility in their jobs.
Very few roles need to follow a strict 9-5 schedule. Obviously it’s best to schedule meetings during these hours, but most tasks can be completed whenever the employee has the most time to do them, provided they meet a deadline.
Giving people the chance to work remotely demonstrates sensitivity to the unpredictability of life, and it also shows people that they can feel free to live their lives in the way that makes the most sense for them, and not for the company. This is a very liberating idea, and it makes you company a more desirable place to work.
Emphasize Work-Life Balance
Along these same lines, work-life balance has become something workers cherish. Even the most passionate employees need time to disconnect and do the other things they love. And when you offer people the opportunity to work remotely, you’re signaling to them that you value this concept.
When you work remotely, this usually means you have more freedom to organize your schedule. If it’s really important to an employee that they get a bike ride in every day, but they can’t because of work, this will eventually lead to resentment and disengagement. But if you offer the opportunity to work remotely, then this person can organize their day around that bike ride, allowing them to feel more balance in their life. This will make them both happier and more productive. In other words, it’s a true win-win solution.
Give Remote Work a Try
There’s a stigma around remote work. Old-fashioned thinkers believe it leads to time-wasting and a lack of employee buy in. But this is just not true. In fact, remote workers tend to be more engaged. So if you’re looking to boost the efficacy of your recruitment efforts and to also improve employee retention rates, consider giving your employees the chance to work remotely.
About our guest post author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service specializing in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He’s been running internet businesses since he was 19-years-old, and he’s a big advocate of flexible work arrangements and remote work.