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One Year In: Here’s what we’ve learned about hiring and remote work during a global pandemic

Mar 2021

Sara Day

We’re one year into the pandemic this March, and the recruitment, sourcing and hiring landscape has changed. For some industries, this change has been a dramatic one – for others, not so much. 

As a recruiting and staffing firm, we work with companies across the remote spectrum: some who have been remote from the beginning, some with partial work from home opportunities and some who are in-office full-time. Here are a few insights on hiring and recruiting that we’ve gathered over the past twelve months. 

Remote work is here to stay 

Many of our clients are working on post-pandemic plans that imagine a different future for where and when work takes place, including flexible schedules and location flexibility. Companies have found that going remote, even part-time, increases productivitysaves money and increases diversity.  

Candidates value working from home 

recent study from Slack found that only 12% of workers want to return to the office full-time. We’ve seen this reflected during our sourcing and interviewing; questions about remote work are common, though the demand is mostly for a hybrid model that includes part-time in office hours 

Offering remote work eliminates “location bias” and helps companies become more diverse 

We found great value in this recent article from the LinkedIn Talent Blog, which explains the idea of “location bias.” Typically, companies like to hire from a local candidate pool to avoid costs associated with relocation. But, when the local area isn’t very diverse, it can be difficult to build a diverse candidate pool. Recruiting for a role—regardless of the candidate’s location—is a great way to ensure a diverse and equitable search. Read more about our commitment to dismantling systemic inequality in recruiting. 

Showcasing your company culture during virtual interviews is difficult—but not impossible 

It’s easy to describe your company’s culture during a virtual interview, but it’s another thing to actively display that culture. It can be helpful to hold a video interview with the entire team for any candidates you’re considering so they can meet everyone. Colleges and universities should consider sharing links to your virtual tours with candidates so they can get a feel for your campus. Other companies can share photos of past team events or information about your office and location. 

“Watercooler chats” are still important 

When switching from in-office to remote work, whether temporarily or permanently, it’s easy to lose the little things that add up to a close-knit team culture: chats in the office kitchen, catching up on Monday mornings and getting lunch together. These unplanned interactions have been shown to assist with problem-solving, creativity and productivity. Our clients have expressed that they miss the spontaneous, organic learning opportunities that occur when passing in the hall or popping into each other’s offices. Regularly scheduled—but short and casual—meetings can help! 

As we look forward to the possibility of another few months of hiring virtually, we will continue to gather insights and share them with you here! If we can offer any additional information, please reach out via the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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