It's no mystery that we've eased into trusting the digital world in more ways than we ever intended. With purchases, dating, and even ratings that could determine whether or not something’s worth it, we rely on the internet to do the deeper digging.
What's the likelihood that your dream candidate lives in town?
I'll answer: slim to none.
The internet has made everything we can imagine more accessible. So why are afraid to use it where it counts?
Like for the idea candidate— your next employee of the month.
While you might be more comfortable investing in stocks online, based on quantitative research, your next employee of the month shouldn’t really be all that different.
When I started my freelance biz in 2015, I noticed barriers almost instantly.
I knew freelancing meant chasing gigs and people willing to trust their employees working behind a computer at home, and not in the confines of an office, open or not.
I had no idea how hard it would be to find gigs that paid well. Sure, employers have surrendered to the fact that paper applications are obsolete and posting job openings online was the answer if they wanted exposure to better candidates.
But gig sites were (and still are) hyper-localized and unless you go to sites like SearchTempest, you'll only be exposed to opportunities in your region.
Not the gig that pays triple in New York or San Francisco.
Along came geographical filters. The only problem. After finding that dream gig, and checking all of the job requirement boxes, candidates had to find a way to make remote a thing.
Fast forward to 2019, and here we are.
I'll admit, not everyone's cut out for remote work.
It takes discipline to ignore the puppy eyes your dog gives you for extra playtime, or avoid that pile of laundry. But when you trust your employees, it really doesn't matter.
Commonly, employers won't hire remote workers because they fear...
A. a lack of connectedness to the rest of the team
B. they can't trust the person they hired (strange, right?)
Traditional employers and recruiters will say they fear productivity only declines when workers work remotely. But a two-year study by Stanford University among 500 participants showed an increase in work productivity among people who worked from home.
People found it less distracting and far more productive to be in their own zone at home versus having a supervisor peering over their shoulders. Imagine that.
Let's talk about access.
One thing no one seems to talk about is the fact that the gigs that actually pay well, aren't found in smaller towns. A livable salary actually comes from the larger, incubator-clad, tech cities.
As a full-time freelancer, there's an extra layer of hassle trying to book gigs. Employers generally need you for a 1-month or even 3-month assignment, contingent upon a freelancer's ability to work "in-house"/"on-site" and it takes a toll on anyone trying to find work based on merit alone.
The slew of digital tools we use in the office to interact, video chat, markup and collaborate are the same tools that work best for remote workers.
If you're a freelancer, you're familiar with the courting game you have to play to land a gig that's not in your city. You can't pick up and move when there's a one-off opportunity. Not even ones with a potential contract extension.
When you hire an employee who is working remotely, a few things happen.
- No one's late for work
- Greenhouse emissions (3.6 tons per year) decrease because of zero commute
- More diversity and inclusion happens from being exposed to quality candidates
- Work/life balance is put into practice
- Stress lessens by 78% percent
- Retention increases by 50%
- Productivity increases
and the most jarring statistic...
A study conducted by Buffer revealed that 99% of people would prefer to work remotely versus in an office for the rest of their careers.
If this kicks off an interview with a remote candidate, just remember that there are tools already on standby to bridge those collaboration and productivity gaps you fear.
Here are some trusted favorites:
Hiring? Try a qualified remote candidate. We don't byte.