The working environment has never been more flexible. Many jobs across multiple industries can now be done from any location; but not all recruitment agencies are capitalising on this fluidity to place more talented candidates.
Promoting the benefits of remote working can reveal untapped opportunities for both you and your clients, helping to find the right contractor – no matter how niche the role is.
Rise of the remote workforce
Statistically speaking, more companies than ever are embracing remote working. The implementation of flexi-time has been rising steadily for years, and the Office of National Statistics predicts that 50% of the UK workforce will be based remotely by 2020.
However, there is a huge leap of faith from letting loyal and trusted employees work from home regularly and employing a contractor you’ve never met before to do their job from a different daily location. The challenge recruitment agencies face is bridging this gap; helping your clients to feel confident that a remote workforce can yield just as strong results as enlisting a team to sit at the same bank of desks.
Widening the talent search
The biggest benefit you can communicate to your clients is the wider recruitment pool they can access by removing geographical barriers. If you’re opening up job vacancies to anyone with a computer and internet access, you have the opportunity to employ the best talent in that particular field – regardless of where they live.
Shedding the shackles of traditional working will also give your clients the chance to consider other flexible working solutions. For example, they may be open to employing someone who prefers to work outside the traditional 9am-5pm day. Many companies have experienced great success working with skilled contractors who have young families, and want to pursue their career at the same time as running the domestic household.
Finding the right work ethic
The key thing to making remote working successful is to help your clients find candidates with the right attitude. If a contractor is going to be based at an independent location, they need to have certain strengths, including:
- A determined work ethic and bags of self-motivation
- Good, clear communication skills
- High levels of organisation and refined time management capabilities
- A solution-first approach to overcoming challenges and setbacks
By educating clients on the necessary skills a remote workforce needs, you can give them the opportunity to frame the interview processes around exploring their abilities in these areas. Indeed, you can even support this process by quizzing potential contractors on their attitude to work at the shortlisting stage – filtering out anyone who isn’t right for a remote working role.
Putting communication channels in place
The connected world we live in means that real-time dialogue is possible between any location, at any time of day. Many companies wouldn’t think twice about dealing with a customer or supplier remotely, so why are they still reluctant to offer the same flexibility to employees?
As a recruitment agency, you can support your clients on this journey by helping them to put a remote interview structure in place that will enable communication with successful candidates.
For example, you may want to set up a combination of telephone and webchat interviews, so companies have the opportunity to see potential contractors as well as hear from them. This will enable them to get a feel for their working chemistry, as they can pick up on visual cues that don’t always come across clearly in audio-only conversations.
Conducting the interview process over distance also shows your clients that candidates can manage the necessary technology to work remotely, and they can show up to an appointment on time – even if they’re not in the same room as their future boss.
Smarter working by smarter workers
Ultimately, if you can get clients to trust contractors when they’re not working in the same room, the benefits of building a remote workforce are huge. Companies can hand-pick the most talented candidates from anywhere in the world, increasing the skill, knowledge and capabilities within their organisation.
More than this, by enabling contractors to work remotely they can devote their attention to the most important tasks at hand – maximising productivity without the usual office distractions.
Are day-to-day demands preventing your recruitment agency from focusing on new business opportunities like building a remote workforce? ETZ’s recruitment back office software automates timesheet, expense form and invoice management, so you can focus on valuable tasks. Book a free ETZ demo to find out more.