It seems like we had barely begun emerging from lockdown before the threat of a second lockdown loomed large. Now, as the UK combats regional spikes with local lockdowns and we head towards the virus-loving seasons of autumn and winter, a second national spike-flattening lockdown is a genuine possibility.
Many organisations in the insurance and financial services sectors smoothly transitioned towards remote working, recruitment and onboarding. Many of our successful candidates during this period went through a virtual recruitment process and were then effectively onboarded remotely.
In this week’s blog we examine the benefits, for both clients and candidates, of our brave new remote working world.
The benefits for clients
Remote recruitment lets clients pick from a much wider pool than offered by the traditional in-person process, adding further value to their businesses. As we were well versed in virtual recruitment, our recruitment consultants were able to screen effectively and continue delivering exceptional candidates.
Helps find talent
Even before the lockdown, we had noticed that vacancies offering remote working were attracting greatest candidate interest. This hugely increased the pool and quality of talent our clients could select from.
Helps keep talent
Recruiting and training new hires is a costly process in terms of time and money. Offering remote working is a proven aid to retaining valuable employees, particularly those whose quality of life is dampened by long daily commutes.
Remote working is proven to lead to productivity gains for employers. This is because employees are encountering fewer interruptions and are therefore more focused. Also, as staff enjoy a stronger work/life balance, their motivation increases. Finally, remote working encourages greater employee wellbeing, which naturally reduces absenteeism.
Companies with a remote workforce can reap hugely savings from renting less office space and other facilities. In addition, with greater flexibility, sales staff can be located near clients, which will benefit those relationships and potentially lead to increased revenue. Many clients have found that employees will choose the incentive of remote working over a pay rise, improving the level of cashflow in the business with which you can capitalise on new opportunities.
Look before you remotely leap
Besides the many benefits of remote working, it is only fair to raise a few challenges that employers need to address in order for remote working regimes to operate smoothly.
Clients will need mechanisms in place to effectively monitor performance and there will also be initial set-up costs including training equipment. Managers will require support to help them develop their teams and ensure skills training where required. Online security will need to be implemented and you may find telecommunications costs increase.
Remote working won’t suit everyone, so mangers will need to be trained in maintaining team spirit and helping some members of their teams overcome feelings of isolation.
Benefits for working from home for candidates
Candidates are increasingly favouring firms offering remote working – particularly among younger recruits. Why is this so important to you? Below are the main reasons, according to previous candidates:
Greater job satisfaction
Not having to face a long (and sometimes arduous) commute every working day is a huge factor towards wellbeing. This is particularly important for younger talented employees who are priced out of living nearer to the office. Also feeding into their job satisfaction is the greater autonomy and fewer interruptions that home working allows.
Commute? What commute?
A massive benefit is that employees are able to avoid the full cost – in terms of money and time – of the daily commute. By enabling teams to incorporate an element of remote working, employers are finding their retention rates improve. This is increasingly the case with employees who would normally have had to leave a job they love due to a partner relocating for their job.
Time for life
Being able to spend more time with friends and family all feeds into a healthier work/life balance. (Well, it does for most people! A former colleague dreaded the holidays and confessed to sneaking back to the office to escape his rather out of control kids!) But for most of us, this is a good thing!
Increasingly, our candidates value the opportunity to work when they are most productive. We aren’t machines: everyone is productive at different times of the day. The traditional 9 to 5 isn’t optimum for all of us. By forcing employees to work to roughly the same timetable, employers are often missing out on your most productive periods.
If, as a candidate, you ask, for flexible working, the onus will then be on you to ensure that your work commitments are fulfilled, deadlines are met, and you are available and effectively communicating with your colleagues, clients and third parties essential to your role.
Inclusion increases the talent pool
Occasionally we find exceptional candidates who would be a perfect fit but whose challenge or a disability precludes them from working conventional hours. This is particularly the case for single parents or carers with responsibility for a sick or elderly relative. By being accommodated and supported to work around their disability or challenge, these recruits are often the most highly motivated, loyal, outstanding assets to their employers.
Participation in the local community
Some home workers enjoy being able to participate more in community activities outside of work times. Flexible working allows that, increasing your general feeling of wellbeing. And happier workers, means greater productivity for your companies.
If you are an employer and have questions on how to remotely recruit, interview and onboard new hires successfully, call our experienced and friendly team today on 01483 668700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a candidate looking for your perfect next job and want to shine (remotely or in person), call our experienced and friendly team today on 01483 668700 or email us at email@example.com.