Unemployment is high, but my talent search is still coming up short. It’s a common refrain among businesses. In what feels like a one-two punch, Covid-related hurdles and headaches are being exacerbated by a nationwide shortage of qualified candidates that’s making it tougher than usual for companies interested in hiring the right talent.

Of course, good people have always been hard to find, and soaring unemployment rates rarely produce windfalls of new candidates in the professional space. That said, some industries’ talent pools are, indeed, particularly dry at the moment – the result of countless factors including the fact that gainfully employed individuals are staying put in these unsure times.

The good news? One relatively straightforward shift might be the ace in the hole for landing the caliber of talent you’re looking for:

Embracing remote work in the long-term.

This isn’t exactly breaking news, we know. The Work-From-Home Revolution, as some are calling it, was already gaining traction when Covid hit. By June of 2020, a whopping 42% of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time. Forged by fire, remote work’s operational wrinkles have largely been smoothed and now its benefits are being widely embraced – including the hiring flexibility that comes with it.

At face value, capitalizing on this shift is straightforward: Let your employees work from home in the long run, and you have license to recruit and hire well outside of your standard geographic radius, literally opening up a whole new world of prospects (and often shortening the hiring process, too).

Still, it’s not a decision to make lightly. Leadership, hiring managers, and entire human resources teams need to ask themselves some critical questions before expanding hiring reach.

  • Is this a company-wide shift? Allowing only new hires or some roles to work remotely in the long run can be a recipe for disaster. Carefully consider company-wide stances for remote working before extending it as an option to a select group.
  • Consider the practical impacts of hiring outside of your geographic region. Faraway hires’ fresh perspectives often bring tangible and intangible benefits. But hiring someone miles away ushers in complexities too. Is there a plan for bridging time differences on a daily basis? Technologically, do you have the resources needed to keep far-flung team members connected reliably and securely?
  • Consider the financial impact, too. Remote setups are proving profitable for many businesses, but that’s not a given. Maybe you’re a Maine-based startup ecstatic at the prospect of perusing Silicon Valley-based prospects. Can you match Silicon Valley’s pay rates? Are you willing to foot the bill for travel and accommodations if and when a remote hire needs to travel to you in person? Also consider the tax implications and business nexus. Hire talent in a state not currently represented on your payroll, and you’ll most likely need to pay taxes in said state (many states are waiving nexus rules right now for employees working remotely due to Covid, but those waivers will expire). Does your new hire justify these added tax burdens?
  • Are you ready to communicate, communicate, communicate? When employees are together on a daily basis in a physical workspace you’ve created, they pick up a lot by osmosis. In the absence of physical proximity, added communication is often called for. Be prepared to clarify expectations related to availability, video chat parameters, and more.
  • Are you sure it’s worth it? Do some soul searching before you start hiring remotely. Do far-flung employees map to your larger company goals? Could your core business be compromised by physical distance? Conversely, could employees spread across the country or world provide a competitive advantage?

Expanding your geographic reach holds promise – but requires a lot of high-stakes decisions, too. The good news: myHR Partner can help when hiring the right talent. Give us a call at 610.443.0119 or inquire with us here for ways to navigate these and other HR-related decisions.