Every company is struggling to attract enough talent. Despite huge pressure to fill jobs, record levels of recruitment woes globally are showing no signs of improvement. By 2030, research consultancy Korn Ferry estimates that more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there simply aren’t enough skilled people to take them.

fighting the talent shortage

Great talent is still out there. But while there are millions of people who could fill the roles needed by companies, few places offer such opportunities. Many firms tend to hire from the same old talent pools and, to state the obvious, when companies are limited to hiring jobs locally or via regular sources, they will struggle to find enough people for their jobs.

Remote work has created a great bridge between talent and opportunities. As the need for more technical talent from software developers to digital marketers continues to grow faster than those that qualify, looking further afield creates a wider talent pool for companies to access.

It’s not just about finding people who can work remotely away from the office or an opportunity for digital nomads to do work from the beach. Establishing a remote ecosystem is about going global, opening the borders to emerging talent hotbeds, and looking for talent in different time zones.

Benefits of a remote ecosystem

Faster hires and better retention

Expanding your recruitment pool beyond borders opens the doors to hiring the best talent quicker. No matter where someone lives, they have the potential to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

Giving people the flexibility to organise their personal lives and their schedules will lead to happier lifestyles and higher job satisfaction, which means you’re more likely to retain the people you bring on for far longer.

Diverse perspectives drive innovation

Hiring global talent is not only an effective solution for fostering a sustainable, inclusive culture but when a team comprises a broad range of experiences and perspectives, it will lead to increased innovation.

With a talent pool spanning the entire globe, generated ideas are more creative and unique leading to an environment ripe for building better products and services.

Having talented people from different regions can also better inform your company’s global perspective and how you would connect with an international audience – this can prove useful if your future plans include scaling operations by expanding into new regions.

A productive workforce

A big advantage of a team working across multiple time zones is that projects can be tackled quicker around the clock. While one worker is having their lunch break, their colleague in another country may be just about to start their day.

Winning the war talent

Companies can enlist a variety of strategies to remain competitive and be ahead of the race in competing for talent but there are three fundamental principles for remote work: autonomy, trust and transparency.

Autonomy – Working independently encourages team members to be proactive to solve complex problems rather than wait for approval to take action. They are not hindered by a lack of immediate interaction to progress their work.

Trust – Without trust remote work will fail. Managers need to trust that team members will do the right thing and do their job correctly. In turn, team members can foster trust and enable more autonomy for themselves by getting the job done consistently. 

Transparency – Transparency gives people the right information at the right time. It is about communicating and forming relationships that are open, honest and straightforward.

Many challenges from remote work stem from poor or confusing communication. When employees work from home, they can’t just instantly ask a coworker a question about something or spend the whole day in meetings with people.

Keep collaborative documents

Document diligently. Every meeting, decision and action item, onboarding and staff process, experiment, and metric needs to be recorded and accessible. If something doesn’t get documented, people don’t have the context or the information they need to work autonomously.

Adapt to asynchronous communication

Strive to work asynchronously as much as possible in order to make global remote collaboration effective and efficient. But set aside core hours where every team member is expected to be available for meetings.

Recognise cultural differences

It’s not just that team members are in different time zones but remote work brings a high level of multiculturality too. Different accents, religions, cultures and more, will have an impact on the way you liaise and collaborate with each other. Come to an understanding that there may be different approaches in working style.

Promote your ethos

When you’re recruiting for new talent, share content that explains what it is like working at your company and outline the actions you’re taking to expand and enrich your culture.

Check on your biases

During recruitment, you might consider a blind selection process where you don’t look at gender, names or location to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion. That way you can judge candidates on a defined set of performance factors such as their skills and abilities to deliver at work rather than where they are in the world.

Be fair with compensation

Not one size fits all. Consider what is a fair compensation to attract the kind of talent you want from a particular market. Ideally, you would analyse different countries and markets to ensure salaries are aligned with the specific labour costs of those markets, but for smaller companies and startups this won’t always be easy to do. The importance is hiring people who align with your values.

There are also some approaches you can take, such as:

  • Pay everyone the same (easy to implement, expensive/inefficient);
  • Adjust based on cost of living (mid-level of difficulty to implement, mid-level efficiency);
  • Adjust based on cost of labour in each country (really difficult to implement for small companies, but very efficient).

Set clear outcomes

Methodologies for setting goals vary between companies, but stick to clear objectives and key results (OKRs), and measure outcomes rather than inputs or outputs. Setting clear outcomes also leads to more trust and autonomy since everyone is aligned around clearly defined goals. Foster a culture that embraces making mistakes by showing how to learn from them.

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