VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / December 4, 2020 / Sarah Hawley, Founder and CEO of Growmotely, shares advice on how employers can better their business by embracing remote hiring practices in a post-COVID world.
Recently, while unintentionally eavesdropping on the conversation of an individual who stood behind me in the Costco checkout line, I overheard him (loudly) exclaim into his phone, "Well if it's a technical question you need to have answered we'll have to meet in the office - I can't explain these things to you remotely."
My curiosity prompted me to swivel my head slightly to assess the person who believed the office to be the only environment suitable for training his team. Donning the logo of a recognized accounting firm on his windbreaker and wearing an expression on his face rich with irritation, it was immediately apparent how he felt about leading his team remotely - negatively.
To date, it's been well over half a year since COVID19 first reared its ugly head, impacting nearly all facets of everyday life. The workforce, in particular, has faced extensive change with many companies being forced to embrace a remote work structure to uphold employee safety while maintaining productivity. Though sectors of the workforce have been gradually heading towards this direction for a number of years, the pandemic drastically accelerated the process.
Sarah Hawley, CEO and Founder of Growmotely
"We went from 2020 to 2030," commented Sarah Hawley, founder and CEO of tech platform, Growmotely, on the expedited expansion of the remote work industry. Having originally launched Grow My Team in 2014 as a remote-work consultancy firm, Hawley has been closely monitoring the remote-work landscape. The sudden halt of in-office work environments mid-March followed by a global scramble to roll-out remote work procedures fast-tracked the industry by what Hawley believes to be a decade.
With Growmotely set to launch in December of 2020 as the first global platform for remote work, connecting professionals with companies into long-term positions, with benefits, Hawley is further keeping her thumb on the pulse of the industry as it rapidly unfolds in the wake of COVID19.
What do employees have to say about this industry-wide employment shakeup?
Well, the results are in, and unlike the opinion of the loud-talking employer who stood behind me in the Costco line-up, they are positive.
So positive, in fact, that 90% of employees shared that they would "recommend working remotely to a friend" according to a recent Statista report. Employees named flexible scheduling as the main benefit of working remotely, followed by a lack of commute and cost of savings incurred from home-office environments.
For employers, incorporating a permanent operating structure that accommodates flexible scheduling is imperative when attracting and retaining the best talent. Google, Microsoft, Uber, Airbnb, and a number of other major companies have recently announced employees can work remotely long-term, providing the flexible scheduling options that the work-force is craving. Suffice to say, these mega-corporations will be quick to lure away top talent frustrated with working for companies slow to embrace this change, and without offering similar incentives, companies will struggle to entice them to stay.
The overwhelming majority of employees prefer a flexible schedule with work from home options
How are employers feeling?
Two of the main concerns that many employers currently have with the remote-work revolution are those of trust and leadership.
Through the implementation of surveillance and time tracking software, it's become blatantly obvious that some employers have little trust in their employee's ability to remain productive when out of the office. On this topic, an excerpt from a recent article by Hawley noted that "The thing about trust is, contrary to the belief others need to earn it, extending trust first (before someone has proven themselves) tends to result in respect, engagement and ultimately, performance, within our teams."
The unease about leaving salaried employees unmonitored and up to their own devices is one that can be remedied by reviewing performance. If an employee is underperforming, then the situation warrants an open conversation. Hawley addresses this in stating "I trust myself as a leader to tackle non-performance openly and communicatively, this is my responsibility, and I certainly don't need surveillance software to lead my team to success."
Regarding leadership, the same mentality can be applied. Successful leaders should be at the forefront of finding solutions to lead their teams regardless of the environment. For the gentleman standing behind me in the Costco line, perhaps an in-person explanation would remedy the situation today, but it will not be a long term approach given the direction the workforce is moving. Leadership will soon need to expand across continents and time zones, and there is no time like the present to acquire the skills to lead the teams of tomorrow today.
Managers and leaders are discovering creative new ways to run teams remotely
The new world of talent acquisition
Did your CMO just get poached by a leading competitor? If so, that hardly comes as a surprise. Companies rated for being favorable or already prepared for remote work have the financial means and infrastructure to snatch your valuable employees right out from under you.
It's time for employers to both think and act fast. As you begin the search for a replacement CMO, use this as an opportunity to test alternative hiring outlets that embrace remote opportunities.
A recent McKinsey report noted that "There are a large number of up-and-coming organizations in the pre-hire ecosystem, and innovation is making it easier to connect people to employment based on a deeper understanding of their skills and how those match with available jobs."
Growmotely is an example of such innovation. Seeing a market need for remote long-term roles pre-COVID, Hawley came up with the concept for Growmotely in 2019, and closed a small pre-seed round of funding for the technology development in February of this year.
Recent events have encouraged her and her team to develop the software and technology faster than had previously been anticipated to meet the demands of the growing remote market. Set to launch in December, Growmotely incorporates Grow My Team's (Hawley's original company) years of recruiting expertise to create a platform thoughtfully matching employer needs with employee experience and skills, and takes care of contracts, payroll, and benefits
Time to pivot
Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, defines pivot as "... a special kind of change designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, business model, and engine of growth." Though Ries is referring to how a business can pivot to attract a consumer base, think of it as how your business can pivot to attract and retain the best talent. You may be hesitant and skeptical about the change, but when titans across the industry are pivoting their employment structure to incorporate remote work flexibility, perhaps it's time to learn by example.
Hawley commented on this in saying that, "...the future has arrived. There appear to be two distinct responses to it: 1. Those stuck in fear, trying to survive until things go back to normal. 2. Those embracing the opportunity to shift into a new way of being, looking ahead to this new world we're stepping into." The overwhelming consensus is that there will be no "going back to normal." As times change, so must hiring practices, and there is no time like the present to test the new waters of remote workers.
Courtney James, Editor