There is a quiet revolution taking place in Canadian workplaces right now, and if employers don’t prepare themselves, they may be caught off-guard before they know it.
We’ve noticed articles popping up recently, advising on how to prevent new hires from backing out of on-site work commitments during this pandemic.
But these efforts may prove to be futile when it comes to swaying highly skilled, in-demand talent. The new reality is (and employers will have to accept this soon enough): work from home arrangements are here to stay.
Consistently, when considering potential new job opportunities, we are finding, the #1 question jobseekers are asking us right now is: “Can I work from home with this job?” This question is now competing with the usual top questions about salary expectations, job titles, and vacations. And candidates are not just alluding to temporary work-from-home arrangements due to COVID-19. They want this perk for the long-term.
In fact, as recruiters if we say: “No, there is an expectation to return to the office eventually,” we’re finding many candidates don’t even entertain an initial interview. They immediately back out.
So what can HR/hiring managers do in this context? Should employers sacrifice great talent for the sake of preserving a future in-office workforce?
In our experience, the answer here is unequivocally: No!
Contrary to how it may appear, this is actually not an either-or issue about working from the office or working from home. Rather, this is about our need to evolve our hiring practices as employers, and to transform old-school thinking to catch up with new and emerging opportunities today.
The big wins for HR/hiring managers lie in persuading management to think differently:
- Don’t operate on the notion that employees are more productive when they are in the office. This is a myth.Employees can just as easily be distracted going down a “rabbit hole” on YouTube, TikTok, IG or Facebook on their phones at the office, as they can be distracted putting in a load of laundry at home in-between work calls. The difference is, employees may feel less stressed multitasking their work and household chores at home, helping them to ultimately be better focused versus wasting time with social media distractions at the office.
- Today, we have to change our approach to hiring: Key attributes to look for in employees today is self-motivation and self-discipline. This is because, so often, we are fighting for our team’s mindshare today, we’re not just babysitting their time for productivity at work. If an employee is not being productive working from home, it may not be the work-from-home arrangement that is the problem. It may be the employee’s fit in the position, or the company (e.g. their work ethic and motivation) that’s the problem.
- Measure productivity success based on results, not time: Does it really take an employee 40 hours to get their job done? What if they can do it in 30 hours instead, and find better ways to innovate within those 30 hours? Do your employees know exactly what result is expected of them? In our experience, being open and transparent about the results we expect from each employee, and ensuring we have shared values behind those goals for motivation is critical. Anything less, and we may be doing a disservice to our team members.
Many research studies have suggested that happier, more relaxed employees (as a result of them being able to work from home) leads to more focused, AND more productive workers. It’s possible, and even probable. As a collective group, we just have to evolve our thinking.
If there is one silver lining from this pandemic when it comes to hiring practices, it is that our current experience is helping many leaders recognize that – to make great hires, we don’t need to mandate that candidates come into the office for an interview. Virtual interviews can still showcase a potential candidate’s personality. We just need to ensure we are finding self-starters today who are committed to generating great results, not merely measuring input of time.
If you’re looking for great Bilingual/French talent for you team, give us a call or email today: 416-236-3303, or [email protected]. We’re connected to the best candidates in the marketplace, and we’ve been working virtually across Canada for many years now, completely seamlessly. We look forward to serving you.