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How Do You Hire In-Office When Remote is in High Demand

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According to Census Bureau projections the decade from 2020 to 2030 will have the lowest growth of the working age population since the Civil War – 158 years ago when at least 2% of the population died in the war. On top of this slow population growth, the pandemic led many people to reexamine what is important in their lives, and working from home became a method to live their lives differently. At the same time, according to a CareerBuilder/Harris poll, 61% of managers want to accommodate employee preferences but don’t have the resources to do so. How do you hire in-office when remote is in high demand?

Higher Compensation
This always seems to be the most obvious carrot to extend to potential new employees to enable employers to hire in-office when remote is in high demand. But higher salaries alone won’t solve the problem. Communicating those salaries internally and externally in a truly transparent fashion will win you new applicants and more trusting, informed internal employees. Roxanne Petraeus, CEO of Ethena, a compliance training platform, said when they announced a clear and transparent pay formula for engineers their applications went up, with 70% of applicants saying pay transparency was a key factor in their decision to apply for or accept Ethena’s position. In less than a year, in a tough recruiting market, Ethena’s head count grew 35%. “It’s good for morale and for the bottom line for everyone to be on the same page,” Petraeus said.

Make It Social
A Harvard Business Review survey found that when employees were asked what would motivate them to come into the office they were very clear – social time with coworkers:

  • 85% would be motivated to go into the office to rebuild team bonds
  • 84% would be motivated to go into the office if they could socialize with co-workers.
  • 74% would go into the office more frequently if they knew their “work friends” were there.
  • 73% would go into the office more frequently if they knew their direct team members would be there.

BR also found that this in-person socializing is not taking away from productivity – it is fueling innovation, psychological safety and retention. The other ‘reason to be in-office hot button’ for employees was the opportunity to build relationships with senior leadership and their direct managers. Companies that incorporate multiple, short in-house training sessions with direct management or senior management luncheons or other social settings, build a culture of trust. A Deloitte Human Capital Trends survey found that 93% of employees agreed that a sense of belonging drives organizational performance.

Don’t underestimate the value of helping pay for commuting costs – offer a company car or create car miles like airline miles for additional vacation. How about free oil changes and car washes? What about extra vacation days equal to commuting time. An hour commute every day adds up to roughly 30 days a year. What about relaxing the dress code freeing employees from dry cleaning, shopping and the need to change from work to home? Coming into the office creates decision fatigue – what to pack for lunch and what to have prepared for dinner after that commute. Partner with a nearby restaurant for a group rate, or offer a meal kit subscription for at least one night a week.

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

If employees know they just have to show up and do their job, without all the other decisions like what to wear and what to eat, they will be more focused, have more energy and more loyalty. It will enable you to hire in-office when remote is in high demand.

Interested in more ways to successfully hire in-office when remote is in high demand? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Data Science and Analytics Recruiter, Paul Chatlos, at pchatlos@smithhanley.com.

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