November 19, 2020 – The ‘new normal’ is still evolving as the nation continues to adjust to COVID-19. One area of change is how businesses continue to be productive and remain safe. With over 40 percent of employees working from home since COVID-19 arrived, organizations have had to adjust quickly to managing remote workforces, says a new report from SearchPath of Chicago.
Now that companies have figured out to operate with Zoom meetings and loads of laundry between meetings, they are starting to understand the benefits, said the report, which include improved productivity, increased savings, and unlimited talent pools. Let’s take a closer look at the findings.
Improved Productivity – “Not only have employees figured out how to optimize their time to get more done in less time, they are usually willing to give a little more,” said Chris Hillman, the report’s author. One study, in fact, found that 53 percent of remote employees are willing to work overtime than employees who work from an office.
Increased Savings – Mr. Hillman said that savings come into place on two fronts: savings for employees and savings for the company. “Inc. Magazine found that remote employees save between $2,000 and $7,000 a month of reduced costs (transportation, childcare, food and clothes) over employees who work from the office,” he said. “For companies, they can cut costs associated to real estate, janitorial, electricity, office furniture and more.”
Talent Pool – Typically, organizations are limited by geography and have to find talent within a reasonable reach of their headquarters or office. “If they search outside of those parameters, they have to consider factors such as re-location packages to qualified candidates that they want to move closer,” Mr. Hillman said. “With a remote workforce, those limitations go away. Now, organizations have the opportunity to search anywhere to find the right talent which opens possibilities without any geographical confines.”
“One year ago, the thought of having a remote workforce wasn’t a plausible solution for the majority of organizations,” Mr. Hillman said. “However, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible. Thinking of the pros of having remote employees allow for more productive work, less overhead costs and the opportunity to bring in top talent from anywhere.”
As remote work becomes more prominent in everyone’s life, it is vital that executives pay extra attention to their virtual business interactions. Without personal contact, culture becomes harder to convey. Technical difficulties become obstacles to communication. And personal chemistry is more challenging to establish. These days, it seems more critical than ever that encounters are well planned, well-managed and efficient.
In a recent report, Edouard Thoumyre, CEO of ACCUR Recruiting Services, offered a number of tips for conducting better online meetings and interviews. Here, he focuses on paying attention to technical fixes such as sound, lighting, background, and optimizing settings, as well as building better meetings and better online interviews.
SearchPath of Chicago is a national executive search firm focused on sectors that include packaging materials, food ingredients, raw materials (for dietary supplements and sports nutrition), nutraceuticals, biofuels, manufacturing, resins and industrial products.
Mr. Hillman serves as the firm’s president. He has 23 years of recruiting experience and has career billings of over $8 million, having conducted some 350 searches. In 2014, Mr. Hillman joined The Pinnacle Society, a consortium of 75 industry-leading recruiters in North America within the direct placement and search industry.
COVID-19’s Impact on the Firm
“COVID-19 has not made an impact on our business from an operational perspective,” Mr. Hillman said. “We still have a group of seasoned recruiters who come to the office daily to serve their client companies and candidates. In terms of adopting a different approach, we have simply taken the mindset that companies are not filling roles but are making business decisions with talent who can make an immediate impact on the bottom line.”
“We have tuned up our business development skills and represent only passive and employed talent who can step in and immediately produce results,” he said. “I am not aware of an executive who would not consider hiring somebody who can pay for themselves five times over within a 12-month period. Another change in the market we have experienced is the importance of video interviews. A strong virtual interview can translate into someone with the understanding and confidence to work in this new, virtual world. It is important that we place talent who can work effectively on a remote basis and are skilled in technology.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media