How can recruiters successfully work remotely?
Sometimes the best talent doesn’t live close enough to your office to commute. Do you allow your recruiters to work remotely? How can teleworking be approached in terms of assuring productivity, motivation and commitment when not in the traditional office setting?
If you have a phone, a laptop and a solid internet connection, most office jobs can be done successfully from home. A recent survey showed that UK’s most productive employees work from home. With stats like these, ruling out a telecommuting agreement for the right person could limit you in terms of growing your business. A recruitment agency willing to offer the benefit of working off site can grow faster, and be represented in more cities throughout the UK, Europe or even worldwide.
In order to be successful, consider the following points:
Give them the right tools
Make sure your recruiters have the right equipment and are set-up for success at home. While Coffee shops are fine for interviews, it’s not the most professional setting for working all day long and no matter how disciplined you are, it’s ripe for distractions. Be sure the recruiter has a home office away from noise and the rest of the goings on in their family life. They need somewhere quiet to conduct their calls, and be able to focus on sourcing the best candidates.
A strong internet connection is key, especially if using a voice over ip phone connection too. If you have an internal network or shared folders, they will need to be able to access them. Do you have IT resources to help you set up a VPN or some other way of connecting back to the office? Or, if everyone is working remotely, do you use collaborative tools such as Trello, Dropbox or Google Docs?
Expect some teething issues
If this is your first time hiring someone to work outside of your office, be aware there may be challenges along the way. Don’t let it put you off, but consider everything you will expect your employee to be able to access. Do you use a cloud based recruitment software they can easily access online? Great! No worries there. However, if you are using something that uses a desktop client, have you opened up access so they can get connected?
In the first few weeks, make sure they test and check their ability to log on from home. You may need to invest in GoToMeeting, or another screen sharing tool that will allow you to help them as needed. Remember that they may become frustrated if they are missing tools that are vital to their job execution. Work through them together so you can both be successful moving forward.
Trust that work is being done
Don’t forget that people working from home need breaks too. If you call and they don’t answer, don’t assume the worst. Just like those in the office gathering in the break room, your remote worker deserves to make a cup of tea too! They are actually likely to take less time in doing so, and won’t get stopped several times as they make their way back to their desk!
Don’t feel like you need to check up on them constantly. As with anyone who is physically present in the office building, you will soon know if they aren’t completing their work and the standards are slipping. In fact, you will probably find that your remote workers may forget to stop working! It’s easy to keep going when you know you don’t have that commute home, so it can be tempting to continue on for an hour or so after ‘going home’ time. The same goes for starting the day, which can often begin long before any of the other recruiters make it in through all the traffic.
Don’t forget about us
If you don’t see someone in the office every day, you can be forgiven for forgetting them from time to time. Working from home can get lonely. Include them in group emails, check in on them from time to time just to say hello, and make them feel like part of the team. Ideally they will visit the office on a regular basis, even if it’s just once a month, but work with them to build the relationship and make them feel like a valuable member of the organisation.
Schedule weekly (at least!) update meetings that include your remote workers. They need feedback too, and not seeing them every day can mean that interaction gets missed that would naturally happen with other employees you see daily. 30 minutes each week will help keep the communication going.
It’s not for everyone
Remember, working from home is not for everyone. The recruiter has to be organised, motivated and able to focus every day without the ‘boss’ sitting in the same room. They must treat their home office just like they would if they were getting on the train every day, and manage to separate the two ‘spaces’.
So, when hiring your next recruiter, consider the endless possibilities of finding the right talent, if you open the door to them working from home.
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