By Matt Vahle
Over the past two and a half months this country has gone through unprecedented times. As to be expected, the way that we work has changed drastically, and when this is all over the way that we hire will be too. For those of us who are fortunate to still have a job, we find ourselves in a work from home situation. Zoom calls with co-workers and clients are now the current normal. I remain confident that this will not be a permanent situation, but I am extremely thankful that we live in a time where technology allows us to give the illusion of a traditional office workday.
Prior to the pandemic people working from home had tripled in the past 15 years, according to the Federal Reserve. There were two logical reasons for this. One – the cost of living is less outside of major metropolitan areas, and the second being the rise of inter-office communication, (technology) such as Slack and ZOOM. However it must be noted that well over 3/4th’s of these WFH employees were within a reasonable driving distance to a regional office or client base.
But now in the midst of a pandemic the question remains – will we go back to a “normal” office life ever again? Will there be 30 person team meetings in a small conference room ever again? As I stated before I do believe that we will return to the way it once was, just not anytime soon. That being said, the business doesn’t stop. Companies will be adjusting to a new normal and hiring will resume if it hasn’t already. But when it comes to hiring and searching for new candidates – how will it be different?
The pandemic has been a forced experiment testing employers’ abilities to support their employees working remotely, i.e. tech support. In the beginning it was a bumpy ride, but two months in it’s smoother sailing. Companies now have a much greater capacity to support remote employees even if they didn’t initially want to. This new emergence of support I firmly believe will have an impact on hiring, when candidates will no longer have to be located close to an office or a region in order to be considered for a role, having a positive impact in so many ways.
The candidate pool will open up greatly. No longer will a recruiter like me be forced to look in a certain geographical region. This will allow for more diversity, different mindsets, and less cost. And let’s be honest, what employer doesn’t want less cost? For the candidate, it opens up a greater search radius and the opportunity to work for a potential dream company or larger organization.
The ancillary effect is that employees will work more, become less likely to quit, and generally become happier doing their job. The average American commutes a total of one hour a day to work, which tends to lead to the inverse in happiness for the aforementioned.
When location becomes irrelevant the best hire can be made in a stronger candidate pool and for less cost. It is a win-win for both the candidate and the company. To the future normal…