The #WFH extended talent opportunity

Analyst Opinion

With so many of us pivoting so rapidly to home-working during 2020, and in the process experiencing first-hand just how successful a virtual workplace can be, leaders are now presented with an interesting question. Namely, whether a future exists in which recruitment transcends the physical walls of the office and allows for broader access to talent pools across geographies.

To start with, the pandemic has already changed our understanding of the workplace. During a recent survey of IT/business professionals, 50% said that the increased acceptance of remote and flexible working would “probably” or “almost certainly” lead to a more inclusive recruitment policy, and to recruitment of people from a broader geographical area in a post-pandemic world.

This progressive mindset was echoed in a series of more in-depth interviews, with senior business managers pinpointing access to a broader pool of talent as a real opportunity to arise from an increasingly flexible and virtual workplace.

Work-from-home also enables more inclusive recruitment

And with health and wellbeing at the forefront of minds more than ever before, it only seems fitting that several of our interviewees shared their enthusiasm at the prospect of a more inclusive recruitment strategy – including those who might have otherwise been physically-unable to commute back and forth to an office.

Reaching the “digital natives” – Generation Z – also emerged as a prominent theme for our interviewees, with several framing their newfound remote-working practices as an attractive prospect to the younger generation. While it’s impossible to generalize, Generation Z’s researched preference for digitally-engaged, flexible and diverse employers will likely place those organizations who prize autonomy, inclusivity and virtual presence at a competitive advantage.

Though there will certainly be temptation to ease back into the old ways of working and hiring as lockdown restrictions ease, remaining inflexible here will only serve to drain the talent pool. If this crisis should teach us anything, it is that we can never truly predict what’s on the horizon – only plan, prepare and, when the time comes, adapt to the best of our ability.

Leaders who go the extra mile now to consolidate a blend of virtual and physical presence and view both their remote and office workers as valuable assets will be best placed to withstand any challenge.

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