Over the past few months, employers and employees figured out how to manage technology and supervision and overcame concerns about productivity with their employees working from home. However, will we be able to go back to work as we knew it pre-COVID-19?
There’s No Going Back
In an April Gallup poll, 3 in 5 U.S. employees working from home want to continue to work remotely. While some miss their colleagues and in-person interactions, most employees feel more productive working from home because of the reduction in interruptions. They also enjoy the benefits of more time with family, no stress from commuting, and overall higher satisfaction with their job.
Is there an argument to bring employees back into the office? Yes, but a 10-week Indeed poll suggests nearly half those surveyed are still concerned about returning to work. According to Mark Spiegel, senior policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, “Going forward, the pace of economic recovery will depend on the progression of the pandemic…Given the substantive uncertainty concerning how the COVID-19 situation will develop, we offer two scenarios for the path of recovery.” Spiegel goes on to describe an early recovery scenario that assumes most social distancing measures are phased out by the end of the year. The delayed recovery scenario assumes these measures will initially be phased out at the same speed as in the first scenario but presumes increased infections leading to a reinstatement of shelter-in-place restrictions later in the year. Both scenarios presume that a vaccine against the virus will become available by mid-2021.
Are There Characteristics of Better-Suited Candidates to Work From Home?
Yes, we believe this added hiring element should be examined more closely when hiring candidates. As recruiters, we pride ourselves on our ability to match the best candidates for the job. Our trusted 8-Step Process includes an in-depth analysis of position specifications, company culture and defining of client parameters. We have refined our evaluation techniques to measure not only a candidate’s experience but also to focus on personality and behavioral skills that prove the candidate would be successful working for your company as a remote worker. These characteristics include time management, organizational skills, attention to detail, self-discipline, prioritizing results over activity, and problem-solving.
Interestingly, data shows that older workers are well suited for telework. Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging explains, “The world will look much older in the decades to come, and employers must adapt to this demographic shift.” Besides a strong work ethic, older workers bring a knowledge base that is a real asset to companies. They also don’t typically miss the social interactions younger workers need but still add value and mentoring to their younger counterparts.
Recruiters can also cast a wider net for ideal candidates since remote workers do not have to live near the company’s office. This unlocks more possibilities for finding qualified candidates.
What Employers Need Now
We recognize that the future will not look the same. While the majority of professional workers will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, we recognize that managers now have the added responsibilities of hiring the best remote workers while also balancing ways to maintain productivity and coordinating work and motivating employees who tend to enjoy more social interactions.
With an unemployment rate of 13.3%, we might believe that matching candidates to job openings will be a cakewalk. We are here to strategize with your team to determine the most effective means for sourcing target candidates who will succeed in this ‘new normal.’