As a larger-than-average pool of top-notch applicants looks to leverage their skills and qualifications in more flexible work roles, there’s never been a better time to be leading a company.
Companies aiming to grow emerging leadership within their organizations now have access to a staggering amount of talent around the world, from millennials to seasoned veterans, eager to get on board and grow with you—provided they can work from anywhere.
During periods of crisis and uncommon growth, the best leaders and organizations stay calm and logical. Ready to show you’re a cool cat and an exceptional leader?
In the current environment, recruiting great remote talent is sure to prove that you can outperform your peers who are still struggling to find their footing. And now that company budgets are newly unburdened of spending related to a fully equipped and staffed office, money is available to hire the staff to take you there.
History Is on Your Side
History has shown time and again that selective cuts and progressive hiring in times of crisis work to the benefit of enduring companies. In the postwar 1940s, for example, when US military labs were on the verge of closing and droves of engineers were left without work, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, legendary founders of the electronic-equipment maker Hewlett-Packard, saw an opportunity they just couldn’t afford to pass up. Instead of making only big cuts to their business, they took advantage of the tremendous talent pool available at the time, which not only jump-started the company’s long-term success but also became the jumping-off point for all of Silicon Valley. Today, HP is one of the top electronics companies in the world, and its impact on the digital revolution and the advancement of technology is due in no small part to that kick-ass collection of accessible talent back in the ’40s.
More than 70 years later, embracing an innovative mindset is still how global giants like Google and Apple have historically been able to thrive. And with no sign that employees sent home during the 2020 pandemic will be returning to their offices until early 2022, such organizations have chosen to pivot even further toward a remote and hybrid corporate culture.
Long-term strategic planning over the course of the past three recessions was the subject of a 2010 Harvard Business School analysis. Out of the 4,700 companies studied, only 9 percent emerged from the economic downturn much stronger than they entered, because they deliberately made strategic hires amid the turmoil and had an eye toward growth. That means 91 percent of the companies did not do so.
What Does Strategic Hiring Mean for Your Success?
If you look beyond the current pandemic crisis, what opportunities can you seize right now to increase your company’s value? Certainly, it’s not easy to set fear aside and capitalize on the changing times by making strategic remote hires. But where do you want your own company to be 70 years from now?
If you can make critical cuts and invest in skilled employees who can really move the needle—adopt the expectations of a remote company culture like so many major corporations are doing today—your team can profit from the current hiring climate as well.
You’ll want to take some notes here. This is the path to long-term success.
Get your company’s directors and managers involved with the strategic hiring process and invested in the big picture.
Because you’re not the only business leader recruiting top talent in 2021, it’s important to enlist the support of your top management tier early on to identify superstar talent around the country and the globe. Help them see your vision, explain how it will optimize individual departments, get them excited at the prospect of energetic new voices enlivening your team. Research giant Gartner advises companies to redesign the way they recruit quality talent by asking which positions can be filled remotely for both the short and the long term and which new remote hires will be most vital to building a global team.
Build a passionate team from the ground up.
When you do onboard great remote talent, make sure the whole team is included. Don’t just leave this stuff to HR. Have senior leaders share their passion for your company and the value they hope to build with their new colleagues. As Mark Cuban, American entrepreneur and star of Shark Tank, says, “How companies treat employees [now] will define their brand for decades.” Having key team members participate in the hiring process validates your trust and care—important qualities for nurturing strong global leadership in today’s remote and hybrid workforce.
Partner with specialized staffing agencies to source the best short- and long-term remote candidates.
Unlike traditional hiring, strategic remote hiring requires a different kind of screening and assessment of a candidate’s skills and qualifications, including adaptability to technology and online collaboration. More than ever, staffing agencies that specialize in remote placements heavily weigh soft skills and ask behavior-based questions that allow them to recruit and vet the best possible talent using an intuitive human-interaction approach.
Flex your payroll budget in creative ways to allow for this approach to strategic hiring.
You’re probably wondering how your enterprise is going to fund new remote hires as the world tries to recover from a global crisis. Like everything, strategy involves redefining priorities. At this pivotal point in history, for many businesses, the cost savings of either eliminating or significantly reducing a fully staffed office now supports an expansion of hiring remote employees and digital nomads who will work from home or from the road. Likewise, the money you used to shell out for high-dollar leases and office expenses can be reallocated to help employees increase efficiency, bolster productivity, and enhance overall output of individual departments.
Don’t take downsizing lightly.
For companies to stay in business while still providing optimal support to remote and hybrid employees, some may need to consider downsizing or outsourcing to cut costs and focus on covering demand. It is possible to keep only essential team members if you forecast demands accurately and expand your contingency staffing in peak seasons. This may even free up money to bring on that game-changing remote hire you want. But in-depth research by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that over the long term, downsizers never outperform those who manage to avoid major layoffs.
Long-term thinking is key to hiring and maintaining great temporary and permanent talent in today’s remote hiring culture. Take advantage of the opportunity presenting itself right now with a strategic and focused plan that will position you and your team for sustained success far into the future.