Today’s workplace isn’t only on-site at the office for many employees. Neither workers nor employers are tied exclusively to one place to get work done. Largely because of the pandemic, how work gets done is not dependent on where work happens anymore for a lot of businesses, and many employees are very happy with that.
Research and consulting company Gartner describes hiring for a hybrid workplace as having business and cost benefits, including talent acquisition and facilities expenses. A distributed workforce is not tied to one location, but the hybrid workplace requires planning and rethinking organizational structures and shared ownership of how work gets done. It’s very much a skills-focus rather than a job-filling focus, where transportable skills hold more weight than industry experience.
A hybrid work environment may not be for everyone, but studies are showing that employees are increasingly happier with remote work options, and believe they are more productive with them. Harvard Business Review reported that knowledge workers working remotely because of the pandemic believe they are focusing on what really matters for work, and getting more done because of it. Employees like remote work and believe it’s an improvement over their pre-pandemic work environment.
When employees get to decide where work gets done, they feel better about doing their best work. Research shows that remote workers are happier than permanently on-site workers, and they put in longer hours. They also are unhappy losing this option.
The hybrid workplace has developed as employers try to accommodate return-to-onsite work and employees who prefer remote work. Digitized processes that allow for remote options not only keep employees happy, but they also improve efficiencies and productivity. Hybrid work environments have fewer dedicated workstations and more hoteling spaces and resources to be used on an as-needed basis.
Rearranging the workplace to achieve the best balance for remote and on-site work is becoming necessary to recruit and retain engaged workers. Offering flexibility about where and how work can be done is important in a post-pandemic workplace, and data suggests hybrid work could become a permanent part of the near-future workplace. Hybrid work models, where some employees work on-site and others work from home, or remote workers come on-site for some work, meetings, and events.
When hiring for a hybrid organization, employers may want to follow General Motors’ lead for the future of work and assign workers to “work appropriately.” Appropriate work schedules and work environments will vary by position and the work performed, and that should be reflected in the hiring process. Recruiters and hiring managers working together can create a new mindset that General Motors says will boost recruiting.
Be prepared to be flexible about in-office work because of local regulations, and build that into hiring processes, being straightforward about it with candidates. Define your organization’s hybrid work expectations for candidates and remember that with remote recruiting and hiring, good communication is more important than ever.
Virtual job fairs and social media sourcing are important tools in hiring for a hybrid workforce. An organization’s social media engages a wide pool of potential candidates and virtual job fairs bring employers and candidates together in faster, easier ways than traditional recruiting avenues.
Hiring for a hybrid workplace means a change to your recruitment strategy or a shift in thinking about hiring. Professionals like VA Staffer CEO Jeff Hunter know that hiring for remote and hybrid work environments is different than pre-pandemic job markets. You are hiring people for the skills you need, not just to fill jobs.
Hunter recommends including actual work scenarios in interviews to assess candidates’ skills and abilities. Have candidates perform actual work that they’d be doing in their role with the company.
Working to understand candidate life goals and how they could align with the company goals is a proactive step that FUBU CEO Daymond John says is a win-win for companies and their workforces. Job crafting to better match employees’ goals and interests with job responsibilities and company goals creates better engagement and job satisfaction.
Job crafting during the recruiting process involves actively seeking input from candidates about what they’d like to get out of the role with the company. Asking if there are any specific skills they’d like to develop or any specific colleagues, customers, or professional mentors they’d like to work with or meet adds a level of extra meaning and purpose for those working in remote and hybrid work environments.
If your company has or is developing a hybrid workforce, you are in the majority of organizations. Calling it a “new era of hybrid working”, Gartner describes remote and hybrid work as opening up talent across geographic locations. Employers have far wider talent pools available with remote and hybrid workplaces and have more ability to create candidate and employee engagement.
The hybrid work environment creates not only benefits for employers and workers, but new opportunities to shape culture. Shared experiences with remote and hybrid working and return to office initiatives can help organizations navigate the new future of work.