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Right now, it seems as if “We’re hiring” signs are everywhere, from ad agencies and warehouses to nonprofits and retail.

There are over 11 million open jobs in America as we write this. We used to see 50-60 people apply for an open position within a week of posting—now it’s 5 or 6 applicants at most. The demand for talent has completely changed the landscape of hiring. Recruiters aren’t even calling it high demand—they see it more as a war for talent. It’s brutal out there, and the same techniques they used before to find and attract the right people no longer apply. Here at ADP, we’ve turned everything we thought we knew about hiring on its head to adapt to this changing landscape, and are helping our clients transform along the way. The good news is that companies have options, and we just need to rewire our strategies a bit to evaluate and deploy them effectively.

Have your talent pool reach infinity

We work with many companies whose hiring managers will dismiss the idea of offering a remote position. But we recommend seriously evaluating the possibility of a job being offsite if they want to attract talent. Redefining a role and shifting it to a virtual environment allows companies to greatly expand their talent pool. More clients are learning to do this to respond to the white-hot competitive labor market.

But creating a remote position, and hiring for it, is more complicated than making sure everyone has a decent internet connection for video calls. From the moment the job is posted, the company needs to ensure it has a strong digital presence to take the place of the physical office. That company homepage may have been an afterthought the past few years, but now it’s crucial to give candidates a sense of workplace culture and company values, and even put a face to the names of the people they’re talking to.

The job listing itself should promote the flexibility of working remotely—it’s a must to do a good job of communicating that one could do the job from anywhere. And don’t forget to promote how this setup would offer a healthy work-life balance. More and more, candidates who would never dream of working from home are opening their eyes to the possibility.

Are there daily or weekly check-in meetings? Is a communication platform like Slack going to be the main mode of communication? How will this person interact and collaborate with others in the organization, and will in-office workers be welcoming and receptive?

Know the fine print of remote work

Then there’s the logistics of creating a remote position. A new hire in a different state could mean you have to abide by different state tax laws. Minimum wage, PTO policies, and leave policies will vary by state—this is something businesses must consider when they decide they’re ready to start hiring remote employees. In some cases, health benefits could cost three times as much for employees who aren’t in the same network as the company’s plan. ADP is constantly helping our clients navigate these waters.

Employers also have to make the resources that are available to remote workers more appealing. Beyond supplying state-of-the-art software for seamless remote access, hiring managers need to make sure workers have all the equipment they need. An ergonomic chair for all those virtual meetings. A dedicated desk for the home office. Many employers assume that people who want to work from home are just going to figure it out. But if you’re able to offer what they would find in an office-like environment (think standing desks, for those who want them) to make them more comfortable, that goes a long way. Employees want to make sure their work environment is fully functional, even though they’re at home.

Onboarding remote employees is another challenge. But, even if you don’t have any physical presence with the employee, there are ways to get them acclimated to the company culture on their very first day and into their busy next few weeks. Having set status calls really work to ensure new remote employees are fully engaged with their assignments. Plus, if a company can gather its remote workers together with in-office workers once or twice a year, that can be invaluable for team-building and connection.

Embrace relocation

Remote work isn’t an option for some businesses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t expand your talent pool by bringing them to you. Relocation can be a great option for a company that’s committed to finding the best talent and wants or needs their employees physically in the office. Often, the employer needs to sell the city itself before they sell the job to attract the candidate to the place and the career opportunities at the same time. Maybe they showcase the great schools, or cultural institutions, or that world-famous deli around the corner from the office.

One of the things employers have to keep in mind to support relocating workers is the difference in the cost of living. For instance, if someone is moving from Georgia to California, that can present significant differences, and the salary will need to reflect that. Employers will need to guide new hires through that process and offer incentives to make the move, such as covering moving costs. Focusing on the opportunities that relocation can afford them, and how the company will do their best to help them adjust, may make it easy for them to seal the deal.

We can’t overstate how important it is to educate relocating hires about what’s in the area they’re moving to, knowing their housing budget, where they might want to live, and have resources for them about schools, real estate, and other local opportunities, from youth sports to local gyms. If you put that effort into it, then they’re going to know that you’re invested in them. It makes moving for a job much easier—and more lucrative for everyone.

Expand your horizons

Zoom out. When we talk about small-to-midsize businesses today, especially in niche arenas, potential talent may not be located in every single city. Try expanding your mindset to somewhere else. When you’re advertising an open position, look beyond just the local area. Certain populations may have more workers who are able to relocate easily or work remotely, or come into the office when necessary.

Advertise through colleges and universities that have programs in your field, and seek out specialized newsletters and job boards rather than relying only on general listings on LinkedIn or If you can’t find someone with the experience level you’re looking for, consider hiring someone with less experience and invest in training and mentoring to shape them for the role. That way you can identify and grow talent internally.

Build out to branch out

Some projects truly need in-person presence. To meet potential talent where they are, consider opening satellite offices where projects are based. We had a California-based client recently who was launching a big project in Atlanta, and they needed a team of full-time project managers there. The company was able to create a satellite office where all of these project managers could work in Atlanta without having to relocate anyone. Leaders may need to ask themselves: Do I need people in different locations? If the majority of the talent pool is living in a specific state based on their industry, then that’s where they should start looking for candidates and consider opening a small office.

Ask all the right questions

When interviewing candidates for a remote position, ask questions that get them thinking about how they’ll succeed remotely—and give the interviewer a sense of how they’ll work together from afar.

Questions like: How do you work individually in your remote setting? How do you stay motivated? How do you organize yourself to be productive in your own environment?


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