Remote working options now key to recruitment strategy

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

HIRING STRATEGY: It doesn’t take a lot of recruitment market research to notice that fixed-location work is fast becoming a thing of the past. Covid-19 forced a change in the status quo, proving that remote, online work was not only possible but also a necessity for many staff and organisations in the current operating environment.

CXC Global has found that the mindset of many employers is to now offer either fully remote or hybrid work as part of most professional job descriptions.

Many organisations responded to the pandemic’s challenges by embarking on digital transformations that may have taken years to implement otherwise. Third-party recruiters are also seeing the benefit of using digital technology to find the best candidates, adopting systems that allow them to screen multiple candidates online in a fraction of the time taken previously.

LinkedIn’s The Future of Recruiting report shows that recruiters around the region are adamant that remote hiring is here to stay — even if the pandemic disappears without a trace. A startling 78% of respondents to their survey said virtual recruiting strategies would continue post-Covid, while 72% said virtual recruiting would become the “new standard” across the hiring industry.

Some of the region's most prominent and influential organisations, including HSBC Singapore, have seen the writing on the wall and shifted their graduate hiring and onboarding processes completely online. Candidates for entry-level positions with the bank will now experience a very different operation than those hired before them, possibly not setting foot in the office until their first official day or even later. The bank says that the faster employers embrace remote work as a drawcard for the best talent, the more successful they will become.

Employees also recognise this, desiring the option to work from home, in addition to the office. Changing priorities, mixed with a general shunning of traditional office perks, means an employer talent attraction brand hinges on empathy and understanding the modern-day pressures that workers face.

A survey undertaken by Michael Page found that around four in five employees claimed they were equally or more productive working from home. While only 5% preferred to work entirely remotely, the data suggests that workers prefer to have the best of both worlds. Many employees still enjoy the social element of a work setting but value flexibility to perform tasks from the comfort of a home office.

Brandon Coate, Head of HR at HSBC Singapore, agrees. “HSBC is focused on investing in attracting the best local talent and further developing their skills,” he told Chief of Staff Asia. “To attract these candidates, we need to embrace remote working quickly, and we are adapting accordingly.”

This comment is supported by recent figures from the Asia Development Bank, which show that the region’s economic revival is well underway, with regional growth forecast to rebound to 7.3% in 2021, moderating to 5.3% in 2022. The data foreshadows a boost in hiring, and prospective employees with in-demand skills will be shopping around for a malleable career with employers that understand the current demands of professional life.

Even just five years ago, the idea of a large portion of the workforce operating in a remote capacity was seen as a threat to productivity. Companies envisioned distracted workers and missed deadlines as a reason to stay in-house and on-site, generally under the careful eye of line managers.

Fast-forward to today, these sentiments are seen as antiquated - sometimes even an opportunity lost. In fact, remote working may have actually boosted productivity due to a range of factors that some employers are only just beginning to grasp.

Indeed, workplace psychologists tend to agree that whether workers are situated in their homes or present in a third party space, it makes little difference to productivity. Employees now feel they have enhanced autonomy and control over their work environment through remote working.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's report on Recruitment and Hiring Strategy. For further coverage, and access to the full report, please see any of the below links:

Online and Upward: Hiring strategies for post-Covid talent markets (full report) December 2, 2021

Virtual hiring focus to continue: Chief of Staff research (news highlight) December 3, 2021

Remote working options now key to recruitment strategy (feature) December 6, 2021

HSBC's virtual recruitment push (case study) December 7, 2021

A continued push for diversity is needed for high team morale (feature) December 8, 2021

Southeast Asian countries lead in gender inclusion scores (infographic) December 9, 2021

Ramping up: The case for internal hiring strategies (feature) December 10, 2021

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