With only a small number of people interested in being in the office full time (just 2%, to be exact!), companies everywhere are finding solutions to facilitate hybrid working.
From finding collaborative software, hosting hybrid meetings, and keeping everyone engaged, managers are trying to assess what hybrid work means for business, all while getting their projects done and keeping their employees happy.
So how do you hire new staff into this new hybrid workforce?
What is a Hybrid Workforce?
The word ‘hybrid’ refers to, in workplace terminology, the combining of two kinds of work – working remotely and working from the office.
While we might eventually drop the label for this type of work and simply refer to it as “work”, at the moment it’s still a fairly new phenomenon at the scale that we’re seeing it.
What Advantages Does a Hybrid Workforce Enjoy?
A big advantage for your client company is the ability to hire from a much larger talent pool. If you’re not limited to a particular city, or the people willing to move for the job, then you can cast your hiring net much wider.
This also allows you to hire a more diverse group of people.
For example, someone who might have restricted mobility, caring responsibilities, or other things that would make a full time, in-office work challenging, can be considered without these things being seen as disadvantages.
Companies with diverse management teams have been shown to enjoy 19% more innovation revenue than companies with less-than-average leadership diversity. So it’s not only better for those you’re hiring – it’s also more profitable.
Hiring outside of the confines of your city also opens up positions to people who can’t afford to live close to your company, such as new graduates, for example, or just anyone who hasn’t had the time yet to climb up the corporate ladder.
The greatest advantage is likely to be that of flexible working. When employees are able to work in ways that are balanced with their personal lives, they are (understandably) a lot happier. Commute times can virtually disappear, meaning employees have more personal time at their disposal.
They also have more money at their disposal and can wake up later and spend more time with family and friends. 52% of men and 60% of women have gone as far as to say they’d quit their job if they were not allowed to work remotely, which should tell you just how important it is.
Another two advantages to consider are the reduced environmental impact from less travel and the reduced cost for companies in terms of rent and running costs.
7 Best Hybrid Hiring Practises
While some things remain the same, there are quite a few differences in how you might hire for a hybrid workforce. Luckily, there’s a plethora of recruitment software to help, and we’ve got some top tips for how to go about it.
1. Be Flexible About the Job Role
To get the best candidates for the job, you should consider having less strict requirements regarding in-office attendance or location. Being flexible about where your staff can work from and which hours they’re allowed to work will massively increase your talent pool, and help with staff retention. 80% of women and 69% of men have said remote-work options are among the most important considerations when evaluating a new job.
Even if this isn’t what you envisioned, it could be worth making compromises for the right person. It’s a give and take relationship, and to attract the best candidates, you will have to make it worth their while to work for you – employees expect more than just a salary.
This flexibility is both necessary in the recruitment process – offering virtual interviews via video meetings, for instance – and in terms of where employees are allowed to work, and which hours.
2. Open Your Search
With the job market now wide open for people to apply to jobs in any part of the world, there’s also more competition on the side of employers to attract good applicants.
You might want to consider actively headhunting people rather than just waiting for people to apply to your job adverts. Cold recruiting email templates are a useful tool for recruiters to use, as are Applicant Tracking Systems – there might be someone who applied in the past that’d be perfect for a new role that’s just come up!
You can also attend virtual job fairs to find candidates for your company, as anyone attending these will likely be familiar with hybrid and remote work practices.
Don’t forget to hire professional SEO services – they can help attract your candidates through well-written job descriptions and job adverts which people can find more easily with some carefully chosen, data-backed phrases.
3. Make Use of Technology
Rather than having interviews designed to check applicants’ capacity for basic tasks, use screening questions, such as asking applicants to supply a performance marketing definition.
As well as tasks, you can have candidates fill out questionnaires, and answer both multiple-choice and open answer questions so that you can assess them.
Depending on your company’s area of expertise, and the skills required from the candidate, you could consider asking them questions about various acronyms, like “what is ROI” or “what is IVR”. These questionnaires can be stored in an applicant tracking system, meaning you can easily access the data when assessing your ca
Once you’ve narrowed it down, instead of requiring in-person interviews, why not use video software, or find the best VoIP service to conduct meetings?
After all, if some of the work will take place remotely, why shouldn’t the interview?
While flexibility is absolutely essential with hybrid working – whether it’s a flexible approach to work hours, work locations and even hiring practices – you still need to have an underlying structure to run a business.
Trees are flexible in that they find creative ways to grow towards the light, but they still need a stable root system to grow.
You can begin to create a structure by outlining your hybrid work expectations.
Which skills would your employees need to acquire to do the job well? Are there any core hours when everyone needs to be online at the same time? Are there a minimum number of hours per week that you absolutely require? How many times a week, and when, do you want to hold meetings (both 1-to-1s and team meetings)?
Perhaps you need new hires to be present in the office for the first couple of months and then settle into a hybrid working routine after that. Whatever your requirements are, make sure you have them figured out before you start writing a job description.
5. Look Inwards
Whenever looking to hire new talent, check first to see if there’s anyone on your team who already has some or most of the skills required for the new position.
It could well be that one of your employees would be interested in making a lateral move into a different position that suits their interests more. Or maybe someone is looking for a promotion and would make a good candidate.
This method helps you bypass some of the challenges of a hybrid workforce by going with people who have already passed your company’s vetting processes, and are familiar with how you function.
It’s really important to communicate clearly and consistently with your candidates and new hires. This applies of course to non-hybrid working as well, but with the added barriers of social distance in place, you will need to make a concerted effort to speak regularly with your potential and new recruits.
You can make use of software solutions to keep your newbies in the loop and make them feel part of the team. This can include regular email updates, video meetings, phone calls, and the occasional in-person meetup.
7. Be a Team
It can be easy for a hybrid workforce to feel disjointed, so it’s really important when hiring new recruits to make sure that there’s a solid team they will be joining. This will make your company seem both more organized and welcoming.
Building a team depends on a shared team spirit, which is something you can develop through regular effective hybrid team meetings, informal chats, events (both online and in-person), and shared values. It’s not something you should assume will naturally come into play, either – it takes concentrated effort to build and maintain.
Hybrid Working Can Be Either a Strength or a Weakness
It’s up to you how you adapt to hybrid working. You could micromanage, insist on set hours, and try to force the old-school way of thinking on this new school style. Or, if you want to succeed, you can build a thriving, flexible, hybrid workforce by hiring the right candidates, if the right way, from the start.
Hiring new people is always a challenge, but with some trust, flexibility, structure and innovation, it’s very doable.
Patty is the EMEA Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office, the leader in cloud communications solutions. Patty is passionate about creating value and differentiation, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. She gained a wealth of international product marketing, online conferencing, product management, GTM and market development experience, across a range of high-tech SaaS in a fast-paced, hyper-growth environment that assumes both strategic and tactical execution. She is not new to UC, starting in Tandberg, then Cisco, driving the launch of video collaboration and services, and Enghouse with global responsibilities for hosted CCaaS.