Don't let geography limit your hunt for the next generation of accounting talent
We’re all a bit more open to the idea of remote working these days. And for firms looking to get the best talent, that’s no bad thing. Without the constraints of geography, remote working is a great opportunity for firms to specialise and broaden their outreach nationwide.
What’s more, finding talented individuals willing to work remotely is easier than ever. Lots of us got a taste of life without long commutes and flexible hours during the various lockdowns, and it’s still an attractive way of working for some.
Indeed, as of June 2021, an astonishing 85% of employees wanted a hybrid approach to work, according to the Office for National Statistics.
So, instead of rushing back to the way things were – why not recruit smart people across the country who can represent your firm remotely, from their home office?
Advantages of hiring remote workers
Some employers will be unsure about extending remote work opportunities, and that’s understandable.
Lots of businesses are encouraging their teams to come back to the office to make the most of the benefits working together face-to-face can bring – like boosting camaraderie and creating a feeling of community.
That might match the vision you have for your firm, but it’s worth keeping in mind the advantages to remote working that we experienced during the pandemic. They’re still relevant and beneficial.
For instance, countless studies support the claim that remote employees are more productive. Global Workplace Analytics found teleworkers were 20-25% more productive than office-based employees, and a study by TINYpulse showed remote workers felt 91% more productive when they worked from home.
Meanwhile, hiring remote workers can reduce your business costs and, because employees themselves will save time and money on commuting, you could boost your retention, too.
But most importantly, basing your recruitment on remote workers unlocks a wider talent pool than you would normally have access to, which you can use to your advantage in a variety of ways.
Using a wider pool of talent to your advantage
First, by hiring remotely, you can find young and flexible newcomers with more dedication and potential than what might be available in your local area.
The younger generation will need intensive training. Doing this digitally can be more cumbersome than in-person training, although there are a swathe of resources out there to help you create an effective remote learning method.
Second, you might find it easier to find a large number of accounting experts who are looking for a change of pace and scenery after the pandemic, and have decided working from home is the best way for them to do that.
This will be especially advantageous for firms that are looking to niche, whether you’re looking for a specialisation to take advantage of a new market or work with a particular type of client.
Finally, among the pool of remote workers available to you will be potential recruits from all over the country, which gives you the perfect chance to work with clients in new regions you might not have had the opportunity to before.
How to attract remote employees
But how do you actually attract remote employees to work for your firm? After all, not everyone will be onboard with the idea.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you have a strong employer brand online. While local employees might have heard of you by word of mouth, potential recruits on the opposite side of the country to your small, independent firm will only hear about you online.
But it’s not enough to just build a simple website. You need to make sure your online presence is trustworthy, clearly illustrates your work culture and helps candidates visualise themselves as members of your team.
Include information on how remote working can be beneficial, too. For example, remote workers can claim back tax for using their home as an office while gaining all the skills and knowledge a ‘regular’ worker will.
You should make sure this information is clearly and concisely displayed on attractive careers pages, and, most importantly, social media accounts.
We’ve written about promoting your firm using social media accounts before, so make sure you read that guide carefully so you can start recruiting the next generation of remote workers.
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