The benefit of hiring outside the box

Does your organisation offer employee relocation services, allow remote working, or hire locally?

Whilst it is usual for most businesses to hire staff locally, research from freelance job site Upwork has revealed that 58% of firms have compromised on a hire because they couldn't find quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) talent in their area.

70% of hiring decision makers reported that it is important to their business to be able to find professionals with the STEM skills they need. However, the research found that 33% of businesses still restrict their search for talent to their local area. Recently, the lack of locally available talent has been problematic for a number of sectors, but many business still do not grasp that they need to broaden their horizons and recruit from further afield - they would rather hire second best and risk compromising the business than take a leap of faith. 

Rich Pearson, SVP of Marketing at Upwork, commented: “There is a mismatch between where the work is and where the workers with in-demand, hard-to-find skills are based,” he said. “The battle for STEM talent is fierce enough on its own; when businesses limit the area in which they search for talent it only exacerbates the problem. More and more businesses are starting to see they have a viable option that closes that physical gap by expanding their search beyond their four walls; whether a London-based business is working with a data scientist in Winchester or Kiev, they’re able to get quality talent in the door more quickly and get more done as a result.”

Celsium works with a number of clients who recruit new hires from different towns and cities, and even from different countries. These businesses appreciate that we do not operate in a limited local economy any more and that it is reasonably straight forward to recruit somebody from much further afield than has historically been the case. A hiring manager may interview and offer the job to the best candidate but if that candidate is only scoring 8 out of 10 on paper, why settle for it? Is there a 10 out of 10 somewhere out there? You won't know unless you look, and there are plenty of resources to help business with that search.

The ideal candidate may be sitting in Barcelona, or Cape Town or Tokyo. Does location really matter? For some businesses it does, whilst for others, not so much - and so it shouldn't. Remote working is popular and serves a need for any organisations, but what about those business who prefer not to manage employees remotely? To attract the best talent, a large number of organisations maintain an employee relocation policy and offer relocation support to assist their new recruits in relocating nearer the work site. This could be a reasonably basic provision that provides for the reimbursement of any immigration application charges, travel costs and interim short-term accommodation; or it could be an all-singing, all-dancing package including support and guidance from a specialist relocation management company.

Regardless of the industry and level of relocation support offered (if there is no remote working provision), there is no doubt that hiring from further afield greatly improves the prospects of the hiring business. When lacking STEM skills, hiring managers reported not being able to innovate quickly (27%), being less productive (29%), and being unable to grow as quickly as they otherwise may have done (a further 29%).

Sotiris Spyrou, founder of search engine optimisation software Paradox SEO, commented: “The decision to hire talent beyond a 30- or 40-mile radius of our head office was a turning point,” he said. “This approach has enabled us to seek out the very best talent in the market. Working with people remotely has required us to communicate with the team in a different way but it’s been a positive experience – we’ve seen an overall improvement in staff morale and productivity at the same time.”

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK