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REMOTE RECRUITMENT
AND HYBRID WORK IN 2021: PRESENT SITUATION AND FUTURE TRENDS IN IT INDUSTRY

The trend towards remote work was accelerated almost overnight in March 2020 with the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, remote work wasn’t just a perk some employees could choose to offer to their workers, but a necessity for all. 

 

In 2020, numerous companies and IT professionals became more open to hiring remotely. One British study even showed that around 60% of mid-level and senior specialists would be OK if all the hiring process was done remotely.   

 

Even before the pandemic, remote work was on the rise - Over the last five years, the remote workforce has grown 44%, and over the previous ten years, 91%

A year into the pandemic, several global mega-companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Apple have indicated that they are sticking to the work-from-home model. In their Predictions for 2021, an American market research company Forrester found that remote work will be the new normal, with a 300% increase over pre-COVID-19 levels. In addition, 37% of US workers have said they want to work from home more often after the pandemic.

Does remote hiring mean reduced costs?

Remote hiring not only removes relocation costs but also office-associated costs like furniture, office equipment, electricity bills, etc. Some studies also show that remote employees take fewer sick leave days

 

On the other hand, progressive companies are starting to pay for some home-office-associated costs as a part of their employee benefits package. In fact, a significant part of employees may already be expecting such moves from their employers. A UK study showed that 74% of workers believe their company should pay for office technology equipment when they work from home, and 50% believe their company should even provide office furniture and contribute to WiFi and phone bills.

Therefore, remote hiring may be more cost-effective right now, but it won’t necessarily stay that way for years to come. In any case, cost reduction shouldn’t be the main reason for choosing this hiring approach.

Before the pandemic, many companies were reluctant to try the remote work option due to practical reasons or concerns about potential productivity loss. In this new reality, remote work has been adopted by the majority of IT companies, and many are planning to keep it at least partly, in the future.

Maris Tepers, CEO of MateHR

Improved employee well-being vs. “work from home fatigue” 

Remote work allows for greater flexibility and thus improved work-life balance of employees. Increasingly more sustainably-thinking employers choose to hire remotely and allow their team to work from anywhere and possibly move to calmer and greener areas, thus improving their health and reducing geographical inequality. Remote work also eliminates the need to commute, giving people at least one extra hour per day and doing a great favor to the environment.


While studies show that happy employees are also more motivated and productive, having a remote team is not suitable for all people and all companies.

First of all, it’s more challenging to determine if the person is a good fit for the team without meeting them in person. Onboarding recruits remotely, especially for highly technical positions, can be a challenge. Not only the job training itself is difficult without the tutor being physically present, but also the motivation and success of the recruit are hard to measure. 

 

Some recent studies also show that people have begun to feel the effects of work from home fatigue or burnout, which entails missing face-to-face socializing, losing the boundaries between work and private life, and feeling stressed about juggling work, family, health, and other responsibilities in the same environment. 

PROS
of hiring remotely:

+ Saving time and money on relocation-related paperwork and procedures
+ Access the widest possible candidate pool

+ Save on office-associated costs

+ Give greater flexibility and better work-life balance to your team

+ Reduce the environmental impact of commuting

CONS
of hiring remotely:

​​Challenging to onboard and train junior employees

Less effective communication 

Reduced team spirit

Potential bureaucratic challenges (a traditional employment contract would be binding only in one country)

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IS HYBRID WORK
THE FUTURE?


 

Even a worldwide disaster like the COVID-19 pandemic has a silver lining. For the HR and recruitment industries, that unexpected benefit is the flexibility that different working (and hiring) formats propose. And we believe that 2021 will be all about that - finding ways of communicating and hiring that are mutually convenient and efficient for both the candidates and employers.

Studies worldwide have already established that the hybrid work model is the optimal choice for most knowledge workers. The global Returning to Work Survey by Smartway2 even found that 92% of employees want a hybrid workplace after the pandemic.

What to expect in 2021 and beyond

It’s likely that after having “tasted” remote work, many people may no longer be OK with going back to the office full-time. With remote work being here to stay, more people will choose to move away from cities to greener and calmer areas. 

 

Meanwhile, modern employers will have to learn to cater to the different needs and expectations of employees. For example, employers might have to start covering more remote-work-related expenses, like tech equipment, internet bills, or ergonomic furniture.


In the tech realm, we will see an increase in new and progressive tools and software that help manage remote teams, including virtual offices, augmented reality work environments, and advanced multimedia communication tools.

Even after the pandemic, some remote work processes will continue to be used in the office. One such example is video conferencing - in companies where a fraction of the team works remotely, meetings will need to be held online to be inclusive. 

 

Finally, the soft skills of candidates will be an increasingly important factor in the recruitment process. To be efficient in a hybrid work setup, employees will need to have good soft skills like creativity, teamwork, adaptability, and time management.

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How to find the best hiring tactic for your company?

There’s no doubt that the quality of recruitment processes will need to grow along with the new realities of the IT recruitment world and the “next normal” workplace, including remote and hybrid hiring processes.

 

If you are not yet sure if remote hiring is for you, or if you should hire internationally (or locally), download our comprehensive white paper on the best recruitment tactics for 2021. 

Whichever option you find suitable, the best IT recruitment results can be achieved with the help of a professional recruitment company. Contact us for recruitment solutions tailored to your unique hiring needs.