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How the Staffing Industry Can Embrace Remote Work

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It is hard to believe, but it wasn’t that long ago when most work was done by people sitting at desks in office buildings. Companies changed or grew slowly and customer expectations were relatively static.  Then something happened.  Use of the Internet became more widespread and sophisticated and disrupted our thinking about what it means to run a business. Internet enabled mobile devices added fuel to the fire and today’s mobile, flexible, and social company was born. This “post-cubicle” reality has impacted the staffing industry, perhaps unlike any other. Staffing firms must not only decide how to integrate new ideas about work for their own business, but must adapt to the new communication preferences and work habits of their clients and job candidates. Firms that are slow to accept this new reality are likely to struggle while those who embrace it will be poised to take advantage of this important shift in how work gets done.

“I used to get paid for going to work; now I get paid for doing work.”

More and more staffing organizations are embracing the idea of remote or flexible work for recruiters. There is strong evidence that allowing some people to work from outside the office:

  • Improves employee morale and retention
  • Makes it easier to hire the most qualified recruiters, not just the ones nearest to the office
  • Reduces overhead costs and potentially even real estate costs
  • Increases productivity
  • Provides benefits social benefits, like reducing traffic and minimizing carbon emissions

Of course, remote work comes with challenges for recruiters and management alike.   Integration of people who are not in the office every day with the normal communication structure can be difficult, making remote workers feel disconnected or seem unavailable.  Perhaps more importantly, it can be tough to manage performance and ensure quality when recruiters work virtually and can’t be easily observed by their managers.

Fortunately, new technologies are being developed every day that make integrating remote workers seamlessly into an organization easier than ever before. Because recruiters live and die on the phone, Unified Communications solutions play a big part in this new paradigm.  The best hosted PBX solutions provide phones that are extensions of the corporate office system.  This enables four digit dialing, call transfer, conferencing and all the other phone system features that employees enjoy in the office.  Because managers must get the same productivity from remote employees as they do from those in the building, firms should look for solutions that enable remote coaching and training along with those that provide sophisticated business intelligence for recognizing and rewarding best practices.

Firms that rely on Bullhorn as their applicant tracking system are in a prime position to take advantage of the benefits of remote work.  A unified communications solution that is designed to support remote work and is integrated with the Bullhorn solution makes both applications even more powerful.

Embracing remote work is not something to be taken lightly, but firms who are able to utilize available technology and smart management techniques will be well positioned to attract the best talent, increase placements and gain competitive advantage.

This Bullhorn Blog post was written by Amber Newman. Amber Newman is a corporate communications and marketing professional with nineteen years’ experience in business-to-business software, SaaS and services. She currently serves as Sr. Manager of Corporate Communications for ShoreTel’s Cloud Division. She lives in northern California and is one of the estimated thirty million Americans who enjoys working from home.