Whether or not your organization is a leader in its industry, it can stand out by having a robust flexible work program. What work flexibility policies does it have in place already, if any? Many of the top companies in the country are offering flex to their employees, and with good reason. It’s estimated that over 80 percent of people would work from home if their companies offered it to them as an option, and currently one in five people telecommutes.
Even as telecommuting continues to grow, some states are more flex-friendly than others. FlexJobs, the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs, recently released its findings on the states that have the most telecommuting jobs.
Let’s take a look at those states and the companies and people telecommuting in them, and then how you can recruit remote workers, regardless of your company’s current location.
The following states had the most location-based work-from-home job listings for 2014:
- California: Apple, VMware, and Amazon have recruited telecommuters in California, and 5.2 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Texas: Anthem, Inc., Kelly Services, and First Data have recruited telecommuters in Texas, and 4.1 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- New York: Teradata, US-Reports, and Healthfirst have recruited telecommuters in New York, and 4 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Florida: Overland Solutions, Kaplan, and GE have recruited telecommuters in Florida, and 5.1 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Illinois: ADP, Dell, and UnitedHealth Group have recruited telecommuters in Illinois, and 4.2 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Virginia: Bulletin Intelligence, Salesforce, and Pitney Bowes have recruited telecommuters in Virginia, and 4.5 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Pennsylvania: AKA Enterprise Solutions, US Bank, and Unisys have recruited telecommuters in Pennsylvania, and 3.9 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Georgia: Westat, Dell SecureWorks, and Convergys have recruited telecommuters in Georgia, and 4.9 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- New Jersey: Real Staffing, Teleflex, and IBM have recruited telecommuters in New Jersey, and 4 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
- Arizona: Lockheed Martin, CIGNA, and K12 have recruited telecommuters in Arizona, and 5.5 percent of the state’s population work from home full time.
Here are five tips on how to hire a remote worker:
1. Figure Out the Flex
Some jobs are 100 percent remote. Others require an occasional trip to the office. Before you start recruiting or speaking with job candidates, you need to let them know exactly the type of work flexibility the position offers — preferably by writing about it in the job description. That way, they’ll know right up front if they can do the job entirely from their home or if they’ll have to pop into the office every now and then.
2. Know Your Needs
One of the biggest perks of hiring a remote worker is that you get to pick from top-tier talent around the world. But just because you’re hiring a remote worker who lives and works thousands of miles away from your company, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can work whenever they want. You might need an employee who works on the same schedule as their team, or who is available for emergency meetings. That’s why it’s important to determine all the demands of the position, so you can communicate them to your potential employees.
3. Use Niche Job Boards
While it’s important to spread your hiring net far and wide to find the best job candidates possible, it’s also wise to be strategic when looking for remote workers. That means utilizing niche job boards where you’re more likely to find people who have telecommuting experience. Niche job boards can attract qualified job candidates who have successfully worked from home before, as opposed to novice teleworkers.
4. Look for Specific Skills
Hiring a remote worker is very different from hiring your garden-variety office worker. A telecommuter must possess certain skills in order to work from home successfully. For example, a telecommuter must have superior communication skills and be self-motivated. Additionally, someone who works from home also needs to have strong time-management skills, be extremely organized, and have the ability to stay on task, without an office or a boss present.
5. Check References
Just as you would check the references of an in-office worker, you’ll need to speak with various former coworkers and bosses of your potential telecommuting employee, particularly if they’re going to work from home. If the job candidate has previous work-from-home experience, it’s important to ask how successful they were as a remote worker, and what problems, if any, did the boss experience. That way, you’ll know ahead of time whether or not the job candidate is perfect for the position.
As a way to attract the best and finest job candidates in the country (and the world), companies are implementing work flexibility policies. Make sure your organization continues to lead the pack by offering flexible-schedule jobs to ensure a healthy bottom line and happy, well-balanced workers, too.