Post-Pandemic Resignation Boom? Not If You Embrace Remote Work

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Texas A&M University Associate Professor of Management Anthony Klotz’s prediction about a forthcoming “great resignation” went viral for many reasons. For one thing, it taps into the many ways in which the pandemic has changed the world of work. More employees have seen the benefit of working from home, and that’s going to impact how they make employment decisions going forward.

In light of looming mass turnover, employers need to bring their A-games to recruiting top talent. In addition to creating robust recruitment processes, employers must realize remote work and remote hiring are here to stay.

Time Is Our Most Valuable Commodity — and That’s Why Remote Work Is Here to Stay

The pandemic has spurred some key changes to how we work, including:

  1. Many major companies around the globe are making in-office work optional.
  2. Employees can work from anywhere, and they are more empowered to make decisions about how and where they live and work.
  3. Office space won’t disappear, but it’s like to be utilized part-time and not at pre-pandemic levels.

We’re used to this style of work at Kognitiv, Inc., which Mark Grignon and I cofounded five years ago. We’ve always been a remote-first organization. Even though we only have 100 employees globally, we are spread across 25 states within the US. Before the pandemic, many of our employees were already choosing where they wanted to live based on personal preferences, family, and life events, rather than proximity to an office. Our small office near Boston has a healthy turnover when it comes to college graduates. We hire and train them, and they go off to live where they wanted to live all along.

It is absolutely clear to us that the vast majority of candidates want to work from anywhere, which really translates to where they already live. Flying candidates in for interviews makes less and less sense as video interview capabilities become better and better. Companies that fail to adapt to remote work culture will lose candidates to their competitors.

Our most valuable commodity is our time. During the pandemic, many households had to balance family care with job commitments on a daily basis. The thought of losing even an hour a day to commuting is a non-starter for many candidates and employees now. After the year we’ve had, we should all be able to recognize that commuting time could be spent on better things.

The Advantages of Interviewing Remotely

What should companies do to attract talent in a remote-friendly world? Put simply, it needs to be evident to candidates from day one that a smooth remote interview process is now part of business as usual.

A fully remote interviewing process is, admittedly, a big cultural shift from traditional practices. It may seem daunting, but it has some clear advantages:

  1. When sending digital interview invites, it’s easy to attach documents that convey company values, recap recent successes, and explain why the role is a great fit for this specific candidate. Candidates love when a company can share some materials that help them learn more about — and get excited for — the role.
  2. When it comes to communicating with candidates, switching to text messages can be a huge win in terms of engagement. Everyone has a phone today (and maybe even spends too much time on it). Getting a text message from a prospective employer that states, “We loved your resume, and we will now schedule an interview,” can really solidify the company-to-candidate connection. Plus, it’s way more convenient than email or a phone call.
  3. If you integrate digital candidate communications with your applicant tracking system (ATS), you can even use text messages and emails to gather information about each candidate. Ask a few questions and let the candidate respond, with your ATS adding their responses to their profiles. You could even let candidates schedule interviews via text, which makes them feel more empowered in the process.
  4. Because texting is so instant, a candidate can quickly answer basic questions and even go as far as accepting or declining a job offer with ease.

Using a high-engagement recruiting model like this should also reduce average time to fill within your organization, especially if some or all of the process can be automated now that it’s digital.

There are many technologies available to help with the remote interviewing process, and the companies that embrace remote hiring first will have an advantage over those that don’t adapt as quickly.

Luke Switkowski is cofounder of Kognitiv, Inc., the company behind Rooster.

By Luke Switkowski