Attracting the best talent via our remote work practices and policies

  • 6Minutes

Jordan Carroll – aka ‘The Remote Job Coach‘ – guides remote job seekers in their quest to find fulfilling remote roles with great companies. He is – and has been – fully in the trenches when it comes to facilitating these job seekers with the sometimes tricky tasks of (1) steering them clear of companies that offer the remote worker a sub-standard remote employee experience, and (2) making sure they hone in on the companies that have exceptional cultures and a great remote work model. (Spoiler alert! There’s no ambiguity when it comes to what Jordan believes to be the best remote work model: it’s distributed, remote and global.)

Given all of Jordan’s unique ‘in the trenches’ expertise, what can we learn – as entrepreneurs – from the work that he does with these remote job seekers? And how can we leverage this learning to improve our company culture, so as to continuously attract in the best remote talent?

Here is the wisdom that we have put together for you – based on what we learned from Jordan:

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(1) Make sure that your company is crystal clear about where you stand on the remote work spectrum and then project that clearly out into the world.

One of the things that Jordan is painfully aware of – as he has scoured hundreds of company websites and read innumerable remote job descriptions – is that it’s extremely rare, generally-speaking, that a company is completely clear about their remote work policies. There is no standardization at present when it comes to terms used to describe the different types of remote work out there in the world, and that lack of clarity is by default always passed on to the job seeker.

Companies that have been remote-first from the beginning – and certainly companies that are seeking candidates through our platform at Growmotely – are far and away faring much better on the clarity front than the average company or job description that a job seeker might stumble upon on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t leverage the wisdom that Jordan has gained from his experience working ‘in the weeds’…

Jordan coaches his job seekers to always read every word of a job description and also to always head over to the company’s website to look for clues as to how any given company is actually operating on the remote work front. Does the company mention remote work in their About Us section? Do they mention anywhere that they are working asynchronously? 

Knowing about this pervasive lack of clarity presents an incredible opportunity for us – as leaders – to make sure that we, in the first instance, are clear within our own teams as to where we actually stand on the remote work spectrum. (Again, it may be obvious for companies who were 100% remote from day one, but that’s not always so for companies who made the transition later.) And secondly, of course, we need to be sure that we are clearly communicating this out into the world, and more specifically, to our potential future team members. Getting this right on the job descriptions we write and on our website is key. (These are the places where Jordan is sending – armed with magnifying glasses – his job seekers.)


(2) Think critically about just how remote your company is and actively seek out ways to offer your team members more flexibility and freedom, if there’s room to do so.

With step one, you perhaps have created more clarity around where your company is at right now. Truly seeing and understanding the truth on this front may or may not be a transformative exercise, but regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, the next step is to push the envelope consistently and call this question on a regular basis: How can we create more freedom and flexibility for our team members? You might already have gone as far as you think you can – for example, at Growmotely, we have instituted a somewhat unconventional unlimited leave policy – but there is always room to pioneer!

If you are offering remote roles that are restricted to a specific time zone or country: is there any possibility of opening these roles up to encompass a wider geography? Or: if you have roles where the hours are partially-flexible, is there any scope to increase that flexibility?

One of the reasons that these questions are worth asking, is because there are exceptional remote candidates out there who are familiar with all the different remote options (especially those under Jordan’s tutelage!) who simply are not going to say ‘yes’ to a remote role which is not fully remote and fully flexible. So – it is a great way to attract exceptional talent. Another reason, of course, is that if we can find ways to increase flexibility, we are now by default widening our applicant pool – and have the potential to choose from higher-quality candidates.

Jordan suggests to his job seekers to first find the companies that they are aligned with – especially on the remote work model front – and then after that look for the open roles and the corresponding job descriptions. (Not the other way around.) This suggested practice drives home the point that all remote roles – and companies – are not created equal, and as job seekers become more discerning, we need to offer them the best remote experience and culture we can.
 
(3) Consider how you are going about finding your future team members – are you tapping into the people and companies that can give you access to the best global remote talent?

Remote work transformed Jordan’s life for the better. In fact, he’s asserted that it gave him his life back. Given this, it shouldn’t be surprising to any of us that Jordan’s ultimate goal is to “move the remote work movement forward.”

Meanwhile, our Founder and CEO Sarah Hawley had an equally transformative experience with remote work, as it completely unlocked her personal and professional growth when she turned all of her companies remote in 2014.

The passionate pioneers who are leading the way in the remote work space – people like Jordan and Sarah – are deeply committed to the cause…and in a way that takes all stakeholders into consideration. Are you fully leveraging the job boards, communities and newsletters that these pioneers put out into the world? And: are you letting them elevate your company’s voice?

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In some countries, it is said to be a candidate-driven market at the moment. This is incredible news for us, as leaders of companies, because it means that we are presented with an opportunity to (1) get crystal clear about what our remote work culture is and then communicate that culture clearly to the world, (2) challenge ourselves to push the envelope further when it comes to flexibility, freedom and great culture and (3) leverage the resources that the passionate pioneers of remote work are putting out into the world. 

This is the Future of Work!

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