The emergence of a remote workforce is forcing HR leadership to deal with unforeseen challenges in hiring and retention.

Why? When a substantial portion of prospective employees can work from anywhere, employers can also hire from anywhere. That expands the playing field but raises issues as well.

For instance, even though they have more prospects in the hiring market, they’ve got more competitors. Remote hiring is causing organizations to rethink their recruiting strategies top to bottom — from total rewards and compensation structures to effectively differentiating an employer from competitors.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, recruiting practices were a lot simpler: Most employers hired locally for entry-level professionals. HR would look regionally for managers and directors, perhaps to cities in surrounding states. For senior leadership, organizations’ searches were often national in scope.

But with the labor shortage so extreme, it’s not unusual to search nationwide for even the most junior positions, as long as they can be done from home.

Undertaking new strategies

As HR and recruiters struggle to get work done when they’re short staffed themselves, it’s difficult to undertake new strategies. Even so, they would benefit by thinking about the implications of a hiring-from-anywhere environment.

Here’s three ways to improve strategy in a world of hiring from anywhere:

  1. Emphasize the employee value proposition — and communicate it well. With intense competition for the most attractive candidates, it takes more than richer pay packages to get them on board. Instead, it’s important to show prospects the employee value proposition, or the entirety of what they can get out of the organization.

    Organizations should evaluate their value propositions to see if it reflects an ecosystem of recognition, rewards, values, support and meaningful work. This can become a differentiator, but HR leaders need to also consider their communications to prospective employees to make the value proposition pay dividends.
  1. Re-engineer pay and compensation structures. Organizations need to evaluate their pay and compensation models to make sure they are applicable to prospects located outside their previous hiring spheres. For instance, market-based compensation structures are common, but are the points of comparison national, regional, or local?

    In re-engineering compensation, the resulting model has to be manageable and reflect factors such as business size and the industry in which they target their recruiting practices and compete for talent.
  1. Remember that pay inequities can sink efforts. Hiring from anywhere can result in hidden pay inequities. Employers may offer one-off adjustments to keep valued employees from leaving or higher salaries to recruit new employees.

    These conditions make it essential to have policies that address compensation inequity. It’s important to use solid market to address inequities among tenured employees and new hires.

Organizations need to prioritize business needs, to determine how many hires they need and at what level to fill staffing shortages. In turn, this knowledge will help determine HR’s recruiting and retention strategy — including how to improve hiring remotely — in an environment unlike any other.

HUB International’s Human Resources Consulting Practice can help maximize every facet of HR performance, from risk management and regulatory compliance to talent acquisition and retention, benefits strategy, program design and workplace culture.