Tag Archive: Remote Workforce

  1. HR’s Digital Transformation is Happening: How to Lean In

    Transformation is a funny thing.

    Leading up to crisis, business leaders across the world were talking about transformation. Planning for transformation. Ready to invest trillions in transformation. Until transformation was thrust upon us.

    It’s unfortunate that we lost control of the timeline, but the upside is, transformation – namely, digital transformation – is happening. Right in front of our eyes. And we’re realizing, as leaders from the NBA, Nextdoor, United Health, and more pointed out in a Bersin webinar, we didn’t need multi-year initiatives to get it done.

    Tripti Jha, Global Head of People Solutions at Novartis summed it up well, saying, “We had a two year roll out for Microsoft Teams that was accelerated to two weeks.”

    So here we are. Being transformed in ways we did and didn’t plan for, and accomplishing impressive feats in record time.

    In HR, things were already digital.

    Applicant tracking, learning management, payroll, benefits (the list goes on). The focus at the onset of 2020 was digitizing “the experience.” In other words, designing processes and tools that not only make HR more efficient, but create connective tissue between HR, employees, and potential employees.

    While most things that were important at the beginning of the year pale in comparison to a global pandemic, this hasn’t changed. In fact, being forced apart has brought more attention to the experiences and interactions between us.

    Learning and development experiences still matter. Hiring experiences still matter. What’s changed is our collective comfort level and reliance on technology to deliver these experiences.

    Pre-crisis, digital experiences were on the rise for many reasons. They’re fast, cost-efficient, and give employees direct access to the information they need, eliminating much of HR’s administrative hangover. All good things, and HR teams were eager to move in that direction. But crisis forced everyone into “early adoption.”

    Digital experiences are no longer nice to have.

    They’re must-haves, as companies fundamentally shift their work environments and people practices in a post-coronavirus world.

    Meanwhile, talent acquisition teams are facing the challenge of a lifetime, having to hire in an unemployment market that rivals the Great Depression. As companies build back their workforces, they’ll be flooded with applications, making it impossible to follow a process that was designed for hiring in a low unemployment market.

    That’s why companies are modeling a new process – and new strategy – around digital hiring.

    Digital hiring is here to stay.

    Recruiting teams have been sourcing, reviewing resumes, and assessing candidates online for years. But most aren’t equipped for digital interviewing or digital onboarding.

    To effectively hire in a future where remote work is the norm, recruiting efforts are lean, and teams are assembled by skill set and compatibility, not physical location, companies need a complete digital hiring process, not a partial one. Just as important is the ability to connect everyone, including candidates, interviewers, and hiring managers in one seamless experience from start to finish.

    This is what’s required to get hiring “up to speed” with HR transformation and the strategy that business leaders are building for the future.

    Ready to make your move?

    Outmatch’s digital hiring solutions remove barriers and make it possible for companies to:

    If this sounds like the direction your business is headed in, we invite to try our digital hiring platform, which includes full access to our online assessment + video interviewing software.

  2. How to Make Remote Work a Strategy, Not a Crisis Response

    Remember life before COVID-19? Sometimes it feels like a decade ago. If the amount of change over the past few months seems, for lack of a better term, unprecedented, that’s because it is, particularly with regard to the impact on the workplace.

    Seemingly overnight, office closures forced employers to piece together impromptu work from home policies, while employees scrambled to set up home offices (or a laptop at the kitchen table) without much notice.

    Ironically, many of the remote work tools that kept organizations going during the crisis had been around for years. Some, for decades. Despite having the ability to support a remote workforce from a technology standpoint, most employers remained fully committed to physical office locations. In fact, research from March 2020 showed that only 7% of U.S. workers had the option to work from home regularly.

    That number is likely to increase, especially as companies follow Twitter’s lead in allowing employees to work from home forever. The World Economic Forum writes, “COVID-19 may yet do what years of advocacy failed to: Make telework a benefit available to more than a relative handful of U.S. workers.” 

    Whether that possibility is exciting or disruptive to your business, the wheels are already in motion. Here are some additional stats to consider:

    • 56% of U.S. workers hold a job that is compatible (at least partially) with remote work.
    • 25-30% of the workforce will be working at home on a multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
    • 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time and 1/3 would take a pay cut to do so.

    For these reasons, employers need to need to start thinking about making their move sooner rather than later, building the business case, allocating resources, and rethinking their approach to hiring. Here are some factors that will help shape your remote work strategy.

    Return on investment 

    Let’s start with the practical piece of the puzzle: the business case. As Fast Company explained, before COVID-19, many companies maintained their physical offices for security reasons. Those that handle sensitive data couldn’t send their employees to work from home without setting up the infrastructure needed to protect the business.

    Now, having implemented at least temporary solutions to shore up the organization, there’s less of a reason to go back to the way things were. On top of that, early reports show that remote employees are spending three hours more per day online than they were before the pandemic. The idea of lower costs combined with the potential for higher productivity makes it unlikely that employers as a whole will return to the office.

    Instead, a good portion will opt to maintain the new status quo. This means turning temporary solutions into permanent ones that will support employees and the organization long term.

    Expanded global reach

    As the remote work model becomes permanent, talent teams need to start thinking about next steps. What makes a good remote employee? Are the right people in the right roles today, or will teams be re-organized? What are hiring needs going forward?

    In answering these questions, new opportunities become apparent. No longer are teams or new talent confined a 25-mile radius. Now the organization can think – and hire – globally. That opens up a world of possibilities from a recruiting perspective, but one that will also need to be satisfied remotely.

    Everything from sourcing and screening to interviewing and onboarding will become part of a digital hiring process, one that connects candidates and hiring teams anywhere in the world. This streamlined virtual experience will replace the need to travel in, shakes hands, and awkwardly parade around the office.

    Competitive employer brand

    Working from home has long been seen as a perk for interested employees, especially those seeking more work-life balance. Much like employers have “seen the light” in how well a remote set up can work for the organization, employees who experienced the benefits of working from home during the pandemic are less inclined to restart their commute.

    Having weathered the storm and worked out the kinks, remote employers will become increasingly attractive to candidates in the months and years to come. Embracing remote work communicates nimbleness and resilience on the part of the organization, showing its ability to move past self-imposed limitations to create a more flexible and sustainable model – one that instills trust in its workforce. Pretty good value proposition, no?

    For some, going remote might not have been the plan. And staying remote might not be either. But as this year has proven, and as the famous Mike Tyson quote goes, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

    It’s how organizations react and adapt that matters in the long run.

  3. How to Identify the Best Candidates for Remote Work

    Use these 6 competencies to identify successful remote employees – especially helpful in today’s stressful times

    Remote work isn’t a new phenomenon. Some companies have been hiring remote workers for years. The old fashioned term for remote work was “telecommuting.” Remember that? Telecommuting was exciting! “You mean I can spend the entire day in my PJs?!”

    Today, remote work is strategy, and getting more strategic by the day. Even before the coronavirus pandemic changed our work lives forever, companies began shifting some work to remote employees to help save costs, make schedules more flexible, and even increase their talent pool.

    The challenges with managing and hiring remote workers will only get more complex as companies fundamentally change their hiring practices in a post Coronavirus world. The biggest problem with hiring remote workers is the hiring process itself. If you are using the same process as you use for on-premise workers, you are either not happy with the outcomes or losing good candidates who simply don’t want to put on an “interview suit.”

    Using your existing process, how do you know if your candidate is self-directed enough, can build relationships remotely, or is agile enough to learn at a distance? In other words, what are the knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and competencies that lead to peak performance?

    Here are 6 key competencies that we have found are the most telling of success in a remote role:

    1. Adaptability

    Open to new ideas and ways of doing business as well as adopting to change willingly.

    2. Resilience

    Responds to challenges with composure, optimism and hardiness; perseveres and exhibits healthy stress management strategies.

    3. Learning Agility

    Learns quickly, applies newly learned information and skills to innovate and adapt, and uses feedback to improve.

    4. Communicating effectively

    Expresses thoughts and ideas in a clear and effective manner.

    5. Relationship management

    Builds and maintains meaningful and positive connections with others inside or outside of the organization.

    6. Teamwork and Collaboration

    Cooperates with others through mutual trust and accountability to accomplish shared objectives.

    If you are hiring remotely or realizing that remote hiring will be a key part of your post-Coronavirus strategy, you should seriously consider measuring for these competencies.

    Talent assessments and video interviewing can help you identify and measure these competencies so that when you do hire that remote employee, you’ll know they can handle the work in their PJs all day long…

  4. How to Support Your New Remote Workforce

    In a recent webinar on How to Manage Disruption, several HR leaders told us they had no work from home policy in place before Coronavirus.

    At Outmatch, we’re now fully remote, but before the global heath crisis, we had about 50% of employees working from home on a regular basis. For those of you who are new to working remote and managing a remote workforce, we’re happy to share some things that have worked for us.


    Turn them on! This can be uncomfortable at first, but as more people do it, it becomes the new normal. Our IT team, which is widely dispersed, has been doing this for years, and we rolled it out company-wide about a year ago. It’s a small change that makes a BIG difference in keeping people connected. We communicate better when we can see reactions and body language, and we don’t talk over each other like we do on ‘blind’ calls. Get your leaders in the habit of turning on cameras, and with some gentle nudges, you can have everyone doing it in no time.

    No multitasking

    This one’s pretty straightforward: if you attend a meeting, be present. It’s hard not to multitask, especially when you don’t have anyone’s physical presence to keep you accountable (friendly reminders help here; so do cameras). We have a no-pressure policy where employees are free to decline meetings that aren’t essential for them to be in. If you find yourself in a meeting and your attention is being pulled away, simply let people know you’re going to drop off.

    Flexible schedules

    We moved away from set schedules a few years ago, which made sense for us culturally. We have people across all US time zones and a few in other countries, so time is relative. In our current situation, flexibility is key. Kids are home. Routines are off. Everyone is feeling stir crazy. Flexibility gives people the freedom to unplug a few times a day and work during odd hours, if needed. We encourage Outmatchers to find a schedule (or in this case, a new normal) that works for them and their team – and not to stress when they need to care for their families or themselves.

    Virtual happy hour

    So we don’t become totally socially deprived, we added a non-work meeting to the mix. We started “Find Out Friday” as a way to connect on things that aren’t work-related. Our first edition was “meet your pets.” Other ideas are “what’s your workout?” and “guess who’s childhood photo this is.” Get creative and try to have fun with it. Virtual meetings with no agenda can feel strange at first, but since we can’t chat around the water cooler like usual, it’s a great stand-in.

    Weekly company updates

    This is another change we made about a year ago. Instead of gathering everyone in our biggest common area (which isn’t an option now anyhow) for a formal quarterly update, we started “Keg of Greg,” which you can probably guess is less formal. Each week, Greg, our CEO, gets on camera for a quick company check-in. People are free to ask questions, voice concerns, and even suggest special topics. By making this a recurring meeting, people are able to stay connected and get regular face time with the CEO.


    We’re all out of our comfort zone right now, so making sure to recognize people who are working hard and helping others is a great way to boost morale. This was part of our CulturalDNA already, but it’s important to keep alive in times like these. We call this “Expedition Recognition” because we like the explorer archetype and use this theme to guide our values, which are: Build Bridges, Pack Light Travel Fast, and Sherpa Attitude. When Outmatchers do something that represents one of these values, they’re recognized for it (we use a Teams channel), and then they’re sent a charm as a token of appreciation.

    Culture Club

    This cross-functional team is dedicated to caring for our culture. Having a big remote population already, Culture Club members talked often about, “How do we keep remote workers connected and engaged? How do we create a sense of community across distance?” Now being 100% remote, these conversations are even more critical. With a team already assembled, we’re able to bring together creative minds from across the company, advocate for each other, and keep our culture strong, even in a time of crisis.

    Final thoughts…

    We know in the HR community, your #1 priority is caring for your employees. But don’t forget to care for yourself. What we’re dealing with right now is heavy. It’s emotionally exhausting, and you’re probably missing meals and sleep to try and meet the needs of others. Deborah Schwarz, HR Vice President at Cousins Properties said this about self-care:

    “Don’t dismiss the weight we’re carrying. We’re taking care of people who are taking care of their families, and that is a lot. If you’re feeling heavy or down, you have a good reason. But address it and find a way to take care of yourself so that you’re able to take care of everyone else.”

    For more advice from HR leaders, watch How to Manage Disruption (And Not Lose Your Mind).

  5. Top 5 Emerging Priorities for HR Leaders

    A recent people management survey asked over 600 HR executives, “What are your top people management initiatives for 2018?” The answer revealed common themes, as well as emerging trends in HR.

    The 2018 survey, which was also conducted in 2017 and 2016, added a third year of consecutive data to the study. In 2018, employee engagement took the top spot as priority #1 for companies of all sizes (over 1,000 employees and under 1,000 employees). Company culture came in second for companies over 1,000 employees, and third for companies under 1,000 employees.

    These results are consistent with the culture and engagement initiatives we’re currently seeing across HR. Both company culture and employee engagement made it in the top three people management initiatives in the survey for three years running – which isn’t a huge surprise. What’s interesting, though, is the emerging priorities we’re beginning to see for the future, such as:

    1. Recruiting and Talent Acquisition: How to source and select talent in a cost efficient and effective manner.

    2. Change Management: How to manage HR priorities through mergers and acquisitions and/or strategic change.

    3. Inclusion and Diversity: How to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse workforce. One survey respondent said,

    Everyone in our industry is talking about diversity, but the numbers aren’t moving. We’re going back to the drawing board to change this, ” said one HR leader.

    4. Remote Workforces: How to manage workforces that are increasingly full- or part-time remote. Another survey respondent said,

    80% of our workforce work remotely or from small satellite offices. We’re struggling to maintain consistency in our strategy and culture,” said another HR leader.

    5. Retention of High Potential Employees: How to retain and develop high potential and high-performing employees.

    Do these HR priorities align with yours? Get ready to pay close attention to these areas in the near future. For a full recap of the results from the 2018 People Management Survey, watch our webinar on-demand.

    Top 5 Emerging Priorities for HR