How One Word Can Fix Talent Acquisition, Significantly
Five years ago, I started to work as an independent contractor. It was quite a liberating change.
I usually work remotely.
I get to change the scenery, work from my house, coffee shops, shared workspaces, and desks inside companies.
If you’re asking me: “how is it to work every day from a different place and still manage business relationships, a functional schedule, and getting things done?”
I’ll tell you that I live the answers to the above question in my daily routines.
I developed the skill-set, mind-set, and tool-set that supports this lifestyle, it became second nature, and it’s a choice I will never regret, and I’m not alone.
Working remotely is not limited to the independent service provider, whether you’re ready or not, today’s workforce will demand to work remotely from time to time, and even at all times, coming to the office once a week, or even once a month.
Since I’m a recruiter by trade, and my main focus is talent hacking, i.e., finding out how to bring in more qualified recruits, offer them what they need, and get them to sign a contract that everyone is satisfied with, I started to ask myself: is offering “remote” a must for talent acquisition?
The answer is a resounding, yes!
Studies show that compared to employees working in full-time or part-time jobs, employees that work remotely experienced:
- A general feeling of happiness from what they were doing.
- Freedom to do whatever they wanted, organizing their day according to what suits them, which led to a balanced work/life and more “on-work time” compared to” just showing-to-work-time.”
- All studies show that employees are more productive while working remotely. The office kills their productivity.
- In addition, employees report that they’re able to handle tasks they would consider `impossible’ in the past, leading to better problem-solving capabilities in your company.
All the trends show that we’re going towards a telecommuting work environment.
According to a 2015 gallop study, 37% of the US workforce works remotely. 45% said that they work remotely part-time, and in the wake of the gig-economy and the growing awareness for remote work opportunities, the number had since risen.
However, there’s an aspect of remote work that should get more spotlight, the opportunity it offers mothers!
Remote work is liberating, and when talking about liberation, especially in the tech industry, we always tend to circle back to the underdog, women.
As someone who works remotely, I can definitely say that it changed my life. It opened doors that were closed to me professionally and showed me a way to skip the boy’s club, landing in a world that adjusts itself to my needs, as a woman, and as a mother.
I’m a new mother, and new mothers are expected to pause their lives while on maternal leave.
However, I’m also an independent contractor, which is why I was able to opt-in to working remotely.
While I was working remotely, I was able to take my maternal leave, and after I finished it, I was back on track, without compromising on my role as a mother!
I was able to progress professionally and promote my career in a period that usually involves an uncomfortable change to most women. It was tough, but It was worth it.
Unfortunately, few mothers share that luck.
The advantages of remote work for working moms are apparent
Although mothers don’t get to work on their maternal leave, they can definitely work for their companies or as independent contracts after, and enjoy:
1# Scheduled work windows for experimenting and experiences with their kids.
2# Scheduling your work hours to fit your day and not the other way around, in addition to determining how many hours you’re going to work each day.
3# In addition, they get to sharpen their time, and self-management skills during this period, a skill that they take with them when the maternal leave is over, I’m living proof!
Your employees are a valuable asset, on-premises, and off-premises, they don’t have to work daily on a desk in the office, they don’t have to go through an hour of traffic, and they don’t have to be away from their kids to excel at what they do.
During my maternity leave, I had plans to meet people, learn new things, and start new initiatives, some of these happened, some didn’t, but my goals, at least most of them, were met after because I landed with my feed on the ground, and with purpose.
As I see it, without that purpose I would be stuck, doing one thing, like most women, frustrated after my maternal leave that I don’t get to see my kids and do my job.
I would worry about the financial and expectational backlash that comes with six months of maternity leave, and stress myself beyond belief, a condition that many after maternity leave relate to.
There’s no going around this, to continue and advance your career, you have to work remotely, that’s the only choice for mothers who want a career.
Flexibility is preventing women from becoming the talents you need
Sure, there are talks and higher awareness around hiring women engineers to diversify the workforce, and now there’s more awareness of office harassment issues, #metoo made sure of that.
However, work hours flexibility? The one thing that prevents women from progressing in a mostly male industry (tech)?
That won’t be fixed soon, and only remote work has the potential to change that, the numbers tell the story clearly:
- Women who are mothers, more than men who are fathers, need the flexibility to be the talent you want them to be, but a 9 am to 6 pm work schedule, takes that opportunity away.
- As a result, 61% of the participants in a Pew survey said that “motherhood got in their way to better careers.” Motherhood shouldn’t feel like an obstacle.
- There’s a 56% drop rate for mothers in tech careers. Not due to competency, no. Mothers are not allowed in the current state of affairs to be breadwinners. We’re not `flexible’ enough.
Let’s put this on the table for a second, who’s not flexible enough?
When women hear or read someone who’s telling us that we (mothers) should get a babysitter or “help” as everyone defines it nowadays, most working mothers will say “sure, that’s what I need to do to stay competitive,” but is this how we imagined motherhood?
I can speak for myself here, and maybe for others, when I say, No.
Flexibility, when it comes from your workplace, or employer, as I explained earlier, is liberating, and beneficial to ALL the parties involved.
We can and should push towards employment that allows for more work hour flexibility, for society’s sake, for mother’s sake, and our own sake, as employers, and recruiters.
Remove work can offer women the freedom to be mothers already, we probably `lost’ a lot of talent as a result. Now it’s time for everyone else to align and tap into this opportunity because happy employees are better employees, and happy mothers, make the world a happy place.
About Adi Assaf
I specialize in talent recruiting that answers your culture, values and recruitment needs. I believe that great teams fuel growth, and you don’t need to settle for less. Drop me a line if you need a great team