No one wants to drive to work anymore. Even the professionals who commute by train are looking for ways to stay at home and work on their PCs and laptops. Why not? The information age has evolved into the telecommuting age and we don't have to get up and go to work anymore. If you have some skills that are in demand you can now offer them via internet. If you're an employer or recruiter, you can save on overhead by cutting down to a smaller space and outsourcing. It's a win/win situation.
If you're going to recruit telecommuters, begin by purchasing some top-quality web based recruiting software. If you think you've seen it all when doing conventional recruiting, wait until you start looking for help on the web. Your best bet is to bring your short list of candidates in for the interview process. They might be able to telecommute for the job itself, but you want to meet everyone before you do any hiring. Some onsite training might not be a bad idea either. Those who don't want to invest at least a little time in the office are not the type of employees you want.
Once hired, the management for telecommuters is different also. If this is your first venture into this type of employment you may not know what to look for in the initial hiring process, so getting to know new employees will be a difficult process for you. The job recruiting software designed for tracking telecommuters will tell you what their skill sets are, but unfortunately it will not tell you how to communicate with them with emails and chat features. Video conferencing will help if you're a face-to-face kind of person, but your telecommuter might not be. In many cases, that's why they looked for at-home work in the first place.
There's a lot of talent out there in the telecommuting workforce. Stay-at-home moms with master's degrees, socially challenged but brilliant innovators, and students with great potential who can be molded to be what you need for the future - all are available by web and not able to come in for a traditional job. By opening your doors up to them you'll be bringing in resources your competitors won't have access to. Try it for a while and use your job applicant tracking system to keep tabs on how they do. You may find that the part of your workforce that telecommutes outperforms the onsite personnel.
Read the science fiction of the 1950s and 60s and you'll see a common theme where people stay at home and interact through their computers. Ironically, the imagined machines depicted in those novels are the realities of today. Video conferencing happened on Star Trek, didn't it? Is matter transporting next? It's not likely, at least not in the near future, but telecommuting to work is the next best thing. Managing those who do it is a close second. Just think of all the in-office drama you won't have to deal with when you have a virtual workforce instead of a physical one.
Experiencing the hiring industry firsthand, I have developed a strong knowledge base in recruiting and business innovation. I hope my articles are informative and can help small companies answer their technical questions as they look to modernize their hiring efforts and prepare for changes in the economy:
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