Global economy and businesses are challenged with uncertainty, brought on by the outbreak of Covid-19.  Reaction to this has been putting continuity plans in place, safeguarding employees, clients, families and the general public.  Changing times has been a universal message.  In the world of business, changes are faster than ever before, according to recent information shared by the Business Agility Institute; Organizations of every size are struggling to remain relevant in the eyes of their customers and society. Customers are more informed, and their expectations are higher than they’ve ever been. Employees demand more clarity, empowerment, and meaning in their work. It is only high-performing, adaptable, and agile organizations who will thrive in an unpredictable market. This is called business agility.


As part of these continuity plans many companies are implementing remote work strategies.  Chris Herd, the CEO of Firstbase shared his opinion recently on LinkedIn:

Companies who adopt remote work will replace every company who doesn’t.  Companies who adopted technology 20 years ago replaced every company that didn’t. Companies who adopt remote working will replace every company who doesn’t in 20 years.  The reason is incredibly simple: talent and efficiency.  Unless you are Google, Amazon, Facebook or Microsoft, remote teams will be far more talented than any office-based team you can build. Talent wars will be won by companies that have great remote work capability, who will wield it to dominate the next decade.  A physical office means you can hire the best person you can afford in a 30-mile radius, disqualifying you from 99.9% of the world’s talent.  Remote teams can hire the best person they can afford on the planet. 


The most talented people are stipulating remote work as a condition of employment. Companies who don’t provide this won’t be able to attract the best people.  Companies who don’t give this to their existing workers will lose their most talented people to their biggest competitors.  Remote will be the dominant workplace of the best companies and peopleOffice-first companies won’t be able to compete with remote-first companies in terms of efficiency, both economic and operationally. Not only will remote-first companies increase their average level of talent with each hire, they will be far more cost-efficient. City living is subsidized by companies, leading to a lower disposable and quality of life.  Office-first companies spend $18,400 on average, per workplace, per person.  The best remote setup on the planet costs $2,000 per year, coffee included.  Remote is $16,400 less a year, per team member, or a $16.4m saving per 1,000 workers.  Remote gives you the optimum workspace you need to do your best work.  Output over Time:  The only metric bad middle managers use to measure performance is time spent in the office.  Remote work is about how much work you get done focusing on productivity.


Remote work is the biggest workplace revolution in history, and nothing will deliver a higher quality of life increase in the next decade than this. Workers having more flexibility to decide their work schedule, able to operate when they are most productive rather than a fixed day, enables a far better future of work than the one we currently experience. Organizing work around your life is a huge transition with major implications. Gone is the requirement to beg your boss’s permission to go to an appointment, it is the ability to drop and pick your child up from work every day with time in the afternoon to go for your recharging run.  Being handcuffed to an office and expected to live in a high cost of living city with a low quality of life is a remnant of the industrial revolution. The devolution of offices into almost factory-like conditions as distraction factory adult kids clubs is complete. The office has become the worst place on the planet to get the isolation and focus you need to do deep work.


Make no mistake, remote work is exploding to prominence right now. We are living through the inflection point today. Shortly, workers will realize their power and influence to demand remote work.


Hiring is one of the most important decisions a firm makes, and mistakes can be costly.  However, its importance can lead to paralysis in the recruitment and selection process. According to the President of the National Recruitment Federation (NRF) there is a real cost to slow hiring:


Where top applicants lose interest or accept a faster offer before a firm decides, there can be significant economic costs. A slow hiring process may result in lower ranked candidates still available after a month or more.   Employers need to think about the cost of potentially multiple years of lower performance, as well as direct revenue or business loss, especially where there are long vacancies in revenue-generating or customer service positions.


Multiple vacancies don’t just impact productivity in individual roles but can affect a whole team.  Stress and overwork on account of vacancies and lack of leadership will impact quality and output and thereby affect the bottom line.  Losing top talent to a business competitor because of slow hiring can also be costly.   So too, the longer a strong candidate is on the job market, the more expensive they become.  They’ve had time to look elsewhere and it is likely multiple firms will be bidding on them.  Candidates routinely view their experience with the recruiting process as a reflection of how a firm operates.   Slow hiring decisions and protracted processes are discouraging and can damage an employer brand image and reputation and affect future applications.  At a practical level too, slow hiring may result in poor decision-making.   Lengthy processes make candidate comparisons difficult.  When you are interviewing multiple candidates over a long time period, it is harder to make side by side comparisons.


The bottom line; talented candidates are in high demand and short supply in today’s labour market.  In the Year of the Candidate, waiting too long to hire can mean lamenting the one that got away!


Another business continuity strategy we are seeing is companies hiring contractors to keep workload under control.  Some benefits of adding a contractor to your workforce is:

  • Contractors are flexible – They allow your business to respond to unexpected surges and lapses in workload
  • Contractors deliver remotely – There is a proven track record of contractors delivering business-critical requirements independently, and many will also supply their own equipment
  • Contractors are not employees – Contractors are only paid for days/hours worked. They do not receive sick pay or annual leave.
  • Contractors hit the ground running – Contractors are ready to work from day one and need minimal training
  • Contractors have short notice periods – Usually contractors are available with short notice. They are not subject to the same contractual implications as permanent employees.
  • We are currently working with some excellent contractors who are looking for their next assignment in Ireland.


One of the ways our clients benefit from our service offering is having a dedicated experienced consultant assisting them with advice and finding the best suited candidate from a current talent pool, without having the recruitment specialist on payroll.   We invite you to partner with us at PRL Recruitment Experts to realise your continuity plan, become more agile and to keep the economy going by keeping as many people as we can in work.

By Koren Muller, Lead IT and Financial Services Recruitment Consultant.