How HR Leaders Recruit Top Talent in a Remote-First World

by Vanessa Tierney

These are exceptional times. According to a Gartner online poll of Asian HR leaders in March 2020, “among 805 organizations responding, 88 percent now encourage or require employees to work from home.” As COVID-19 continues its onslaught around the world, governments have turned to measures such as social distancing to disrupt the contagion. Doing so has caused the way we work to change forever.

The benefits of Remote Working have long been studied, and its benefits understood. It serves the needs of individual employees, provides businesses with new resilient and adaptive ways to engage with their ecosystem and deliver economic value, and, in this case, it helps to satisfy public health needs. However, given this sudden shift to remote working, the complexities of recruiting for a remote-first world have come to bear.

Remote talent recruitment is unique in its potential to recruit and retain a dependable and productive workforce, regardless of location. As companies adapt to handle this transformation, it is important for them to evolve their recruitment processes to work in more digital ways, even for roles that don’t necessarily involve “remote work.” The methods organizations choose to assess, select and onboard remote talent can become a complex maze of software, systems and constant experimentation. Notwithstanding the current economic pressures, businesses need to find smarter ways to retain their best and brightest staff while keeping their talent pipelines full to accommodate any talent shortages that may arise, and they must do so quickly.

The transition to “Remote Working” requires the transformation of information management systems, collaboration models and workflow models to maintain, sustain and improve performance. It also brings additional risks of lost productivity, miscommunication, misalignment of work product and other issues, all of which can undermine customer and stakeholder satisfaction. In addition, not all employees are suited for remote-working. This means companies need to pay attention to issues such as employee motivation, ensuring that remote working supports employees’ well-being accommodating any personal preferences, not just efficient working patterns; and ensuring employees have access to the tools, resources and connectivity they need to succeed. Recruiting talent in such a context will inevitably require a different approach.

However, the fear among some organizations and HR practitioners is that remote recruitment will “redefine” traditional practices of how they approach recruitment and lay bare legacy systems of assessment and interviewing. This is a fair critique, but remote recruiting, when harnessed by the smart use of data, could also sharpen their ability to quickly identify and solve talent and talent-matching problems, find candidates with greater relevance to their business and, in particular, to capitalize on the sudden availability of a large pool of motivated talent caused by the COVID-induced economic downturn.

The future of work has arrived in full force. Improving the organization’s ability to attract and retain great employees is one of the biggest challenges that organizations must address to not only survive the current crisis but to set themselves up for future success. Abodoo is helping companies to make that happen.

Vanessa Tierney is co-founder of, the ecosystem for the new ways of working. Business services include remote work enablement, smart matching to remote working talent and talent heat mapping. Having spent 20 years in talent acquisition and management supporting Fortune 1000 globally, Tierney has led remote teams since 2010 and delivers her expertise through Masters of Remote.

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness.

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events