When an outside-the-Beltway client calls me about an opening as of late, several thoughts run through my mind:
- I wonder if the client is willing to consider a virtual office scenario…
- I hope I remembered to turn off the coffee maker this morning…
- What in the dickens happened to Bob Costas’ eye?
All are important thoughts, but let’s focus on the first one. Allowing a role to be carried out in a virtual office scenario means greatly expanding your talent pool.
For you visual types, here’s an image that sums it up. Let’s say you are a running a nonprofit in my home state of Ohio. If you’re only willing to consider local candidates or those willing to relocate there, your talent pool is limited to the small circle in “Option A.” However, if you’re willing to hire remotely, your talent pool knows no bounds (“Option B”)!
This explains why I can’t recall the last time we had difficultly filling a virtual role. Alternatively, we have had a devil of a time with several on-site roles over the the course of the last year.
Why, you ask, is it so difficult to get candidates to relocate right now? Well, despite the current administration’s claims to the contrary, the market still stinks. That means many candidates are hesitant to relocate for a job – especially if it means taking a spouse and offspring along for the ride. Candidates know it’s going to be difficult to sell their house, difficult for a spouse to find another job, and difficult to land a new job if the new one doesn’t work out.
To be clear, the virtual option isn’t for every role; nor is it for every nonprofit. I’m not suggesting you move to virtual roles if it doesn’t make sense for your organization. However, if you haven’t experimented with virtual employees yet and you’re struggling to fill a position, perhaps it’s an idea worth exploring.
A big thanks to Leslie Graves who just recommended this book on the topic: Remote: Office Not Required.
I’d also love to hear from those of you who have explored virtual hiring. How is it going for you? What tips can you share that will help other organizations utilize virtual offices more effectively? And do you have any idea what happened to Bob Costas?