Are you a recruitment agency who is struggling to hire experienced staff?

Is your office location limiting the expansion of your team of recruiters?

Run out of desk space and still need to increase heads?

These are some of the challenges recruitment agencies I have been working with have come up against and so have decided to recruit a Work From Home (WFH), remote team of billers. Raymond George Consultancy employ 7 staff who all WFH, we have a ‘virtual office’ so to speak. This puts us in a unique position to be comfortable discussing how it works for us to our clients and also, with potential candidates, offering advice where we can. This model won’t suit everyone, but could be a positive solution for many.

So the decision might seem like a bold one to many who have not considered the full implications of this change but for those recruitment agency owners who are brave enough to peek outside of the norm, then there are lots of benefits to be had.

Increased staff productivity being the most obvious one; a lack of commute means there is a better use of time and with limited interruptions from co-workers, lots more work can be done. But this model will not suit everyone, even though lots of people want to work from home. Unfortunately, for some, self discipline is not everyone’s strength, so as always, make sure you chose your WFH staff well.

But before we go any further, the big question you will need to ask yourself is: Am I going to be able to TRUST my staff? Managing a workforce who work from home is very different to offering your staff FLEXIBLE WORKING options. WFH is a permanent set up whereby your Recruiters are working from their homes, using a laptop, shredder (don’t forget the GDPR implications!) and mobile phone which you have supplied.

Considerations need to me made regarding your existing team of office workers (if you have them) and the implications of having a new team forming part of the company who are all working from home and not visible. How will these WFH staff be line-managed? How often are you planning on catching up and will this be over the phone, Skype or face to face once a week/month/quarter? How do you ensure they still get the ‘team’ feel and interaction?

Technology is a key factor to consider before making the move to a WFH team. Are you using cloud based technology already? What are the costs in setting this up? Are their added technology security concerns? Is your business mainly UK-based or overseas? Do you need to implement new phone lines?

The WFH model will only work if you employ well matched candidates. As an employer you will need to explore the reasons a candidate wants to work from home and whether these are the right reasons for you. The pool of recruiters you will be able to draw from will of course increase. It’s likely that you will want to hire an experienced recruiter (as a trainee will need to be amongst others certainly to begin with in order to learn) and if you hire a senior, the model you offer may differ from the one you have in place for your existing office based workers. Experienced staff want to be self-managed, are not KPI-driven and more than likely are not looking for weekly reviews and bucket loads of coaching and development. How do you, as their employer feel about loosening the reigns? What are you going to do with all that extra time?

In summary, the WFH model will not suit every business or employee and lots of questions will need be answered before you explore this option in full. I continually speak to candidates and clients who are considering making the change but it all comes down really to one thing: TRUST.

We are delighted to see the growth that some of our clients have made by implementing this model. We are also thrilled to see how our successful candidates are progressing in their new roles. Like everything in life, it’s not for everyone, but if it gives you access to that potential experienced recruiter who is currently geographically outside of your usual hiring location, then it’s a great time to investigate if this may work for you.

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