In 2020 companies around the world were forced to rapidly adopt remote working in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. After a period of severe disruption, businesses are starting to come to terms with the challenges and opportunities that the new world of work presents.
This piece from our Director Felix Mitchell looks at some of the key themes that we’ve been working on with our clients.
Build a global perspective
We have been presented with a perfect opportunity to restructure the way that our businesses work. Companies that let this chance go by and return unchallenged to their 2019 status quo will be missing out.
Now that businesses have proven that they can operate remotely there’s no reason why they can’t explore global talent pools. To put that into perspective there are just over 11,000 Finance Directors registered in the UK on LinkedIn. There are 52,000 in the US. There are over 100,000 in the world.
If it makes no difference to management and productivity whether your new sales hire is in South Africa or the UK then why limit hires to your local office? Think about this, the average annual salary of a sales executive in Cape Town is £7,500. It's £21,700 in Coventry. It's £50,000 in Colorado.
So we encourage our clients to ask the big questions:
- If you were building a business from scratch how would you approach your workforce?
- Where would you want your talent?
- What would your remote working policy be?
- How does it change department to department?
Map out the vision
Companies that take the leap into remote-first working and are able to shift their mindset to become global employers will have a clear advantage:
Availability of talent:
Developing nations like India, Brazil, and Indonesia are leading the world in growth of tertiary educated talent (see the report from Oxford Economics here) leading to an oversupply of many of the same skills that companies in the UK, Europe, and US struggle to attract and retain including developers and data scientists.
Attracting, recruiting and retaining candidates from different backgrounds will become much easier.
A global and remote infrastructure can not only affect the makeup of business’ employees but also of their client base. An ability to staff anywhere in the world means that many companies will be able to target a much larger target market. There are also a host of hidden benefits - for example a global workforce makes it much easier to build 24/7 support.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as it may sound. There are different tax and legal implications to each new location. We have written an article with more detail with accounting firm Smith and Williamson.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing
The move to being a global employer doesn’t need to be a radical one. If, like many companies, you’ve got more than enough change on your plate at the moment, you can start small by identifying a few roles within teams that work well in a remote first environment and opening them up to a global talent pool.
Hire the best applicant wherever they are in the world and pay them a competitive local salary.
Once you’ve proven this model you can scale it to the rest of the business.
We’re always keen to discuss opportunities or challenges that have resulted from working remotely, get in touch if there’s anything that we can help with.