Ameya Sane is the HR Director at Cimpress India since 2017. The India division is a Global Capability Centre (GCC) for Cimpress N.V. He is spearheading strategy across talent acquisition, development & engagement, HR Business Partnering, HR Operations & employer branding at Cimpress India with 40 super talented HR professionals. Ameya partners with global Cimpress leadership across NA, Europe, and APAC to help them build and manage their tech and design talent in India GCC. In a short span of three years, he helped to grow the India operations from 100 to over 1000 employees, major in two of our locales, Mumbai and Bengaluru. As an HR head with product mindset, Ameya is cultivating Cimpress as India’s top employer for tech and design talent.
Remote work hasn’t been a new concept for most of the technology organisations. The concept had started brewing two decades back as we embarked on the journey of becoming digital. The phrases like “digital nomad” or “work from anywhere” were gaining prominence already. However, remote hiring has only recently gained such prominence for the choice pandemic posed on most organizations overnight.
But what this pandemic witnessed is unparalleled. Many professionals happened to switch their jobs at in this 1.5 years of pandemic. Not to say that it was all because of the pandemic, because we must not forget the number of people who lost their jobs during this time. However, the forced remote work helped with the flexibility and time at hand that enabled faster movement. Also, there was a boost in tech talent hiring across the world owing to which India also witnessed the accelerated hiring trend.
Let us now look at how this has added a new facet to the overall acquisition strategy.
Offerings of Remote Hiring
- Broader Talent pool: Skills are gaining prominence over locations. A significant number of organisations especially across technology roles have moved to all remote positions expanding the available talent pool. This has not only helped to diversify talent pool, but also reduced the excessive competitive pressure off the key metros for tech hiring.
- Decrease in Interview Declines: Since the travelling time has been cut down, there is a general fall in the interview declines. This did not used to be the case earlier. Often, candidates would decline for an interview a night before, thinking of the travelling to be done the next morning. This created an overall lag in the candidate hunt and recruitment process.
- Case for faster and cost-effective Hiring Process: Added from the above pointer, the overall decrease in the interview decline and travel timing has speeded up the hiring process. Earlier, a candidate was required to visit the office for at least 2-3 rounds of interviews along with other processes which meant a typical hiring of a candidate spanned over 4-5 weeks. However, now, in a remote hiring set-up, since the interviews and the entire process is being done virtually, the hiring has come down to 7-10 days on an average.
- Competitive Advantage: Gone are the days when professionals would happily come to your office locations by spending 1.5-2 hours travelling, be it for the hiring process or to work. Flexibility is the key to the successful future of organizations and it is here to stay, especially in progressive tech companies. If you offer this to your candidates and employees, they are more likely to stick to you.
- Boost to Diversity: D&I has been the talk of the town for long. Remote hiring and remote work has surfaced as the ray of hope. We have a long way to go and there is a possibility that remote hiring will enable hiring professionals from different sections, most importantly differently abled and women. A huge section who often had to let go of opportunities because of the night shift, fixed non-flexible working hours, inconvenient travel or unsupportive physical infrastructure might start taking up opportunities. From an organisation’s perspective, it might become easier to offer flexibility and required infrastructure to set up home offices, becoming a strong catalyst for inclusion.
- Focus on building digital and social infrastructure: With all remote hiring, the cool office spaces couldn’t find their way to woo talent, Social Media has replaced these office spaces to give a sense of workspace and culture. Organisations has significantly increased their focus over their Branding efforts across digital mediums to come across as an employer of choice.
- Cross-Border Hiring: Though this is yet to see the light of day, remote hiring might also enable the expansion of talent across the countries. There are still different untapped territories with respect to the tech talent. This talent might receive the spotlight when borders become insignificant.
Roadblocks of Remote Hiring
- Showcasing culture: In the non-pandemic world, office spaces used to be the places which could speak about an organization and its people without really speaking any words. A couple of visits to the office used to be the great exhibits of what a particular organization looks like. However, it is an unspoken challenge of proving your company culture to your candidate especially for less “popular” organisations. This challenge exists for both- the recruiter as well as the candidate. While the former struggles to bring out the culture, the latter struggles to analyse the organization.
- Building Connect: It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this has been a pan-industry crisis. Remote work took away the personal spaces between the colleagues. While that’s been improving with time, the impact has been bigger on the recruitment front. Earlier, in-person interviews used to help in creating a warm first impression, often helping with better conversion. Inability to hold in-person interviews has created a roadblock to some extent in this direction. While higher availability of opportunities is another reason for frequent job switches, lack of personal touch at workplace is becoming more visible than ever.
There is no doubt about the fact that remote hiring and remote work, both are here to stay in progressive tech organizations. We envisage the evolution of workplace into more hybrid mode than fully remote, along the time. However, the word “remote” will be a permanent addition to our work dictionary. We are undergoing a huge transition as an industry and as professionals and are on our way to pave the way for a new work culture with more flexibility and better work-life balance. Just like any new development, this too has challenges which we will overcome with time and some efforts to go extra-mile.