Do you think remote working is here to stay in accountancy?
Most of us were gradually coming round to the idea of remote working, even before the events of 2020. Today, the thought of forcing thousands of people into a city commute and squeezing them into an office seems almost ludicrous. Forced remote working aside, the benefits speak for themselves:
- Staff are happier
- They are more productive
- They are absent less, and stick around longer
- Fewer carbon emissions from reduction in travel
- A bigger talent pool to choose from and more diversity
- Financial savings on equipment and office space
- You can provide an around the clock service through staff in different time zones, with different languages
That’s not to say that you can simply expect your team to set up shop at the dining room table and hope for the best. Successful remote working requires careful thought, planning, structure and bags of continual communication.
But how do you go about hiring talent for a permanently remote position?
If you’re hiring remotely, potential staff will be relying on your digital presence and reputation to learn all about your accountancy firm’s brand and culture. So, you might want to think about updating your website and social media to enhance your appeal. Share your employee testimonials as well as your core beliefs. But remember to be authentic. Perhaps revisiting and refining your brand values first will help build an honest story to work from.
Before you start to plan the practicalities of a remote workforce, you need to consider safety, law, communication, training, equipment and security. It all takes a huge amount of time and effort. And before all of that, you should ask yourself – does this benefit the firm? At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we’ve been very clear about our encouragement of remote working. And while the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Barclays have announced permanent remote workforces, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. There is always a case for, and against, remote roles. And remember, for this to work – you must believe that a remote role aligns with the goals you aim to achieve. If it doesn’t, then don’t follow the herd just because it’s a growing trend. You could consider a contract or interim remote position to test its feasibility before recruiting permanently.
By offering a remote role, you are suggesting that your primary communication with that person will be performed virtually. And if you’re interviewing remotely, you should be able to conduct a smooth, confident and proficient Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting. If you’re not 100% certain that you can do this, not only should you learn – but also consider if you and your team will be able to manage a remote team in the first place. An interview is an opportunity for all parties to connect. But it’s just as crucial to inspire confidence.
Here, we’ve pulled together 5 questions interviewers should be asking post Covid-19. Keep these in mind during your interview.
Garry Howling of Public Practice Recruitment Ltd says, “As we pointed out earlier, there is a lot of practical work to be conducted when hiring a permanent remote worker. You should also consider any requests the candidate mentions during their interview. This could be anything from training to mental health provisions and childcare. If this is uncharted territory for you and you feel you’d benefit from speaking to a professional recruiter, with experience of the accountancy industry, please feel free to get in touch. We’re happy to talk though any of your worries.”
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