The Benefits of Having Geographically Mixed Teams
Geographically unrestricted staff recruitment – a compromise best suited for exceptional circumstances or a wide, attractive opportunity for both parties?
Until recently, the labor market operated almost exclusively around a tacit agreement between players: employees were looking for jobs close to their home; employers were looking for hiring people who lived nearby their business premises. A whole chain of mutual conditionings stemmed from this rule. Exceptions naturally meant the employee’s relocation to another city, usually accompanied by his family, followed by a long, more or less successful period of accommodation to the new place of residence. As far as the employer is concerned, a higher salary is typically negotiated in such situations. This is true especially when you need to persuade a very skilled person to relocate. Specialists are hard to find and to keep.
While I was trying to compare the advantages and disadvantages of geographically unrestricted staff recruitment, a personal example instantly came to my mind. Back in my 25s, I was seriously considering moving from Bucharest to a mountain town that I loved. But my kind of training in banking was, at that time, exclusively searched for in Bucharest. I also liked it too much to give it up. In addition, working remotely was a luxury that only some IT experts could afford. So it didn’t take long for my wish to turn into a simple abandoned intention.
Conversely, a friend of mine who lived right in that city of my dreams received an appealing job offer in Bucharest. An opportunity that could only be found there. She ventured and moved to the capital. She gained valuable work experience. For years, she commuted home on weekends. Then she gave up her long attempt to adapt to the Bucharest lifestyle, which just didn’t suit her. She quit, leaving a job for which she was highly qualified.
I realize now that we both had that kind of office jobs that could have been done from anywhere. Having no alternative of remote work wasn’t just our bad luck. In her case, in the end it was also a loss for the employer.
Assuming that the field and content of your business allow remote work, why not expand your hiring options to candidates living far from your offices? Let’s briefly evaluate the pros and cons of this strategy for both parties!
As an employee, this recruitment option offers you the chance to work for the best without any interference with your personal life if you don’t want to relocate. You may ask yourself how hard it would be to fit into the team. What if you end up feeling as an outsider? Of course, it would be the employer’s responsibility as well to smooth this process for you. Undoubtedly, last year has shown us that effective onboarding strategies can be developed for remote workers. There are also various methods to maintain a state of connectedness between employees even when they are not physically close to each other. For example, activities such as virtual team-buildings.
As an employer, broadening your recruitment data base by giving up geographical conditioning offers promising perspectives:
First of all, you get the chance to hire the best. It becomes much easier to find the most suitable candidates and keep them without additional salary costs.
It increases diversity within the team, which in return stimulates its creativity. People bring with them not only a set of skills and knowledge, but also the entire cultural background of their native places.
In a diverse and creative team, productivity automatically increases.
You don’t want to leave a productive team. Geographically unrestricted recruitment sustains staff retention.
It’s largely up to the employer to facilitate the proper integration into the team of remote staff. You should also clearly define your working methods with those employees who are not physically close to you. But, after all, this depends primarily on how trust is built between the two parties. In addition, your performance evaluation grid applies in the same way for everyone, regardless of their concrete working place.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that you are not alone in this process. Being mostly located in university cities, coworking spaces support geographically extended businesses. You’ll easily find well-trained candidates in such communities, whether your headquarters is hundreds of miles away or nearby. By making available to these employees the opportunity of using coworking hubs, you encourage their performance. The stimulating and creative environment in these spaces make it easier for them to work efficiently. Positive results naturally emerge.
Have you ever considered building a geographically mixed team? How could your business benefit from this kind of recruitment strategy?