What Recruiters Need to Know About the "Return to Office" Era


    What Recruiters Need to Know About the "Return to Office" Era

    In the “Return to Office” era, recruiting and hiring managers face new challenges and opportunities. We've gathered insights from Directors of Talent Acquisition and Human Resources, among others, to bring you five key pieces of advice. From embracing flexibility in hiring to offering hybrid models to attract talent, these experts shed light on the essential strategies for today's hiring landscape.

    • Embrace Flexibility in Hiring
    • Quantify Work-From-Home Value
    • Explain the “Why” of Office Returns
    • Assess Roles and Communicate Expectations
    • Offer Hybrid Models to Attract Talent

    Embrace Flexibility in Hiring

    Returning to an office setting can be challenging for both companies and new hires. Being realistic about expectations during the hiring process is essential. Many employers continue to offer remote work, so it’s crucial to compete for top talent. This might involve offering flexible schedules and hybrid models.

    Even if your company has never tried these work models, it's time to give them a shot! Embracing flexibility not only attracts top candidates but also fosters a more adaptable and resilient workforce, ready to tackle future challenges head-on.

    Danny Aldana
    Danny AldanaDirector of Talent Acquisition, Alpha Matrix Staffing

    Quantify Work-From-Home Value

    Many candidates are beginning to judge WFH in real dollar amounts. For example, having one WFH day might be worth $5,000 to $10,000 in salary for that candidate.

    The problem is everyone has different values, and there's virtually no consensus among candidates about what WFH is truly worth.

    I highly recommend asking candidates to share their WFH value amounts. There are no wrong answers, and the extra information can inform a hiring team very well.

    Nathan CollierLead Recruiting and Hiring Manager, Barbour Orthopedics and Spine

    Explain the “Why” of Office Returns

    Recruiters and hiring managers need to remember to share the "why" behind their return-to-office policy. If employees need to be in the office three days per week, there had better be a good reason.

    Otherwise, candidates may question leadership and how they make decisions. If there are legitimate reasons for returning to the office, be transparent about that, and candidates will be more likely to understand and move forward in the process.

    Kelli Anderson
    Kelli AndersonCareer Coach, Blue Rise Baltimore Roofing

    Assess Roles and Communicate Expectations

    The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed employment practices, and it will be difficult to go back to “the way things were” prior to 2020, with recruiting being no exception. Most recent graduates are more accustomed to the virtual or hybrid environment than previous generations.

    Even those who were in the workforce prior to the pandemic came to the realization that their work could be accomplished in a more flexible, different way than what they previously thought. This has led to a well-documented clash of ideologies between executives/management, who want greater in-person presence in order to increase collaboration and engagement, and applicants/employees, who want to operate with a greater sense of flexibility and autonomy.

    Unfortunately, HR often gets stuck in the middle, negotiating these differences. At the end of the day, business needs should always dictate best practices. Does a role need to be fully in-person? For example, a receptionist, warehouse worker, or truck driver may not be able to complete their work in any other way than fully in-person. Whereas, other roles may be able to complete their work remotely or in a hybrid manner.

    Not offering options in terms of remote days, schedule flexibility, etc., will definitely put employers at a disadvantage—as there are plenty of other employers out there willing to offer those options. Thus, recruiting and hiring managers should evaluate each role at their organization and clearly communicate the expectations and business needs of those positions to prospective candidates. This will help foster trust and establish a clear line of communication from the onset of any potential employment relationship.

    Mayank Singh
    Mayank SinghDirector of Human Resources, Coordinated Family Care

    Offer Hybrid Models to Attract Talent

    One thing recruiting and hiring managers need to know about hiring in the “return-to-office” era is the importance of flexibility. With the shift to remote work during the pandemic, many employees have grown accustomed to the flexibility of working from home.

    To attract top talent, companies need to be open to hybrid work models and offer flexibility in terms of office hours and location. By being adaptable and understanding the changing needs of employees, hiring managers can create a more attractive work environment that appeals to a wider pool of candidates.

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House