What a time to be alive folks. Yes, petrol costs more than my bar tab and we’re on the brink of World War III, but work has never been more flexible. Once upon a time, recruitment worked like this: Firstly, we had to pick up a job. Now this is an easy task in today’s talent short world. However, back in the olden days we would have to beg, bribe, and in some cases, offer our nubile 23 year old rumps’ up to the hiring manager’s perverse desires to pick up a role. We then had to find candidates. These candidates had to have the experience to do the job, have realistic salary expectations, be able to present a face or normality at interview, and importantly…be in the actual location where the office was situated. Crazy huh?

And then a chap in a Chinese Market ate a bat and/or armadillo and everything changed. Actually, that’s oversimplifying things. To summarise 262 years of post-industrial progress, loads of jobs were replaced by machines, people started valuing free-time and living standards, cars became cheap and therefore common, computers happened, our hands got soft, someone invented what I still call “the information super-highway”, people started caring about the environment, and we all had to stay at home to stop infecting each other with a virus that ironically only kills those who don’t believe it exists. Long story short, we have taken the Great Leap towards a truly flexible work environment. This is theory, changes a lot for us recruiters. Previously, finding someone who could nail a job was easy. Finding someone who can nail a job who lives in Slough or Ngāruawāhia was nigh-on fucking impossible. With this move to flexible working, we are on easy street right? Right??

Alas no.

Like an all you can eat Chinese buffet with a limit on pancake duck, we’re there, but not quite. And not quite makes a shit-load of difference. Currently, for a number of my clients, the Great Leap looks more like a Slight Shimmy east and west. Although employees can work remotely most of the time, this is very different from all of the time. The hour commute to work, which put you off a job previously, is no longer a show stopper when you make the journey only twice a week. However, you are not truly working remotely. You are still most probably a slave to the 09. So our talent pool has got broader, agreed, but it is not what was promised. Businesses still have a talent pool with geographical limitations, and employees are still living somewhere they might not ideally want to because of work. I know a number of businesses who work remotely except for 1 day a week. This day is used to get together, connect, share some face time, and maybe a lunch. The question I ask, and one of which I don’t know the answer to, is “is it really worth it?”. For the sake of a few people who only marginally like each other sharing a morning tea, is it worth limiting the catchment area for staff to a 100km radius? Currently, I’m thinking it’s not.

I read on the information super-highway yesterday that Zoom has reduced car emissions more than electric vehicles have. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but it was on Twitter so I’m assuming it must be. For businesses who want to look after the environment and their employees, the lowest hanging fruit is to allow those who can, to live wherever they want. You’ll get the best talent, you’ll save the planet, and hopefully (and I say this as a raving socialist) will see a drop in property prices in major cities allowing young people to do frivolous things like buy a property in their hometown.

There is a spanner in the works however. And that spanner is me. Or at least people like me. As much as I think remote working is great, I just love being in an office. And if everyone else is living in Wanaka, then I’m here by myself, and that’s no fun for dinosurs like me.

Anyway, if you are the social type, or working from home and in need of a fondle, there are still a handful of PowWow tickets left. Snap them up here.

^SW

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