Hiring top talent: 4 benefits of a distributed workforce

You have access to the best developers and technical employees in the world.

Are you hiring them? Probably not.

With a looming global skills gap and fierce competition for tech employees, leaders need new strategies to find and develop top talent. Companies taking a forward-thinking approach to their talent pipeline have started to not only embrace a distributed workforce, but make it a part of their corporate strategy. Here’s why.


1. Close skills gaps within your organization

It’s no secret that computer and information technology jobs are booming—it’s the fastest growing job sector in the US. But, this growth isn’t aligning with today’s workforce; 80% of tech CEOs said the availability of key skills is their top challenge. 

Beyond training and upskilling your current employees, remote workers can be an innovative solution to getting key skills on your team. Can you imagine what kind of talent pool you’d be able to tap into if you didn’t have to limit your search to people near a physical location? 


2. Reduce local talent poaching

When there’s a limited amount of skilled workers in one area and a seemingly unlimited need for those skills, talent poaching and job hopping ensue. Tech giants in Silicon Valley have gone to great lengths (and price tags) to hoard top employees from the competition—think stock options and bonus plans. While Silicon Valley is an extreme example, these tactics could contribute to the high employee turnover among technology companies.

So, if you offered employees the chance to live outside high-tech hotbeds, what might happen? Automation platform Zapier wanted to find out, so they flipped the script on relocation assistance. The company offers a “de-location package” for San Francisco-based employees to move away from the Bay Area. After the initial announcement, Zapier saw a dramatic uptick in job applicants with one third specifically mentioning the offer. 


3. Boost innovation 

It’s been proven: Diverse teams lead to greater problem solving. Distributed teams open the door for talent from all different backgrounds, walks of life and areas of world. Your access to diversity grows exponentially when you stop hiring from one area. 

There’s financial benefits as well. A McKinsey study found that companies with greater gender diversity performed 15% better than the industry mean and companies with high ethnic and racial diversity did even better with a 35% increase in financial performance. Diversity translates to new ideas, new perspectives and a better bottom line. It’s simple: invite diversity, increase innovation. 


4. Create job satisfaction, retain employees

Developers want to be remote. According to Stack Overflow’s 2016 developer survey, flexible working options are a top priority for devs with 64% of developers already working remotely. From a talent aquisition and retention standpoint, not forcing your developers or tech employees to be co-located can go a long way in keeping them happy and loyal. What happens when employees like where they work? They stay, and save you hiring and onboarding costs.

Instead of focusing on where your employees are located, focus on combating some of the top reasons technology employees leave their jobs like lack of opportunities for advancement, unappealing company culture and failure to recognize important employee contributions. 

Why the future of work is distributed 

“If you want to be competitive today, you have to offer your developers the option to be distributed. Remote working options are a top priority.”

 – Lisbi Abraham, CIO Andela

If technology has changed the way we live and work, why haven’t we changed the way we acquire and retain talent? The tools and capabilities to have a remote workforce are there, it’s just a matter of embracing them at a leadership level. Sure, distributed teams may present unique challenges, but these hurdles pale in comparison to what could befall a company unable to stay ahead in today’s business environment.

You have access to the best developers and technology employees everywhere. Start hiring them and open a world—literally—of new possibilities.