One America Works recently hosted a conversation about hiring with a distributed perspective for community and business leaders that are responding to the continued changes in the economy and workplace. There were a lot of insightful comments from the discussion, and a few of the key takeaways included how accessing diverse talent is simpler in a distributed system, why workers like work-from-home and its flexibility, and what challenges accompany distributed operations.

Diverse Talent

Access to a diverse talent pool is easier than ever when the talent pool is unrestricted by geographical boundaries. Companies with a remote presence, even if they still maintain a physical presence in one or more locations, have a distinct advantage in hiring. These business leaders can source employees from anywhere, including cities and regions where they are looking to grow a new market. 

Without being limited to a single location or even one region, businesses can find specialized talent from the many universities producing top tech graduates or cities where industries like robotics or smart technology are thriving.

Additionally, hiring people from different locations increases racial, political, and thought diversity. The business case for a diverse workforce has never been stronger, with businesses featuring more diverse management boasting more innovation and higher revenue.

Talent Likes WFH and Flexibility

By and large, employees are adapting to working from home and appreciating the flexibility it offers. Many surveys of remote workers have shown increasing desire for a more permanent work from home structure at their company. According to a new Zoom/Survey Monkey survey, nearly two-thirds of individuals would prefer a hybrid model where time could be split between office and home.  

For some, remote work means opportunities that were previously out of reach. With the option to work remotely, folks can apply for jobs that used to be solely based in Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, or any city. Now, they can be a competitive candidate without being forced to move.  For others, they like having their company based where they live, but flexibility to work from home occasionally (or even frequently) has improved work-life balance. More and more, people are asking “what matters in my life”, and working from home is offering a way to match career goals with other personal objectives.

Many companies are already making these adjustments and allowing more flexibility. A survey of company leaders found that 80% are planning to allow their employees to work remotely at least part of the time post-pandemic; nearly half will permit staff to work from home full-time if they choose. Overall, most agree that remote collaboration is here to stay.

Challenges with Distribution

There are challenges that accompany hiring with a newly distributed perspective. For example, onboarding a new diverse talent pool adds new levels of complexity to a standard recruitment and onboarding process. Remote recruiting and onboarding practices are still being developed as remote work expands. Human resources professionals will have to stay abreast of best practices to help them hire and onboard new employees effectively. 

Another potential challenge is overcoming the digital collaboration divide. Without question, it is easier to share ideas in person. Finding ways for different people to elevate their ideas via screens is challenging. There are many creative ways to keep employees engaged and nurture collaborative environments. We have to continue finding ways to recreate the types of spontaneous interactions that led to innovation. Doing the hard work up front to make this possible (using technology, regular check-ins, or other means) will make this easier moving forward.


To learn more about operating a distributed company, check out our website and see how we can help you optimize your recruitment efforts from coast to coast. To join our team for future Clubhouse conversations, subscribe to our newsletter where you will get all the latest updates on news, events, and more!