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How Remote Work Varies for Recruiting by Industry

You’d think that remote work would be a massive boon for recruiting. Candidates no longer have to physically travel for interviews, while employers have access to a much wider talent pool. All this is true, of course, but as a recent Lever survey shows, remote work has also been a hindrance to recruiting teams in certain industries.

The survey of 700+ talent professionals found that 1 in 4 say they’ll have a harder time recruiting as a result of a more flexible remote policy. However, much depends on industry and role. For example, Remote work doesn’t mean much to healthcare recruiters, as you’d expect if they’re looking for nurses to fill open roles. They need strong candidates, quickly, who live close enough near a campus to work on-site.

Healthcare seems obvious, but what about other industries where remote work creates a barrier to recruiting? Here’s a breakdown of the top ten responders from our survey:

  • Automotive (56%)
  • Insurance (35%)
  • Software/tech (35%)
  • Education (32%)
  • Recruiting firm/consultants (29%)
  • Manufacturing (26%)
  • Healthcare (25%)
  • Infrastructure, Construction & Engineering (25%)
  • Finance (21%)
  • Professional or Financial Service (16%)

It makes sense that industries where in-person roles abound, or regulations make it hard to work without the security of in-office networks, would be harder to recruit for during times like these. Even with the acceleration of virtual options such as telemedicine, some work simply needs to be done in person.

When remote work is great for recruiting

On the flipside, with remote work now more widespread than ever, recruiters in other industries will be able to source candidates from around the country — and potentially the world. This drastically opens up the talent pool, and also has implications for salaries and the company’s bottom line, with 39% of respondents saying they’ll be able to tailor their salaries to geographies, a critical benefit if budgets continue to decrease.

When asked how a flexible remote policy will affect their recruiting, the other 75% of respondents said:

  • They’ll have an easier time recruiting (31%)
  • They’ll have to offer alternatives to in-office perks (29%)
  • They’ll be able to adjust salaries based on people’s location (39%)
  • They’ll be able to tap into new markets for quality candidates (30%)
  • They may need to recruit more seasoned candidates (14%)

It’s interesting to note that although telework policies will continue to vary by company, they’re becoming more lenient across the board, with less approvals required and more flexibility. About a quarter of companies with 5,000+ employees will make telework widely available, a 12% increase from before COVID-19. At Lever, we have also designed a post-COVID workplace strategy that offers a ton of flexibility to employees — those who crave in-office connection, those who prefer working from home, and the very large percentage of team members who would like a mix of both.As for talent professionals overall, the group is pretty evenly split about how things will proceed at their organizations: 33% expect an increase, 29% expect things to stay the same, and 38% expect a decrease. But one thing we can all agree on is the world of work has changed to its core, likely permanently, and many recruiters are still optimistic. In fact, 40% say they’ll emerge stronger, with better tools and strategies. I know they will, too.