As a candidate, how would you feel if you knew the recruiter you were speaking with on the phone was sitting at his desk, at his home, in his boxers, and maybe hadn’t showered in a few days?
As a hiring manager, would it bother you if you were entrusting your search to the same guy mentioned above? Should it matter as long as he is getting the job done and going it well?
The truth is, you really have no idea if you are in that situation or not. It is funny – and creepy – to think that this may be the case, but with the number of remote workers rapidly increasing, this could very well be true. Forrester Research is saying that by 2016, about half of the workforce may be working remotely (or at least partially working remotely for some period during the week). With large numbers of recruiters working from SaaS based Applicant Tracking Systems, all they need to do their job is a computer, the internet, and a phone. Because of that, companies have begun to let their recruiters work from home rather than coming into an office. This set up helps the company to reduce costs on office space and office supplies, but it can also be a perk to the recruiter who is not interested in a daily commute.
As someone who works remotely (fully clothed), I can see the arguments both ways. There is something to be said for working in an office, feeling the buzz around the room, collaborating on the fly with others, and just the ability to listen to and learn from others around you. But on the other side, I start work earlier, rarely take a full lunch, and work later because I am working from home. I even find myself coming back to my work after my family goes to bed and getting some extra organization or planning done to prepare for the next day. There are certainly fewer distractions at my home, that is until the bogus computer repair malware removal team calls me repeated times a day trying to get my credit card number to scam me.
Can everyone be successful working remotely? No.
Can everyone be trusted to work remotely? Absolutely not.
With half of the workforce headed that direction though, HR Managers and Recruiters should not only be focusing on finding candidates who have the needed skills, or a certification, or a certain number of years of experience within an industry – they better start focusing on the personalities, behaviors, and drive of candidates as well to see if they can thrive in a remote work environment. I believe in that type of testing anyway, and have seen it be effective in reducing turnover for all types of roles, not just remote ones.
The next time a recruiter calls you – maybe you will get a little smirk on your face because you just don’t know if they are recruiting naked.