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Hiring Remote Workers to Overcome Global Talent Shortages

Employers that can successfully fill the talent shortages they face will have an edge on the competition, now and in the future. The question then becomes: how can employers find qualified talent with so much competition? Let's examine one method employers are increasingly using, which is to hire remote workers to overcome global talent shortages.

Remote Workers

As technology becomes more integrated into business processes, hiring remote workers and outsourcing IT and administrative functions is becoming an affordable and flexible option. Professional services, IT specialists, marketing and sales teams, and other workforce members can now be productive as remote employees.

Online technology is making it possible for remote workers to be hired globally, which gives employers methods to fill talent shortages and augment their workforce for projects and specialty needs. This may be a remote worker that's hired as a full-time staff member, or as a freelancer/vendor that works on a contract basis.

An article found on SHRM called HR Is Turning to Freelancers to Meet Talent Shortage, written on Mar 10, 2017 by Roy Maurer, explains:

Based on a survey of nearly 400 human capital leaders from more than 60 countries, Randstad Sourceright's 2017 Talent Trends Report found that over the next 12 months, nearly two-thirds are likely to adopt a workforce composition model that uses more contingent workers.

Traditional models of hiring no longer provide the agility businesses must have to access in-demand skills when they're needed.

Skills Needed the Most Globally

Employers are having a hard time finding qualified talent to fill skilled positions. The dynamics of an emerging global economy, fueled by technological innovation and new industries, is leaving skill gaps in certain industries and countries.

According to another SHRM article called Employers Are Facing the Worst Talent Shortage Since 2007, written on Nov 7, 2016 by Roy Maurer:

Of the more than 42,300 employers surveyed, 40 percent cited hiring difficulties – the highest level since 2007 (41 percent) and up from 38 percent in 2015.

For the fifth consecutive year, skilled trades positions such as electricians, carpenters, masons, and plumbers remain the hardest to fill across all 42 countries surveyed.

The global IT talent gap has noticeably widened, with tech roles the second hardest-to-fill, up from ninth place in 2015.

The rest of the global list of hardest-to-fill jobs include:

  • Sales representatives
  • Engineers
  • Technicians
  • Drivers
  • Accounting and finance staff
  • Management
  • Production operators/machine operators
  • Secretaries, receptionists, administrative assistance and office support staff

Although hiring remotely or outsourcing certain business functions won't solve talent shortages such as: skilled trades, drivers, machine operators, etc. – it does give employers an option for filling: IT roles, accounting and finance staffs, sales representatives, marketing teams, and other roles that can be remotely accomplished.

Recruiting Remote Workers Internationally

This option can also be used to hire internationally, which means available talent pools are expanded, as well as foreign markets and industry expertise. Hiring remotely gives companies the ability to have boots on the ground in the countries they want to do business with. Foreign remote workers can speak the native language and navigate the foreign market with local expertise, giving companies an insider team member to facilitate trade and business.

Real-time cloud and mobile computing technologies give remote workforce access to enterprise systems from around the world at anytime, making hiring remote workers, or outsourced vendors, a viable solution to overcome skill shortages. Video conferencing, presence, mobile accessibility, business VoIP telephony, cloud productivity software, and more – all help employers manage and facilitate remote workforce.

For instance, business VoIP solutions make international calling affordable, and gives employers features such as: call queuing, presence, and mobile app accessibility. This means employers can hire a remote IT technician from across the world for off-hour support. Companies can also hire a sales representative to work trade shows in China, in order to reach a target audience without sending in-house sales teams and paying for travelling expenses.

Overcoming Talent Shortages

Hiring remotely doesn't solve all talent shortages, yet it does give employers options for filling positions that can be accomplished remotely. A remote workforce can also be in the form of an outsourced vendor or partner as well, which manages and facilitates certain business functions. Also, remote workforce can either be hired directly or as freelance contractors.

There are many options for hiring remotely, giving employers flexible solutions for overcoming talent shortages, including hiring internationally to expand talent pools and foreign market expertise. Whatever strategies employers use, hiring remotely is a trend that's sure to grow as technology continues to rapidly unite an emerging global economy and facilitate remote workforce functions.

This article was originally published by The Network, the world's local recruitment experts, at

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