The Virtual Office

I am wondering if more companies are looking into employees working from home at all, even part of the time to reduce overhead cost (electricity, gasoline consumption, car expenses, mileage reimbursement, phone bills, and any other miscellaneous costs that are a part of an office manager’s life).  Some companies have changed their style to a 4-day, 10 hours/day work week and close the office on Friday to save on expenses.  Some have elected to let employees to determine a flexible office schedule.  Some have done nothing.  All have benefits depending on the company and the role you play in particular.

From productivity and cost perspectives, there are two sides to consider and below are highlights (certainly just skimming the surface here):

  • Management will want you to be in the office to make sure that you are doing your job and being a responsible employee.  Offices have costs; most are fixed costs so it is best to utilize the space for ROI.
  • Employees want to be home to save on their personal costs.  They are also able to be online more and, in so many cases, work a longer day outside of office hours.  Commuting will be zero so saving gas and environmental omissions will be zero as well.

With the economy trying to rebound, is there anything you or your company may do to shave costs here and there?  Are you or is anyone at your company thinking green?  Is there middle ground for everyone to be happy and productive?

Just think about it!

Finding Talent Isn’t Always Going Externally

Hiring in this economy is not a bad so this is not meant as an anti-economic or anti-employment discussion.  As a recruiter, it is my job to find and attract top talent but there are occasions when hiring is not always a solution.


Is it possible that companies and management are not looking internally enough for talented individuals for project work?  I have been hearing and conversing with a number of people from companies who are looking externally for subject matter experts in various areas while there is staff internally either interested or available to take on projects.  So what should be done?


First, the employee needs to stand up and say they are interested.  The more you let pass over you the less experience you will get and the less you maybe viewed as a valuable employee.  Volunteer.  Get involved.  Make a stand.  Take on this work and show your value.


Second, companies while looking at costs don’t always look at the correct or right person for work.  Managers may neither know all of their employee’s skills nor know who maybe interested or qualified to do this work.


This is a missed opportunity for both groups.  Bottom line, make yourself known and take on what will add value to you and your company!

Recruiting Agencies vs. Corporate Recruiters/HR

This topic has been going on forever and I am not sure if it will ever stop.  Having sat on both sides of the table I wanted to add my two cents to the conversation.


Today’s economic market is obviously vastly different from the past few years where everything seemingly flourished.  Companies were hiring in waves and the candidate market was a tighter than it is now.


Now we have fewer openings and more candidates which also leads to companies wanting to do more internally.  It also puts a lot of pressure on the Agency to bring in more business.


What hasn’t changed, in general, is the agency approach.


Stop calling strictly for business.  This is the time to truly partner with your clients and add value.  Sure, it was easy when they called you with their reqs and you filled them.  Get a req, fill a req – I can hear that mantra being repeated now.


But the calls still come in from the agency and they are not always tactful, they are more in a self serving manner to them rather than to me.  I do like some agencies and see the value they provide.  I like the personal touch some of them try to perform.


This is the time to better understand your customer, their needs, and understand their demand plan timeline.  It is time for those tough meetings to find out what you did well and where you may improve, where you will add value to each individual and how to better partner with both the businesses and the HR community.


Yes, HR.  Stop fighting with or trying to avoid HR and embrace the partnership, they are your customer as well.  HR wants you to succeed as much as you do.  After all, if they give you a req there is a reason for that!


This may not change your business or current openings, or maybe it will.  Maybe you will find yourself in a stronger position with your customers than you were before.  Examine your approach and try to understand the impact you are conveying to each customer.


Now is a time for everyone to work together.