The future of work is all about flexibility, says Katherine Loranger, chief people officer at Safeguard Global, a workforce management firm based in Austin, Texas. To win the war for talent, Loranger is taking a “work in any way” approach.
Loranger spoke with StrategicCHRO360 about what that approach means at Safeguard Global, how to be “people-centric” and why even smaller companies should consider looking abroad for talent.
Where is the future of work headed?
The future of work is people-centric and flexible. Remote work, or at a minimum hybrid, is our new present and here to stay. The future of work is a more personalized version of how people will work. The new future of work is informed by a shift in the power dynamics and puts employees in the driver’s seat. Employees desire the freedom to choose and personalize their work environments, and so companies that want the best talent available to them now need to honor that with flexible work experiences. At our company, we call it Work in Any Way.
How can companies worldwide embrace a Work in Any Way culture?
The pandemic forced a global shift to remote and hybrid work models—it forced further integration of an employee’s work and life. As a result, employees had the opportunity to reevaluate how and where they work, and what they want out of their work experience.
Work in Any Way is a people-centric approach to workforce management that is the result of a collaboration between employees and employers to better serve the needs of both. By developing policies and processes that support the different ways people want to work—whether that be asynchronous work schedules, different worker classification, payroll cycles or even different currencies. Work in Any Way companies will be better positioned to attract, recruit and retain a highly-skilled workforce—from anywhere in the world.
What advice do you have for HR teams seeking to access a global talent pool?
For many growing companies, hiring top talent anywhere in the world is key to meeting their strategic goals. But the search for top talent is challenging, especially in today’s market where the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people by 2030.
Set a new tone around recruitment criteria. Historically, companies recruited in areas where they had a physical office location—they were bound by that geography. Hiring managers and recruiters start with what the business needs from talent—the skills, competencies and outcomes candidates have to offer—and no longer need to filter candidates out of consideration because of their location.
However, because remote work is so ubiquitous, you’re no longer competing solely with other employers in your area, you’re competing with employers around the world. Creating people-centric Work in Any Way experiences for your employees is a big part of how you communicate that the organization is interested in offering them the best work experiences in exchange for their best work.
The second thing is understanding the markets you’re hiring in—whether that is which regions have large talent pools of highly skilled candidates for specific skill sets or the employment laws, regulations and cultural expectations of candidates in that region. Having access to in-country expertise will make recruiting, hiring and paying your global workforce efficient, effective—and frankly, keep you in compliance.
What are some of the considerations managers need to take into account as they commit to building a globally remote team?
In the past, global expansion or hiring was reserved for the largest organizations; now even the smallest organizations can recruit and hire top talent from the global talent pool. Today, it’s rare to find a supply chain, production line, development or support team model that isn’t international. When committing to building a globally remote team, there are several considerations employers need to consider to overcome challenges and manage their workforce effectively.
When hiring top talent, you need to move quickly. Top candidates today can have several opportunities lined up and will weigh their options based on the work experience that will best fit their lives—and the recruitment and interview process informs candidates about what they can expect from their potential employer. A Work in Any Way company sets a tone of an organization that is flexible and people-centric. Understanding what your candidates and employees value most, and providing flexible work experiences, gives your company a significant edge in recruitment efforts.
Successfully managing a global remote workforce naturally leads to the need to become experts in what is needed wherever you hire. However, hiring candidates in countries where your company doesn’t have a business entity can be challenging, especially when it comes to HR and payroll compliance. This is where a global employer of record can help your organization navigate the complexity by ensuring compliant contracts, benefits and payroll. This allows you to hire and onboard international workers quickly and compliantly and focus on managing your remote workers and the contributions they bring that help your company succeed.