Feb 19 2015

Is “work from home” losing its luster as a recruiting tool?.

The Northeast has been hit hard by snow in these past few weeks, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down.

It forced me and many others to stay off the roads and work from home.

It also reminded me just how much I prefer working from the office. I realize that this is simply personal preference. In fact, we have a few people on our team who prefer to work from home, and so they do.

I remember, prior to starting MojoTech, how I jumped at a remote engineering gig that had me working from home for about two years. It was a novelty at the time.

But not anymore.

A remote team is no longer a unicorn####

Best-selling books have been written about remote work, blogs focus on it and some of the fastest-growing startups in SaaS boast distributed teams.

Being a distributed team has big advantages, especially when it comes to recruiting. It helped us find some great people when we were starting out.

But now that so many teams are distributed, how does a distributed company compete for that remote talent? When a host of great companies offer to let an employee work from anywhere, it loses its power as a recruiting tool.

How does your remote business stand out to potential hires?####

Very frequently, I see that answer coming down to money. It’s an easy way to stand out.

But if money is someone’s primary motivation for joining your company, you probably aren’t getting the best fit for your team.

Over the years as the remote trend has grown, I’ve found that our physical offices have become more and more powerful for recruiting top talent.

An office lets you differentiate your company in many ways that have nothing to do with money. Culture is huge, and culture is evident to a new candidate within ten seconds of walking into an office. If they like the feeling of being there, they’re a lot more likely to want to come back. That’s a selling point you simply can’t replicate with a remote team.

I’ve hired about fifty people over the last few years and I’ve seen that many talented people would rather move to a nice place, and work from an energetic office rather than “work from anywhere.”

We’ve relocated over a dozen people over the years to work from one of our offices, and only a couple of them considered the option of working remotely. They each had different motivations for wanting to move, but money was never the driving factor.

At the end of the day, it comes down to fit. Some people would rather work remotely, but many don’t.

Don’t think of the remote option as a perk that will resonate with everyone. It’s no longer a novelty, and from where I sit, with the growth of the remote trend, the appeal of having a buzzing office in a desirable location has never been stronger.

~ Nick Kishfy (@kishfy)