Remote Work: The Single Best Secret for Diversity Recruiting

Posted by SeekOut on May 8, 2018 5:00:21 AM

Don’t you wish you could do your dream job from anywhere?

Well, so do your employees.

In fact, 68% of college graduates say remote work opportunities have a positive impact on their interest in a potential employer.

And it’s not just young people —

Employees already in the workforce were 48% more likely to rank their job a 10 out of 10 on the happiness scale if they could telecommute.

So clearly, job seekers want remote work.  

want remote work

And as a result, more companies are needing to embrace remote work in order to attract top talent and keep it in their organization.

But here’s the thing:

Remote work isn’t just a perk for your employees. It can also have a massive impact on your business.

Companies employing remote workers benefit from:

    • Lower office related costs
    • 20% more productive employees
    • 28% more engagement amongst workers

And if the stats above aren’t enough for you, this simple chart in an otherwise expansive report from TINYpulse speaks volumes:

remote work productivity

(image source)

Hopefully, you can see the productivity and effectiveness benefits of remote work.

But, there’s another major perk to offering telecommute opportunities that we haven’t mentioned yet:

Many talent acquisition leaders don’t realize that remote work is one of the best ways to attract diverse talent.

It’s true: opening up your open jobs to remote workers means more opportunities for diversity recruiting.

(And if you read our recent blog post on diversity recruiting statistics, you know that comes with its own set of perks for your business.)

If your company has made diversity recruiting a priority, here’s how offering remote work opportunities can help:

1. Remote work means a bigger pool of candidates.

Look, it’s a simple fact — opening the door to remote work naturally widens the pool of talent available to your company.

Unlimited locations > 1 location.


Indeed Hiring Lab’s Daniel Culbertson highlighted in a recent report that in 2017, searches for flexible work arrangements were up 32% year-over-year. He goes on to explain:

“Many companies that find flexible arrangements conducive to their business will continue to offer them in order to attract the most talent possible. However, employers that would rather not offer telecommuting may find themselves at a disadvantage, particularly if the labor market tightens further in coming years.”

In other words: to compete for top talent, your company needs to expand your candidate pool by offering remote work flexibility to your employees.

And naturally, that becomes especially powerful as part of your diversity recruiting strategy.

That’s why we teach recruiters using SeekOut to leverage our diversity filters in combination with a wide-open location.

seekout remote work diversity filters

Doing so gives you the opportunity to hone in more closely on your specific diversity initiatives.

Now, I’m not saying your entire workforce needs to be remote.

But, here are a few examples of what having workplace flexibility can help you do:

1. Hire more talented women with children at home.

Remote work gives your employees the flexibility to have a fulfilling career while also tending to day-to-day demands outside work.

And for many women, these day-to-day demands include raising children.

Unfortunately, the battle between career and family is so apparent that 56% of women leave their tech jobs in the middle of their career.

But, there’s a better alternative —

Remote work gives at-home moms the opportunity to pursue their careers while building their families.

Fact: 52% of remote workers are women.

And remote companies have almost four times as many women CEOs as S&P 500 companies.

Notice a trend here?

In a recent blog post, training and innovation expert Jessica Wishart outlined 7 ways to create a more flexible work culture. Her personal experience as a working parent highlights the reason remote work helps so much in recruiting talented at-home moms:

“As a working parent, having the flexibility to run to daycare or last-minute doctor appointments gives me the peace of mind to be more productive when I am at work. And, my company has earned my loyalty as a result of the flexibility they’ve given me.”

With that in mind, it makes sense why 76% of women say you’ll be more likely to retain top talent by offering a remote work option.

remote work is a no brainer

2. Open doors for military spouses to continue their careers on base.

According to a Hiring Our Heroes report, 20-25% of military spouses are unemployed and as many as 35% are underemployed.

And those jaw-dropping numbers don’t have anything to do with their qualifications, either.

That same report highlights over 70 percent of working military spouses are overqualified for their current job:

underemployed military spouses

(image source)

And ultimately, it’s the mobility of active military duty that hinders their career growth.

The Hiring Our Heroes report claims nearly 90% of military spouses moved more than 50 miles at least once. More than half moved three times, and more than a third reported moving four times or more.

Crazy, right?

With that level of mobility, it’s no surprise military spouses have a harder time achieving their career goals and holding down a steady in-office job.

And that’s where remote work can be a real game-changer.

By offering the flexibility to work remotely, military spouses can maintain steady careers no matter where they are or how many times they move.

(Remote work can also enhance your veteran recruiting strategy, too.)

But it’s not just at-home moms and military spouses that benefit from telecommuting:

3. Remote work improves job accessibility for people with disabilities and semi-retired senior citizens.

It’s no secret that getting to and from an office is a real difficulty for some people with disabilities.

And when you require all employees to be on-site, that obstacle prevents you from attracting some talented workers.

In fact, the 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce highlighted a revealing trend:

In more than half of major cities, workers list telecommuting as their top commuting choice.

Cutting out the difficulties of a daily commute means employees with disabilities have a better chance of making a significant impact on your business.  

And the same applies to the semi-retired, as well.

Since 1982, the average retirement age for men and women has been on the rise.

on the job longer

(image source)

On top of that, 50% of households today may not be able to maintain their standard of living after retirement.

Those two factors combined help explain the growing trend of hiring semi-retired older workers.

But, older people often struggle with the daily commute to an office just as people with disabilities.

Again, here’s where remote work can be a huge advantage.

By allowing even just part-time remote work to those at retirement age that still need to earn an income, you’re expanding your talent pool to attract qualified talent with the appropriate work experience.

But remote work helps you in more ways than just your active sourcing of diversity candidates.

In fact, one of the ways diversity recruiting improves through remote work is through improvements to your company culture that boost inbound job inquiries and applications from higher-quality talent.  

4. Promote a culture of flexibility and inclusion that draws more talent to you

It’s a simple truth:

The more you can align with the desires of the current workforce, the more desirable you become as an employer.

Naturally, that means by actively promoting your flexibility and desire for a more diverse workforce, your brand’s reputation among potential candidates improves.

As Kathleen O’Brien writes over on the exaqueo blog, it ends up being your employees who help attract best-in-class talent when remote work is available:

“Providing the option to work remotely signals flexibility, which appeals to a certain type of talent...Happy employees are more likely to sing your brand’s praises to friends and on social media, further increasing positive sentiment around your brand.”

And to be clear, it’s not that you need to have a 100% remote workforce.

As Sarah Sutton Fell, CEO & Founder of FlexJobs, identified in a recently conducted survey and article for Entrepreneur, the most successful companies have bridged the gap between traditional in-office work and a flexible remote work strategy:

“This year’s Top 100 companies offer the most remote work opportunities because adhering to traditional hiring and business strategies simply doesn’t work for their models. Remote work has become a vital part of their operations, and combining brick-and-mortar offices with remote work could provide a well-balanced strategy for the future.”

That sort of forward-thinking strategy helps you to not only attract talent, but to retain employees for the long haul, too.


Remote work benefits both your company and your prospective candidates.

But, among those benefits, talent leaders often overlook the potential for expanding diversity within their organization through remote opportunities.

Now, after reading this post, it’s up to you to help your company expand its remote work program and boost diversity hiring.

Topics: Diversity Hiring