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More employers eyeing remote workforce opportunity

By Emma Musgrave | |5 minute read

An increasing number of Australian SMBs plan to hire at least one-third of their workforce remotely in the next 12 months.

According to IDC’s Bridging the Talent Gap report, released by Remote this month, around 45 per cent of Australian SMBs/mid-market companies plan to hire 20 to 30 per cent remote full-time equivalents (FTEs) and contractors in the next 12 months.   

Improving profitability, finding more cost-effective workforce options across geographies, and addressing a talent gap were cited as the top reasons for the greater push towards remote hiring by Australian respondents.


“The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way businesses operate, and we are seeing that companies in Australia have been among the fastest in the world to adapt their hiring and workforce strategies for the current era,” said Job van der Voort, chief executive and co-founder of Remote.

“As remote work continues to gain traction, companies that are able to tap into the international talent pool will have a significant advantage over those that do not.” 

The research also shed light on the top challenges employers were having when recruiting remote talent.

Overall, Asia-Pacific respondents said their biggest headwind was getting talent that had the right mix of skills, followed by adapting to international workforce payroll and understanding local policies, tax and compliance matters.

Thirty-one per cent of Australian companies are currently using employer of record (EOR) platforms for onboarding and management of their global workforce.

“EORs help companies employ and pay international employees living in countries where they do not have a legal entity and manage the complexities of local compliance, payroll, benefits, taxes, and more,” the report said.

“This enables business and HR leaders to focus on tasks such as workforce planning, sourcing and retention strategies to drive the new and emerging work culture.”

Roxanne Calder, founder and managing director of EST10 Recruitment, recently highlighted the benefits of utilising remote workers.

“Pre-pandemic practices won’t suffice. Remote recruitment is innovative, entrepreneurial, fast and must factor in retention,” Ms Calder told HR Leader.

“Remain realistic. It is a seismic opportunity to source talent further afield, including emerging markets. However, it is still competitive, so you can’t ask for the world.”

Technology is important when adopting the remote recruitment approach. Without the tools to support this method, teams will suffer as a result, the recruitment expert flagged. 

“Depending on volume, consider recruitment-specific CRM systems to track communication and traction. Artificial intelligence is valuable for efficient screening and identifying talent and reducing human bias. However, because of the algorithms, AI can also create its own bias. Use tools such as LinkedIn and networks to verify resumé details,” explained Ms Calder.

“[Utilise] the virtual interview. Enlightened virtual interviewers consider culture and language. Sensitivity, understanding, reserving judgment, and being attuned to your cultural frame of reference helps avoid misinterpretation and missed hiring opportunities.”


Remote working

Professionals can use remote work as a working method to do business away from a regular office setting. It is predicated on the idea that work need not be carried out in a certain location to be successful.


The term "workforce" or "labour force" refers to the group of people who are either employed or unemployed.