Remote Work Attracts Software Engineering Talent

Woman with headphones working on computer code

Employers who recruit in-demand software engineers are increasingly looking for ways to attract the talent they need while managing compensation costs. Companies that can offer remote work options are finding they can satisfy both those requirements.

“Remote work allows companies to target their talent search efforts outside metropolitan areas, where competition drives wages up,” says Thad Gruss, director for strategic recruiting for Aerotek. “They can reach out to a much broader population of workers and not be restricted to the engineers within commuting distance of the worksite.”

Job outlook for software developers chart

Remote work on the rise

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 19 percent of employees reported doing some work remotely in 2003; by 2015 that number had increased to 23 percent.

According to a SurePayroll survey,65 percent of respondents thought a flexible and remote work schedule would increase their productivity, but only 19 percent were allowed by their employers to work remotely. Telecommuters are increasing their work at home days. According to a Gallup survey, between 2012 and 2016, the number of people working remotely four or five days a week rose from 24 percent to 31 percent.

Accommodating engineers

Software engineers/developers are among the most sought-after professionals across industries, Gruss notes. “Because of this, employers are having to become increasingly more willing to work outside the traditional paradigm of co-location and consider how else they can attract the talent they need.”

“We are starting to see more and more employers considering what it would take to accommodate a remote workforce, where key workers can still be contributing at a high level,” Gruss explains. “Very often, work you are doing can be uploaded onto a server or the cloud to be accessed from anywhere. Unless there is a specific reason such as needing to be physically interacting with the hardware, it may not be necessary to be in a single location to work on something. Often, new processes for keeping everyone connected aren’t that difficult to implement. There are obvious security concerns that come along with working remotely, however technology is advancing in those areas as well.”

“It might be more convenient for managers to have all employees at one site,” Gruss continues, “but how much is that convenience worth, especially when talent and technical ability are the main drivers in getting work done?”

Managing remote work

Although they have to ensure their managers have expertise in leading virtual employees and/or teams, many employers are finding that can be far more easily accomplished than competing for professionals with the current low unemployment rate.

Budgets, of course, are always a consideration. “If you have a limited amount of money to work with and an aggressive goal to achieve, you can reach outside your local talent pool to secure candidates with that technical ability,” says Gruss.

Remote work was a less viable option just a decade or two ago, Gruss says. “But tools like video conferencing have evolved and now information can be shared and discussed in real-time. Knowledge and talent are global.” Workers don’t have to be local; they can even fly in regularly for in-person meetings, if that’s necessary.

If you’d like to learn more about remote work or recruiting software engineers, please contact Aerotek now.