Arlington Sports Conditioning - Pete Leibman

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Should You Hire a Local Candidate or a Candidate Who Will Always Be Remote?

One of the most common recruiting questions that CEO’s and hiring managers have asked me lately is “Should we hire a local candidate or a candidate who will always be remote?”

Ultimately, it depends on several factors. Here are three questions that your company can ask itself to decide how expansive your recruiting geography should be for a certain role:

1. What are your company’s current plans for after the shutdown?

Since most companies have gotten used to being 100% remote during COVID, some companies are also thinking about staying 100% remote after the shutdown ends. In that case, it might not make sense to limit your recruiting efforts to your region. On the other hand, if your company plans to be back in an office for most or all of the time after the shutdown, then you might want to keep local recruiting as a priority.

2. How large and strong is the relevant talent pool in your area?

Your company should also consider the size and quality of the relevant talent pool in your area. If there are less than 25-50 local candidates who are highly qualified for your role (and attainable financially), then you will likely have to broaden your recruiting geography. On the other hand, if your company is located in an area where the relevant talent pool is very deep, then you might not need to pursue candidates in other cities.

3. How senior is the role that you are trying to fill?

The seniority of your open role is another factor to consider. If you are hiring an entry-level or mid-level role, you probably do not need to consider candidates from other regions. There are probably more than enough qualified candidates in your area. On the other hand, if you are trying to fill a key executive role, there might be fewer candidates in your area who are qualified. In that case, you might want or need to consider candidates from other cities, too.

You Can Always Start Local and Then Expand

Unless you want or need to pursue candidates in other cities from the start, you can always target local candidates first. If that does not work, then you could pursue candidates that are outside your city, but still within driving distance. One example would be a company in Philadelphia trying to recruit candidates in New York or Baltimore.

If that still doesn’t work, you could pursue candidates that are in other cities but still in your time zone, such as a company in Philadelphia trying to recruit candidates up and down the entire east coast. As a final option, you could consider candidates throughout the entire country. For certain roles, that might be required.

Even if your company plans to stay remote after the shutdown, there are benefits to having your employees in the same city, within driving distance, or in the same time zone. Being in the same city or within driving distance makes it easier for employees to meet in-person, which is valuable for team-building and employee engagement. Even being in the same time zone is a benefit. In that case, your days start and end at the same time, which makes communication easier than when employees are located in different time zones.

P.S. Looking for more help with your company’s executive recruiting efforts?

Download my free report below, or contact me directly to schedule a call.

About the author: As the Founder of Stronger Talent, Pete Leibman recruits exceptional leaders for innovative sports, fitness, and wellness companies. Throughout his career, Pete has helped clients recruit exceptional leaders at the Board, C-Suite, Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Manager, Managing Director, and Director levels. Pete’s work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and, and he is the author of two books and over 250 articles on career management, peak performance, and executive recruiting.

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