Friday, April 12

This is not the telecommuting that I was promised: how to find out the real conditions of an offer remotely

Telecommuting has become a powerful asset to attract talent. You only have to browse for a while through job portals such as LinkedIn or InfoJobs to verify it: many offers speak of “remote work”, “hybrid” or “possibility of telecommuting”. However, some of them are quite imprecise and do not specify how many days the tasks can be carried out from home or if the employee will have the possibility to configure them at will. Some doubts that, sometimes, are not resolved during the selection process and that can lead to the candidate finding an unpleasant surprise when signing the contract.

Ask during the interview. To avoid these situations, the worker can follow several strategies to obtain reliable information about the telecommuting policy of the company that wants to hire him, as explained by the Harvard Business Review in a recent article. The first and easiest way is to ask the human resources technicians directly, who must be informed of the company’s remote work criteria.

Harvard University’s business magazine recommends asking about details such as the frequency of remote work, whether office days are fixed or can be configured at will, what happens when the team has to meet, what part of the staff telework, how long has the company been offering this possibility and what tools, both software and hardware, do they use to work remotely. By answering all these questions, the candidate will be able to get a good idea of ​​the company’s remote work policy.

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In the event that the recruiters know how to answer any of these questions in detail, the candidate can ask them to gather the information and send it to them on the following days by phone or email. However, if HR technicians are hesitant or hesitant, they may not be as transparent as they should be.

research on the net. Another option proposed by the Harvard Business Review is to investigate the company on the internet: check if it makes any reference to its telecommuting policy on its website, in its social media posts or in other job offers. He also suggests checking to see if your workers have shared information about their conditions on professional forums and platforms like Glassdoor. It also suggests that it is possible to search for employees or former employees on LinkedIn and try to contact them to ask them directly.

written conditions. A solution that the American magazine does not propose is to request all the conditions in writing from an email from the contracting company, so that the worker can refer to this document in the event that what was agreed in the selection process is not complied with. Alberto Muñoz, director of Selection of IT & Digital profiles at Robert Walters in Spain, explains to Xataka that some candidates request this type of writing even when the human resources technicians have explained all the teleworking conditions in detail during the interviews.

“Candidates tend to trust each other, but we have had several cases in which they do request that we give them all the conditions in writing. To close the processes, we need a document called a job offer letter, which both parties have to sign so that we can finish our work. In them, there are companies that detail absolutely everything, including everything that has to do with teleworking, and other more succinct ones that give fewer details. In these last cases we have had candidates who have asked that the conditions of remote work be specified. In any case, there are usually no problems, if the employer says that he offers it, he usually does it”, he explains.

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The remote work agreement. Another option available to Spanish professionals is to request the draft of the remote work agreement. This document is mandatory for all cases in which the employee teleworks more than 30% of his working day, that is, more than one day a week, and in it the company must reflect the schedule, percentage and distribution between face-to-face and remote work, work teams or expenses with which the company runs (such as internet or electricity), among other details.

The remote work agreement is signed together with the employment contract in the case of new hires, but the employee can request its draft beforehand to be sure of their teleworking conditions. Although Muñoz explains that this request is considered too formal and that most candidates settle for a document from the employer specifying the conditions.

The Director of IT & Digital Profile Selection at Robert Walters in Spain also explains that companies can refuse to send both the draft and any other document that includes the conditions. But he stresses that it is not recommended, because that refusal will make the applicant suspicious and may cause him to abandon the selection process, especially if he is a professional in the technology sector, where there is an increasing shortage of qualified profiles: “In the technology sector, before any hesitation, the candidate abandons the process”.

Image | Vlada Karpovich

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