- Talent will begin coming from all over the world for corporations and small businesses alike.
- The internet is the primary reason for the diminishment of local talent in employee pools.
- More than retaining customers, in many ways hiring locally improves the hiring process. Specifically, it enhances it by making it faster and more cost-effective in many cases.
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Before the 1980s in America, getting a job was almost exclusively a local affair.
The way it would work was that you would walk into a local establishment, ask for a job, and it was highly probable that you would get a job. Or, contrariwise, manufacturing and industrial jobs were readily available to workers straight out of high school.
Since that time, things have changed quite rapidly. Work has become less local, more dependent on credentials, and with much higher competition for high-paying work, due to the requirement of highly-specified skills for most jobs in that category.
To what degree, however, are things no longer local? Clearly, there is still a degree of locality in the world of work, and a semblance of it is likely to last. Instead, talent will begin coming from all over the world for corporations and small businesses alike.
Why will work be less local?
The internet is the primary reason for the diminishment of local talent in employee pools.
For example, if you live in New York City and own a small business but need to hire a graphic designer, you can save a lot of money using UpWork to not pay freelancers New York City rates.
This is quite similar to a phenomenon that has been ongoing for decades, and is the sole reason there are very few manufacturing jobs in the United States today: namely, outsourcing jobs to other countries or locales to save employers money.
In the current case, it is not true that a decrease in local hires is because of outsourcing jobs to other countries for cheaper labor, but instead, because of an expanded labor market.
People in New York City or Washington D.C., for example, are not the only ones anymore who can work as political writers, and coders need not work in Silicon Valley to make six figures anymore. The internet has revolutionized who works, when, and where.
Freelancers know all too well what this is like – often, clients are from across the country and the world, requiring the self-employed to file taxes in multiple time zones in some cases.
Where will local work last?
The diminishment of local work does not mean its completed elimination. On the contrary, small businesses compose 44% of U.S. economic activity, and most of these businesses hold operations that necessitate in-person workers and will indefinitely.
In no time in the immediate future will small businesses simply decide to replace all of their workers with workers from different states or countries, or even with an iPad. It is unfeasible due to the necessity of many jobs being in-person with no artificial intelligence alternative anywhere near being developed.
Likewise, the capability of companies to simply hire from wherever they want is currently available – that is, the technological capacity for these changes is already ever-present.
However, companies still hire employees closer to their offices at a substantially higher rate than potential employees that live further away.
Why continuing to hire local will be good for your business.
The practices of such companies are reasonably prudent. However, offshoring all of your employees and setting up shop in a local community is a profound problem.
For example, 54% of grocery shoppers prefer to purchase locally produced groceries over their non-locally produced counterparts. This is a good sign that the same holds with other non-grocery products, such as everyday home appliances like locally crafted soaps.
More than retaining customers, however, in many ways hiring locally improves the hiring process. Specifically, it enhances it by making it faster and more cost-effective in many cases.
Most roles simply do not require the employer to set out and find the most qualified workers worldwide. Having too broad an applicant pool is a disadvantage, and hiring locally allows for cost-free narrowing of the hiring pool, which is more likely to bring in local customers simply by being local.
Finally, if not most importantly, hiring locally is one of the best ways one can network and facilitate community. Hiring a local can bring in further locals as customers, perhaps as employees.
Given the current labor shortages plaguing the country, this is very needed, and hiring locally would result in an easy and efficient fix for that problem. Of course, it can be pretty nice to come to work every day to see friends – or at the very least friendly, familiar faces.
Local hiring will indeed become less prevalent in the future of work. Nonetheless, it does not mean that hiring locally will be eliminated or is any less critical.
Hiring locally and selling local products is an excellent way for a business to stand out in a domain of entrepreneurship that is increasingly cyber-based and, thus, impersonal. A touch of community to a business is the difference between a blip no one remembers in the long run and a company whose legacy travels down from generation to generation.