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What does interview software have to do with cost-of-living adjustments?  A lot, actually.  When interview software is used effectively, in can help you benefit from a segment of relevant job-seekers that just happen to reside in an area where the cost-of-living is lower than you expected.

When you make a decision to be open to hiring remote workers, and you use interview software wisely, you put yourself in a position to arrive at a win-win with candidates who live in (and enjoy) an area of the country where the prevailing salaries are lower.  That tees you up to craft an offer that exceeds the candidate’s next-best-alternative while at the same time being below what you might have to offer to attract a local candidate.  Great for the candidate, great for the employer.

This conversation can be a delicate dance, though.  Here’s how to navigate it.

Interview Software as a Signal

Your use of interview software has a hidden benefit that you might not realize.  Candidates immediately get to see that you aren’t bothered at all by having a technology-enabled interaction when a face-to-face one isn’t logistically possible.  Having a positive interaction via interview software reinforces to the candidate that you are forward thinking about the role of technology in enabling a geographically distributed workforce.  That’ll help the candidate see the viability of remote work, if you choose to go down that path.  So, make sure the experience is a smooth one (RIVS can help).

Mention Remote-Work Early

Since you are using interview software to screen and interview candidates, there is a very good chance that you are attracting candidates both near and far.  By the time that you have finalists for a position that you aim to fill, you should have broached the subject of remote work versus relocation.  Waiting any longer in the process to discuss this topic is likely to leave a candidate feeling “rushed” to think through this complex topic.

Here’s a conversation starter for you.  What if you raised the topic by saying “did you know that we have a geographically distributed team, with some employees that even join without relocating?”  We’ll bet that if you open the conversation that way, you’ll find out whether the candidate is even interested in remote work, before you are in a position where you need to put together an offer.  

Surface the Salary Topic

Once your finalists have been narrowed down to one or more individuals to whom you wish to extend an offer, it’s time to get a little more specific.  How about this as a template for a conversation starter: “We’d like to put together an offer for you, but our team is wondering whether you want to work from Charlotte or whether you’d like to make the move to San Francisco.  If you want to make the move, we’ll adjust the salary, because living expenses are definitely higher here.”

This kind of opener makes it clear to the candidate that any salary difference is driven by the cost-of-living differences.  It’s not a salary difference that is likely to improve the candidate’s real spending power, it’s a salary differences that is likely to help them defray the cost of choosing to live somewhere that simply has a higher day-to-day cost.

What we wouldn’t want is for a candidate to compare salaries on an apples-to-oranges basis as they think through two geographies.  That only leads to candidates accepting the artificially higher numerical salary, which leads to disappointment in the long-haul

Wrapping Up

If you approach the above steps thoughtfully, you’ll be in a position where remote work has been raised as a possibility, the salary cost-of-living difference has been broached, and it’s been made clear that any salary difference is only meant to help with the cost-of-living challenge.  Further, you’ve used interview software to show in a very practical way that your company is savvy when it comes to having a productive interaction regardless of geography. That’s a great spot to be in, you’ve “done right” by the candidate and by the company.  Time to extend an offer, but with careful messaging to stay consistent with what’s been said so far.

Want to chat about how interview software can help you remind your recruiters and hiring managers to follow these steps?  Drop us a line here and we’ll be glad to connect.

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