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Human Resources…With Emphasis on Human Thumbnail

Human Resources…With Emphasis on Human

Small & Medium-sized Business

Guest Blogger: Judith Lanning, APEX Human Resources, LLC.


Seven in ten U.S. white-collar workers were still working remotely per a May 2021 article by the respected analytics company, Gallup (home to the Gallup polls we all know and love).  As a HR executive, small business owner, and member of the “sandwich generation” this figure neither surprised nor impressed me.  After a year of incredibly difficult changes to our work and home life, we mostly figured out how to do this “work from home” thing and do it well.  Are we all sick of Zoom? Yes!  Are we all ready to go back to the traditional 8-5 grind? Not so much.

RECRUITING & RETAINING the new paradigm

As small businesses find their footing after an incredibly difficult past year, the one thing I hear from clients I serve is how do I attract and retain the best talent for the roles I have available?  How do I get one step ahead of the competition in a fiercely competitive job market where everyone has a “Help Wanted” sign in the real and virtual window?  The answer, my friends, it all about telecommuting.  This has become the new tool in the recruiting toolbox along with compensation, benefits, and vacation.  With Gen Z and Millennials focusing on the all-important work/life balance, the conversation about telecommuting is one you should be having internally prior to posting a role or hiring a recruiting firm.  The options your organization chooses can determine the difference between a success and failure.


As Carrie Fisher always said "Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing."  If your role is not client facing, then your organization has an obligation to ask itself if the position needs to be based on a desk in an office or on the results achieved by the employee no matter where they are based?  This is not a simple conversation, but it is one that will yield long-term results if held thoughtfully and strategically.  It used to be all about compensation and benefits, but the world has changed, and changed rapidly, in the past 18 months.  It’s time to re-evaluate the real priorities which should be the results and not the location where those results are achieved.


A great organization I was working with earlier this year just suffered the loss of multiple key personnel because they adopted a hard-and-fast rule of no remote work and very limited telecommuting. Their existing workforce, who had successfully worked remotely for over a year took matters into their own hands and found remote work options that better suit their family and personal needs, and the organization suffered as a result.  Don’t be that organization.  If your company has employees that are not directly client-facing, have the conversations now about what types of remote work you are open to and how telecommuting can fit into your long-term company strategy.  Embrace the new options as beneficial and explore how to make them work best in this new recruiting & retention environment.  We all learned in the past 18 months that we can do much of what we did at “work” from home, and there is no going back.  Utilize that knowledge to your company’s advantage to recruit and retain the best workforce for 2021 and beyond.  

Wishing you all the best --- Judith 

Judith Lanning, Principal




Human Resources LLC

Solution Driven Human Resources