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A Consultant’s Guide to Sourcing Remote Work

Brianne Risley By Brianne Risley,
Director, Delivery Strategy & Development at Eagle

Chances are in the past year, you or someone you know has faced the prospect of a job search in a mostly 100% remote work world. What can you expect from companies when they ask for remote workers? In this article, we will cover some of the major job trends we have seen in remote work hiring, and techniques to find and secure remote jobs.

At Eagle, we have the privilege of supporting hundreds of clients across Canada who have largely transitioned to hiring remote workers for IT project teams. Here are the top trends we have compiled about their hiring activity.

Rates have equalized across Canada. Pre-COVID, there were geographical pockets in Canada where rates were high due to IT worker scarcity. Now that all of Canada has been opened as a potential candidate pool for remote work, rates in markets like Saskatchewan and Alberta, which were traditionally 10 – 20% higher than other regions, have dropped to be in line with Ontario and BC markets which were typically lower. A key point to mention is IT consultant rates have not eroded drastically with the advent of remote work – for instance we do not have requirements for Senior Program Managers at $50/Hour. There remains a healthy up-take of resources in the market, and base-line rates have remained quite stable.

Certifications are a must. There is a convergence of factors at play behind the importance of certifications. Now that candidates are not being interviewed face-to-face, and recruiters can draw from candidates across Canada, employers see certified candidates as a key differentiator for Candidate quality. For the time being, hiring has moved away from “certification is nice-to-have, or equivalent experience…” If a certification will help, it is often required. Popular certifications include: Cloud (AWS, GCP, Azure), SaaS (Salesforce, ServiceNow, etc), PROSCI, and PMP.

Devices are provided. Our biggest remote hiring clients have wings of their SCM team devoted to compiling and shipping you work-from-home equipment. You will still need a devoted, permanent workspace, but the configured technology makes your transition to the environment easier. Remote training and onboarding is still largely in progress with most firms, so do expect a few bumps in your schedule or days filled with cumbersome conference calls when coming up-to-speed at a new company.

Increased Security checks. Similar to the certifications, increased security checks like credit, criminal, Federal Government, and background checks are more frequently asked for sooner in the hiring process. Be prepared to have some clients ask you to pay for several security checks before you receive your formal employment offer. Have your references ready early – this is another common way to vet your candidacy and skill strength outside of a face-to-face meeting.

Sourcing Remote Work Jobs – where can you find the best remote work jobs?

On job boards, do not search by location. Job boards like Linkedin, Monster, and Indeed have contract postings tied to cities, however if you leave the city blank and simply type “Remote” as a keyword, you will be rewarded with a long list of 100% remote jobs in your chosen field. Eagle’s website has been optimized to pull up remote roles in exactly this way.

If On-Site is required, it is explicitly mentioned in the Job description. If nothing is mentioned, assume Remote Work is OK. Well over 70% of our openings right now are 100% remote, so if it is fair to say that if you do not see any information on remote work in a posting, it is likely remote. Do apply. It is more common that we will specify “On-site required” in a posting because physical presence at a worksite is now outside of the norm. When in doubt, please do call or email your recruiter. We can clarify.

The Transition Back: We will not be remote forever. Some of our biggest clients have projected a return-to-work date of anywhere between July to September 2021. Be mindful of this when searching for work. In the interview, make sure you are open to returning to the office when it is deemed necessary. That may not be on your radar right away, but it is important to show the openness in the interview. Remember you are competing against candidates across Canada for the best remote positions – your willingness to do on-site work at a far-future time may be what clinches you the role you want now.

Finding and clinching remote work can be a challenging task, but with a bit of planning around rate and search techniques it is very achievable. I hope these tips help in your next job search.

The TRUTH About Remote Work (from a Programmer)

In an age where everything can be delivered to your doorstep or done at more, more and more companies are allowing workers to work remotely. The dream, right? Maybe not.

In this video by programmer Andy Sterkowitz, which he recorded while working remotely in Playa Del Carmen, he explains the obvious benefits but as well the challenges that come from working remotely.