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5 Ways Telecommuting and Flex Time Help You Recruit the Best Workers Myriad technologies for working away from the office has deepened your talent pool to include the entire world.

By Sara Sutton

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs often hesitate to hire new employees, even when they need to. There are significant costs involved both in time and money for the recruiting and hiring process, not to mention the stress of actually finding the right person with the right skills. And you do want to find the right person! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the current estimated cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30 percent of the individual's first-year potential earnings. That means a single bad hire with an income of $50,000 can equal a potential $15,000 loss for an employer.

The whole process, on top of the normal pressures an entrepreneur endures, can be overwhelming. However, it's important for entrepreneurs to realize that the fundamental rules of building a business are changing and, therefore, so are the rules of hiring. Geographical location and 9-to-5 availability are not necessarily deal-breakers anymore, opening up a whole new range of possibilities for finding the right talent.

Related: Building an All-Star Virtual Team

It used to be that employees' only option was to live where the work was but this is a whole new job market. There are big recruiting benefits to expanding your candidate search beyond your immediate city and state, and offering flexible hours. Recruiting remote talent from anywhere in the country, or even the world, with various schedules can be the best way to find the right skill set for the job.

Here are the top five reasons offering flexible jobs will help you find and keep the most qualified talent:

1. You expand your talent pool. If you have started your company in a more cost-effective location outside major metropolitan areas, your local talent pool for skilled workers may be limited. Today's skilled workers first choose where to live, then find a job second. Expanding your search beyond your region by offering telecommuting makes your company attractive to the best talent with the right skill set.

Greg Baker, CFO of Logicalis, recently said "The most crucial benefit companies realize from enabling telecommuting is the expansion of their talent pool. It is clearly a competitive advantage to employ the very best people, but it's usually impossible to find them all in just one town or city. Extending the telework option removes geography as limiting factor and allows you to attract the very best talent wherever they are."

2. Accommodating an employee's schedule nurtures loyalty and increases productivity. According to a study by the National Work/ Life Measurement Project, 70 percent of managers and 87 percent of employees reported flexible work arrangements have a positive or very positive impact on productivity and significantly improved the quality of work.

Additionally, 80 percent of employees said flexible hours had a positive effect in retention. A two-year study by PwC, found that millennials are particularly partial to flex-time positions, as they demand more flexibility to live where they want, spend more time with family and define how they want to live.

3. Telecommuting improves employee satisfaction, reduces attrition and enhances the quality of work. Global Workplace Analytics estimates two-thirds of people would prefer to work from home and 36 percent would choose the ability to telecommute over a pay raise.

In addition, employees say working remotely gives them the opportunity to balance their lives and ultimately be more productive, healthier and happier. Providing employees with the tools and environment they desire drastically improves retention.

Related: Time On Their Side

4. Flexible jobs save money. The Telework Research Network estimates that companies could save more than $10,000 per year, per employee, with telework-work and flextime jobs that reduces cost for real estate, parking and capital required to run a business.

The Citrix Workshifting Index reveals that companies save additional money in HR-related costs, improve recruitment in lower-cost regions and enhance environmental sustainability with fewer commuters on the road and a smaller carbon footprint in the office. Retention is the real boon to the bottom line, though. Hiring someone, getting them up to speed and then losing them costs many thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

5. You have the ability to adapt and grow quickly. Business and growth strategies are constantly evolving based on newly available technology, economic swings and industry trends. The expanded talent pool with flex-time and telecommuting jobs enables entrepreneurs to quickly hire the best-qualified people and transition smoothly, with less time spent on training and getting up to speed.

Global Workplace Analytics notes that offering flex-jobs and telecommuting allows companies to quickly scale up, extend service hours and add extra shifts quickly without committing to additional office space or adding significant resources.

The American workplace is changing. Technology accommodates working from home or remotely, during the hours workers choose, bringing balance their lives and making them more productive, healthier and happier. It's not just about mothers working from home while caring for children anymore. It's about parents being home before their children go to bed, eliminating long and frustrating commutes and leading more rounded lives.

Work is no longer defining people – people are defining work. People want, and can have, jobs that fit with their lives, not the other way around.

Related: The Benefits of Flextime

Sara Sutton

CEO & Founder of FlexJobs

Sara Sutton is the CEO and founder of FlexJobs, an award-winning, innovative career website for telecommuting, flexible, freelance and part-time job listings, and founder of, a one-stop resource for remote teams and companies, and the 1 Million for Work Flexibility initiative. She was named as a Young Global Leader (class of 2014) by the World Economic Forum for her work in technology and the employment fields. Sutton is a graduate of UC Berkeley and currently lives in Boulder, Colo. Sutton is also the creator of The TRaD Works Conference, dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote and distributed teams.

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