Why is it hard to hire employees for on-site work?

by | Sep 29, 2022

There has been a shift at the heart of recruitment, most significantly in what motivates professionals – especially young professionals – into accepting a new job.


Before the pandemic, there were fixed rules about how, and why, someone would accept a job, based mostly on linear material improvements to job aspects such as improved wages and better company perks. 

But the driving forces behind the great resignation have given HR and recruitment business leaders proof that higher salaries and “better” remuneration packages simply do not compare to the familial and financial incentives of staying closer to home. 

So is there now a battle between personal motivation and work incentives? And if there is, how does it manifest for our candidate base, and what incentives now actually work?


Let’s talk about motivation.

Here at Datasearch Consulting, we’ve worked with almost every type of candidate on the market, and behind each one lies a clear, distinct factor in their choice to apply for a job – whether they are intrinsically, or extrinsically, motivated. 

Intrinsic Motivation

  • An employee who is motivated intrinsically loves what they do, feels valued, and receives a sense of purpose from their labor.

Extrinsic Motivation:

  • An employee who is motivated extrinsically seek specific outcomes such as praise, approval or winning competitions, or goals – the work has to have a “specific cause-and-effect outcome” to be desirable for an employee.


Why does this matter?

Those motivating differences naturally reflect on an employee’s level of aggressiveness to climb the career ladder, or their desire to hit certain company milestones. That’s not to say one is better than the other. The critical thing to remember is that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation works to help employees in different ways.

Both workers can be great workers. But it’s on business leaders to decide how to fit remote work strategies to each type of worker.


When employers have no choice.

For the vast majority of the world remote work is still an exception – only “16% of companies are fully remote” globally – which leaves many millions of workers and employers navigating new, often flexible hybrid working arrangements.

So how are companies continuing to advocate for their people and keep some semblance of in-office culture? 

The answer lies in retro-fitted incentives, built to battle the great resignation which is, as in this example in the US, very effective.


These sorts of remote work-proof incentives include:

  • Parking stipends to help with commuting costs,
  • Lunch deliveries to the office,
  • Child care benefits, 
  • Novel in-office synchronous work strategies (such as “no-emails”, or focusing entirely on company culture days),
  • Improving annual leave (with some going so far as to offer unlimited leave),
  • Critical illness cover,
  • Mental health support,
  • Targeted and personal career development options.

When research shows employees use on average four work benefits, there is plenty of scope to materially improve the experience of staff working in office, even as remote work becomes more expected.

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The benefits of onsite working.


It’s worthwhile remembering that companies who insist on some element of onsite working aren’t doing it on a whim. Most are doing it with post-pandemic operations in mind. 


  • Working onsite, even a few days a week benefits the company and employee in profoundly tangible ways. Onsite work reduces proximity bias; it builds connections between departments and de-silos workflows and it’s the only real effective way to witness and be involved in company culture events, social gatherings, team meetings, scrums and more.


Our feeling is that onsite work actually builds context for remote workers – it reminds teams of their central purpose, and it gives them a connection to an employer’s mission and company vision. 


Plus, it cannot be ignored that remote work burnout is on the rise. Having onsite resets – where staff can be remotivated and re-energised by their peers and bosses – can make an enormous difference to team morale and productivity. 

Our advice is this – companies can have the best of both worlds if they understand their reasons for mandatory onsite working days and if they know how to communicate it from the first day of candidate contact.


The bottom line. 

Motivation is personal. Every employee across the world has had their motivating factors change over the last few years. 

Those motivating factors – the intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors – can be easily identified during the recruitment process. That’s where Datasearch Consulting steps in. 

We know how much organizations are struggling to source talent, and we know much of that is down to time investment in really understanding the driving forces behind each candidate’s decision to apply, or not apply, for a job.

Patricia Lopez is a Senior Consultant at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” here Alternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on info@datasearchconsulting.com for a more detailed discussion

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