Even though digital nomads are typically associated with a location-independent lifestyle and a freelancer’s mindset, these individuals still look for a stable income. No matter the industry you conduct business in or the type of product or service you develop, you can always benefit from a fresh pair of eyes.
According to data collected by Medium, 19% of digital nomads work at a company even though they travel and are away from home with 36% stating that they have no intentions of stopping their current career path.
This means that it is not impossible to attract more digital nomads to your startup if you take their lifestyle into consideration. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several guidelines and tips which can help your HR attract and retain digital nomads in a startup environment.
Remote Work Possibility
The biggest selling point of any project or employment opportunity for digital nomads is the ability to work remotely. Depending on the type of work you do in your startup, you can extend an olive branch to potential nomads by allowing them to work semi-regular hours if they continue to contribute remotely afterward.
Jacob Mitchel, an HR specialist at Trust My Paper spoke on the topic recently: “Working with digital nomads is tough when it comes to mandatory office hours or lack of remote flexibility. My suggestion is to ask them about future travels and professional goals early on to see if you can find common ground to work with.”
Digital nomads are not unlike typical freelancers or independent contractors – they still want to have monetary and employment security like anyone else. Discuss the remote work topic openly with any candidates that come from the digital nomad pool and see if you can find a mutually-beneficial balance of office hours and remote work.
The Location Matters
The second most important part of attracting digital nomads to your business is the location in which you are situated. Whether your startup is in the heart of London or at the edges of the city limits doesn’t matter – London is still London. The same logic can be applied to any country, state, and city in the world since nomads are known for living an on-the-go life.
You can use the location of your startup to create a huge incentive for digital nomads to consider working with you by outlining local attractions, housing benefits, facilities such as hospitals and schools, as well as supermarkets and public places such as parks or gyms. As we’ve previously mentioned, nomads are very similar to 9-to-5 employees when it comes to outlining the physical location of your business and what types of utilities and attractions are situated around it.
Clear Responsibilities & Benefits
Sometimes nomads will travel to your country specifically so that they can work at your startup – make sure that both sides are clear on what the job requires. Clearly outlined duties, benefits and professional development options should be present in your job posting and discussed during interviews.
Don’t leave things unsaid because you might consider them “obvious” – clear the proverbial air early on and illustrate your needs to digital nomad candidates. This will increase your chances of attracting more candidates and hiring the ones that suit your profile far more quickly than you would be able to with partial job descriptions and posts.
Offer Employee Social Proof
If you have digital nomads already employed in your startup – now’s the time to showcase them. You can integrate existing employees into your future job posts in the form of social proof. Melanie Sovann, a content marketing specialist at Supreme Dissertations and IsAccurate state: “Their comments, personal stories, or everyday work anecdotes can do a lot to sell your startup to potential candidates.”
This type of marketing can humanize your company and show that you value teamwork, progress, and constant learning – values that are highly sought after by digital nomads. Ask your employees whether they’d be interested in being quoted in future marketing materials for the sake of attracting digital nomads to your startup.
Utilize Social Platforms
Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have turned into hubs for digital nomads over the years. They allow for organic networking opportunities in both B2C and B2B sectors depending on the occasion. Social platforms also feature groups and pages dedicated to specific types of people, digital nomads included.
These communication channels can be utilized to publish job posts and explicitly state that you are looking for digital nomads at the moment. You can reach a worldwide audience by using sites such as Twitter and Instagram in your job post-marketing efforts, so make sure to spread your startup’s brand as much as possible. Remember that you have to come up with appealing job descriptions to engage more digital nomads. Thus, it’s always a good idea to turn to professionals like those at Bidforwriting”, Studicus, Grab My Essay, and WoWGrade to succeed in writing laconic job descriptions in order to get more valuable employees to your business.
Be Open to Negotiation
Lastly, it’s important to be open to communication and discussion when it comes to hiring digital nomads into a startup environment. Remember that their lifestyle differs vastly from traditional employment but that they still have the same needs as your coworkers.
Discuss what their optimal work conditions and terms would look like to quickly discern whether or not they are suitable for your existing startup culture and work habits. According to We Lance, 44% of digital nomads stay in one spot for an average of 1-3 months before looking for new travel and work opportunities. Create an incentive strong enough to consider settling in with your startup and you will quickly attract more digital nomads to your startup.
Whether you have a dedicated HR department or hire coworkers based on specialized interviews and discussion, digital nomads can be a very beneficial addition to your roster. If anything, they are able to inject energy, productivity, and creativity into any work environment they find themselves in. Don’t turn away digital nomads based on their travel-oriented lifestyle. You’d be surprised at how professional and earnest they can be toward their coworkers and employers.
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