We’ve evolved with emerging tech to create efficient, data-driven, and employee-centric HR practices: Job Van Der Voort, CEO, Remote
With new lifestyles, thanks to digitalisation, new workstyles have also emerged. People working from the comfort of their homes or from exotic locations and calling it a ‘workcation’ has become trending these days. However, managing workforce remotely is not a cakewalk for an organisation. In this exclusive interview with Express Computer, Job Van Der Voort, CEO, Remote, opens up on how companies can leverage emerging technologies in HR space to expand their workforce from local to global and manage them remotely in an effective manner while ensuring no loss of productivity.
Remote’ the name itself triggers one’s imagination to wander from technology to even job opportunities. So, could you please draw some light on what Remote is all about?
Remote is a global HR company, founded in 2019 to offer a solution to global companies seeking to hire the best talent. We realised that while talent is everywhere – opportunity is not. Remote was created to provide a solution to that challenge. We make a platform that companies can use to hire, pay, and manage anyone, anywhere.
In total, Remote has raised approximately $500 million in funding, the most recent round being a $300 million Series C in April 2022. We have grown exponentially over the past four years and now have more than 1,000 employees who are all working remotely from across the world.
How has the HR solutions space evolved with the onset of emerging technologies like Generative AI, Automation, Edge Computing, and more? Moreover, how do you see the future of this industry shaping up?
The HR solutions space has indeed evolved significantly with the advent of emerging technologies. At Remote, we highly value innovation and constantly try to evolve as a company. I strongly believe that innovating on what we deliver, how we deliver, and how we support our customers will be the best way to differentiate ourselves and succeed in the market. With so many new technologies emerging, we would be negligent if we weren’t exploring how they could massively improve the quality of service we deliver.
These technologies have brought about several changes in the way HR functions are managed and the future of the industry is likely to continue to be shaped by these advancements. Here’s an overview of how these technologies have impacted HR solutions and a glimpse into the future of the industry:
Generative AI is already having a tremendous impact in the HR space. I have encouraged all of Remote’s employees to look for ways to apply it in their work. We have already developed tools to find information quickly, summarise information, and streamline workflows, which can be universally useful throughout all HR disciplines. One of the biggest benefits of AI is its ability to objectively analyse information and remove human bias from the process, which is critical for HR.
Automation has been embraced at Remote since day one. I believe that automation is the only way we can truly achieve global scale and impact as a company. The field of HR involves numerous manual tasks like completing forms which can all be automated, which significantly streamlines workflows and frees up HR professionals for more strategic tasks.
As a SaaS company, we are not actively exploring edge computing. However, increasing compute power at the edge of the network could enable new developments in mobile functionality and a greater ability for professionals to work from anywhere.
The HR solutions industry will continue to evolve and adapt to emerging technologies, ultimately aiming to create more efficient, data-driven, and employee-centric HR practices. Data security and personalisation will be key themes, and the industry will play a vital role in shaping the future of work.
As we see new work trends have settled in like work from home, workcation, etc. What best practices/ solutions would you like to share with organisations to effectively manage their remote workforce while ensuring no drop in productivity?
The assumption that remote work automatically leads to a drop in productivity is demonstrably false. In fact, our 2023 study across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America found that around 72 percent of employers with international remote teams reported a boost in productivity.
One of the most effective ways for remote teams to be productive is by embracing the idea of asynchronous work. This means separating work from real-time (aka “synchronous”) communication, enabling people to work at the time that works for them but not hindering productivity. When teams work asynchronously, it is not as necessary for teams to meet regularly to share updates or press pause on a project because someone is unavailable.
Hiring is a tedious and cost-heavy process for any organisation irrespective of its size and scale. What innovations, in terms of technology, does Remote bring to the table to simplify and make hiring a cost-effective process?
The landscape of talent acquisition has undergone significant transformations in recent years. One of the biggest shifts is that more companies are open to the idea of hiring internationally, meaning the talent pool has expanded beyond geographical boundaries. While some companies view this shift as a challenge, struggling to navigate the complexities of international hiring, others see it as an unprecedented opportunity. Harnessing the potential of a global workforce not only diversifies the skill sets within an organisation, but also fosters innovation by integrating a multitude of perspectives and experiences.
Remote offers companies an easy and cost-effective way to tap into the global talent pool. In previous years, only large multinationals had the ability to hire globally, but now it is within reach of any SMB or startup. We are able to offer a simple interface to our customers to hire, manage, and pay people wherever they are, while we take care of the details. We are only able to do this due to our focus on innovation behind the scenes, such as leveraging automation and data analytics, to improve what used to be extremely manual processes. We have also invested in building a robust global payroll infrastructure that includes hundreds of banking partners worldwide, ensuring seamless financial transactions. We have also developed services like proactive monitoring for compliance risks, useful features like a risk calculator for avoiding contractor misclassification, and tools for supporting compliant international equity incentives for employees. These innovations enable companies to hire globally, simplifying the process significantly.
India is an emerging market across industries, what are your strategies and investment plans for the Indian market?
Remote sees the Indian market as highly strategic for our growth, which is why we felt it was important to be present in India since our first year as a company. We plan to continue to expand our presence through strategic partnerships as well as allocating resources to build our local teams and infrastructure.