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Remote zone working - Coming to a beach near you?

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Peru Consulting 16 Jul 2020 Time to read: 

In our earlier article “Together Alone: Moving Forward to Work in the New Normal” Jo Cribbin touched on the possibilities provided by Agile / Remote Working and signposting that in the future, if location is no longer a significant barrier, then new opportunities abound.

Whilst this might sound like something of a flight of fancy, the Bajan government has just recently announced a scheme to attract remote workers to take up a 1 year stay on the island of Barbados, which generated a lot of excitement when the article was re-posted on LinkedIn. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelerobson/2020/07/09/working-in-paradise-barbados-offer-year-long-stays-for-remote-workers/amp/)

More prosaically consider you are a Birmingham based IT managed services company that has recently expanded its portfolio of clients in Spain. Consequently you need to hire a Spanish speaking country manager to look after your accounts and business development.

A traditional approach may have cast the net in the Birmingham area – after all you like to see your country manager in the office, when they are not meeting a greeting clients in Spain. According to the 2011 census data less than 0.5% of the circa 1 million population of Birmingham are native Spanish speakers, which equates to about 5,000 potential candidates.

Of course when you whittle this down to those with the relevant IT managed services skills and business development experience it will be much smaller number and a smaller number yet will that will be actively looking for work. Let’s say for the sake of argument that 0.5% of those Birmingham-based native Spanish speakers have the right IT experience and are actively looking for a new role, this equates to 20 potential candidates…but then how many see you job advert? Let’s say 25%, which brings the field down to 5 candidates.

A more progressive approach would be to cast the net wider to include Spain itself, population 46.94m. Adding the Spanish numbers into the equation and applying the same assumptions around experience but a lower assumption regarding readership of the job advert (5%) nevertheless widens the field to over 11,500 candidates.

Wait a second though, Spanish is the native language in some 20+ countries world-wide…adding in just four of the largest countries: Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Colombia, increases the population count to 286m including the Spain and Birmingham numbers and even lowering the experience match to 0.25% and job advert readership reach to 2.5%, still yields around 18,000 candidates.

Perhaps in the new normal of remote zone working whilst we all head for a life of remote working in the Caribbean, Latin America may be heading our way…

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