By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
The business of valuation is always changing. In two short years, though, the prospect of remote working has forced practices to face short-term decisions that have long-term implications. What should you be thinking about?
There once was a time when working remotely (not merely from home, but in a city away from the home office) was one perk in a basket of perks. Practice leaders were generally flexible in making remote working arrangements for high performers who needed to relocate for some reason. Today, practices are offering remote arrangements on Day One. This may—or may not—be a good thing.
A key driver of the move to remote work arrangements is the need to accommodate (and in some cases, hire) the talent that you need to maintain staffing levels and keep clients satisfied. Computer technology made it possible for your teams to work from home during the worst of the pandemic. If you’ve gone that far, it’s not much of a step to extend those same connections to faraway locations.
Remote work arrangements confer an advantage if you’re trying to attract candidates to interview. Ordinarily, making a successful hire means hitting the Candidate Trifecta: 1) Skills and experience you want, 2) Willingness to consider a change now, 3) Willingness to be where you are. Offering remote work arrangements can eliminate the third hurdle.
What looks like an easier path can sometimes turn out to have more complications than you might think. Remote work in business valuation is one example. Business valuation is a business of judgment. It can be a particular challenge to monitor the work of a new hire to make sure it meets your standards. That challenge can be much more difficult when your new hire isn’t down the hall but is many miles (or a time zone or more) away from you. The less experience that your new hire has, the more concerning this can be.
Your years of experience tell you that rising to the top in both leadership and compensation requires evolving from being a doer to being a seller-doer. Young professionals who clamor for remote working arrangements often don’t consider that being remote from the ‘mother ship’ can interrupt that career arc because they won’t get the coaching, the mentoring and, frankly, the handholding that 90% to 95% of them need to make that leap. Depending on the size and focus of your practice, remote work arrangements can negatively affect your ability to grow a next generation of leaders.
The answer to whether you should offer remote work arrangements: It depends. The answer can be different for your practice as compared to another. The answer can even be different for one employee as compared to another. The only rule of thumb is that if you try it and find it isn’t working, don’t hesitate to change.