Written by Agnieszka Szczerba Culture | Recruiting

Overemployed

If your company works remotely and you're wondering why it's hard to "catch up" with some people online, and managers complain about not getting assignments done on time, keep reading.  These hints will save your time, money and energy spent on the recruitment process and onboarding the wrong person, in this case, someone who has multiple full-time remote jobs.  This text will be useful for people who recruit not only for IT.

Do you analyze case studies and create a typology of candidates? Yes, I know, you shouldn't label people, but in recruitment, it's just easier if you operate using candidate personas.  In the pandemic, I discovered a new type of candidate "over-employed", meaning someone who has several full-time remote jobs.

Many IT professionals prefer to work in a B2B model where they are billed for the number of hours actually worked.  This is nothing new. Working 100% remotely is also nothing new, although it has become standard in the pandemic.

In fact, it is only the combination of these two common opportunities, i.e. hourly billing and 100% remote working, that has led to some professionals (not only IT professionals! ) abusing these opportunities and working with more than one company at the same time on a full-time basis (about 40 hours per week).

While it is not unusual to have additional projects if it does not violate a non-compete clause, getting paid and working for different companies at the same time is ... cheating.

How do you recognise in the recruitment process someone who may have such intentions but does not explicitly say they want to combine working for two organisations? I have prepared a short guide. Find out when the red flag should come up and you should ask additional questions and explore the topic.

Multiple freelance jobs and several-month gaps in employment history. 

I emphasize, working in project mode, as a freelancer, is something absolutely normal. Pay attention to the periods of cooperation, in which it appears that the specialist has done work for two organizations simultaneously.   Ask about the details, about the continuity of projects and their nature and size. Then you will know if these were really "small, additional projects, carried out in free time". Ask about the possibility of carrying out a background check. You can do this on your own or use an external company. This is not a process of checking a candidate's references but confirming periods of work with specific companies.  In some industries, such as banking, this is a standard recruitment procedure. Remember that you need to have the candidate's permission to do this.

 The candidate who disputes the non-compete provisions of the cooperation agreement,

in particular the number of contractual penalties for breaking of confidentiality and non-compete rules. 

Pay attention to whether the candidate seeks to delete the non-compete altogether or to limit the non-compete very strongly. Also, watch out for endless negotiation of these points in the contract and sudden turns in contractual preferences just before the documents are signed (e.g. from B2B to employment contract preferences) without providing a meaningful explanation (e.g. tax issues).

 The candidate who negotiates hard to work non-standard hours

beyond the standard business hours for a specific time zone.  In the case of CET this is e.g. 6:00 - 14:00 (yes, I have encountered such a case).

Very detailed questions about work equipment

e.g. questions about time monitoring software installed by the employer or the possibility of installing  own software on company equipment.

Very quick availability to start new job when the candidate is contractually bound to the current employer

Statistically, I most often encounter one or two months' notice periods (in the case of B2B contracts). Faster availability (virtually immediately), may mean that the specialist will be combining both jobs for some time, or maybe even long-term.

These are the signals I've gathered from my own and colleagues' experiences in the industry. Working 100% remotely requires trust, loyalty and transparency on both sides.

Above all, simply ask if the professional is committed to working exclusively for your organisation.

I'm not advocating approaching people with distrust, but if a red light comes on during your conversations with the candidate, ask additional questions, check facts, and ascertain the candidate's intentions.

.... 

Photo: canva.com 

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