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Hire the Best Learning Designers & Developers Now

Three words on your job ad, and the mindset they represent, may prevent you from attracting and hiring the best learning designers and developers.


Your team needs learning designers and developers, and you want to hire the best talent available. That much is obvious. What might not be so clear is how to go about attracting the best talent. You may have already optimized your job posting for keywords, removed potentially problematic language, and added insight into your mission and values. Yet you’re still not getting the number of quality applicants you expected. What’s going on?

At a time when the hiring market is in flux and people are quitting their jobs in droves, you have an unprecedented opportunity. Teachers are looking for ways to transition into learning design and development. Experienced digital learning professionals are seeking new roles. Your chances of finding a star teammate for an open learning and development role are better than ever. But if you’re still expecting learning designers and developers to work in person, you might be missing out on the best talent.

The Trend Toward Remote Work

The pandemic pushed many companies to test remote work. Many had no other option. Either they had to allow employees to work from home, or they had to shut down for the duration. So they embarked on a forced experiment. The hypothesis: Employees can work from home and still get the job done.

While outliers did appear, the hypothesis seems to have been confirmed. Most employees working in what could be classified as “office jobs” can work from home and get the job done. Some employers were surprised, others were incredulous. A few, who had started a shift to remote work long before the pandemic, were vindicated.

But employees are the ones who really learned from this experience. They discovered that in many cases working from home provided a better work-life balance, more free time, higher productivity, and lower stress. When work from home orders expired and businesses started to bring people back to the office, many employees said, “no, thank you.”

A FlexJob’s survey of employees across multiple industries revealed that 58% of respondents would look for a new job if remote work was not an option for their current role. They’re not just worried about avoiding illness. Many said that working from home improved their mental and emotional health. They’re not willing to give that up for a return to the status quo.

Learning Designers & Developers Want Remote Work

Based on what we’ve seen in conversations with digital learning professionals, they are particularly unlikely to want to return to in-office work. Many people come to digital learning from professions like teaching where in-classroom attendance is part of the package.

“They are leaving teaching in droves because they’re tired of the constraints of being a teacher,” said Teamed Founder Ashley Lonie. “They’re looking for a work environment that’s more flexible and offers a better work-life balance.”

During the pandemic, many found it in digital learning design and development. They want the freedom to work to their own schedule and do their best work without constraint. More importantly, they know that many employers are willing to give them that opportunity.

When you insist on an entirely in-person work arrangement, part of your potential talent pool evaporates. You lose access to the introverts, the people who thrive with minimal oversight, the team members who are committed to defending their own personal boundaries so they can deliver their best work everyday. At the same time, you’re limiting the geography of your job search. Instead of choosing from a national or international pool of professionals, you get only people in your area or who are willing to relocate.

Is Remote the Only Option

We’re not saying that remote work is the only way, or even that it’s the best way, to structure your organization. Some employees thrive on daily human interaction or prefer the structure of an office routine. And there are certainly benefits to working on-site.

The point is not that remote work is the only way. What matters is that you’re listening to your team and offering flexible work options.

If all remote all the time isn’t right for your team or your organization, you can custom design a hybrid arrangement for the team or for each employee. Consider taking the money you’ll save on office rent and put it into a fund for a yearly or quarterly retreat that brings all of your employees together.

We’re not advocating a single right way to work. Instead, we’re encouraging online schools, course creators, and corporate learning and development departments to design a structure that works for their organization and their team.

Make This Change to Your Job Posting

When you write “no remote work” on a job posting, potential employees may worry that you won’t be flexible to their needs. They may fear being micromanaged or put in a situation where they can’t do their best work. In short, “no remote work” sends the signal that you’re unwilling to listen. Those three words represent a work structure that many digital learning professionals now regard as rigid and old-fashioned.

Attracting quality candidates requires two small changes. One is simple: remove the words “no remote work” from your job posting. The other is a bit more complicated but a lot more meaningful: change your mindset about work structure. Experienced and qualified digital learning professionals don’t need rigid work hours and intrusive oversight to do their jobs. They need flexibility, support, and work arrangements that work for them.

For help finding experienced and qualified teammates for your digital learning roles, contact Teamed.

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