Employer Branding

Why Some Remote Jobs are Location-Specific

The idea of working from anywhere at anytime is proving to be popular not just by employees, but by employers too. FlexJobs has identified the top 15 states where companies recruited the most state-based telecommuters in 2016. You’re probably not surprised to learn that California, Texas, and New York boasted the highest number of telecommuting job postings, other states like Minnesota, Georgia, and Colorado also made the list.

But if a job is advertised with the opportunity to work remotely, then why is there often a requirement to offer work in a specific state? It kind of sounds ironic that you would have to be based in a specific location in order to work remotely. But Brie Reynolds, Senior Career Specialist at Flexjobs shares 4 benefits of offering location-specific jobs:

1. Area-specific talent

If employers need talent in certain areas of the country, they can advertise their telecommuting job postings directly to residents in those locations to find the talent they need, in the place where they need them. Some employers hire people to live in certain areas of the country so they can conduct work-related travel within that region. Location-specific telecommuting jobs provide a number of benefits to the employers that offer them.

2. Expand into new territories

Location-specific telecommuting jobs can help employers expand their business into new territories without having to set offices in a new location.

3. Close to company HQ

If they want to hire people to work remotely, but they want them to be close to the company’s existing physical offices to come in for meetings, they can target applicants in those locations.

4. Beating the competition

While it’s useful for jobseekers to know which states are offering the most remote-working opportunities, it can also help employers. A list like this may help to show them where the competition for telecommuting workers is within the U.S. If those 15 states have the highest number of telecommuting job listings being posted for their residents, and the job market is improving, employers will need to compete even more for top talent. However, if it’s possible for an employer to post their jobs in other states outside of this list of popular telecommuting states, they may find an eager population of professionals looking for telecommuting work, without as many job postings coming from other employers.

But before considering offering flexible working opportunities to your staff, there are number of things the employer has to consider – and most of this will be dependent on the job’s location. The most common reasons for location requirements on telecommuting jobs, according to employers, are:

  • Legal – Companies can be legally bound to where they are allowed to conduct business due to licensing requirements or state and/or federal regulations, which in turn will determine the required locations for their employees.
  • Licensing – Jobs requiring certain certifications such as teaching or nursing will probably be location specific because the services provided require a licensed professional within a certain area. For example, remote nurses and attorneys may require specific state-issued licenses or certifications.
  • Tax considerations – Similar to the legal justification for location based work, some companies only perform business in specific locations due to the taxes paid or collected on goods and services. Companies may only be registered as employers in certain states, limiting their ability to hire to those states.
  • Client-base – Remote business development managers may be hired to work in a region of the country where their current or future clients are based. While most duties can be completed from a home office, some client interaction may be required for project updates, technical support, or just to maintain the relationship.

Remote working jobs are often associated with the freedom to enable your employees to work from anywhere. However, while telecommuting jobs in general do offer significantly more autonomy over the location of where work is performed, for a variety of reasons the vast majority of remote working jobs do include a geographic requirement. It might be worth considering this before setting up your remote workers in a specific city, state, region, or country.

By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.