The (Hiring) World is your Oyster

The (Hiring) World is your Oyster

April 15, 2020

Once the dust has settled, the Covid-19 outbreak may fundamentally shift everyone’s professional lives. Even before the pandemic, there was a rising demand for more flexibility in the workplace and now with its recent mass scale experimentation, remote work may become the new normal. If that is the case, HR will have to evolve ‘remotely’ and become essential to any small or large business’s continuity plan.

For those who haven’t followed the ‘remote work’ blog series, our team at Yunus Social Business consists of 50+ employees in over 20 countries, while our corporate Europe team is 100% remote.  Not only do we not share an office but we also do not use email!

For this reason, we believe this a unique opportunity to share our experience of welcoming a great diversity in our workforce, creating a remote hiring process and defining a new way of working together!  


Many of the benefits of breaking down geographical boundaries and going remote may be obvious (e.g., reduced operation costs). But money is not the only thing to be gained.

When you no longer have to limit your talent pool to a 45-minute commute, you suddenly open your talent search worldwide to a great diversity of resourceful profiles. You also can also make your hiring process more inclusive and accessible to employees from diverse backgrounds who can bring their top skills to the table.

No matter which city or office set up your employee is working from, we believe that having a strong company culture is all you need to create impact. This is why we have organized ourselves to have a researcher in Cambodia, a business developer in Paris, an impact accelerator lead in Berlin, a project executor in Sweden, an ambassador in Lisbon - and we even previously had an employee working for half the year in a van.

How to keep spirits up in a team meeting - theme ‘ FUN HAT’.

According to research from the International Workplace Group, in 2019 80% of job seekers choose a job with a flexible work from home policy over one that doesn’t offer the same benefit.

Why may that be the case? Individuals with flexible work conditions can not only manage their own time and capitalize on their ‘sweet spots’ of focus, but also save precious time and effort through avoiding commuting. These individuals report feeling more positive, productive and less stressed. Therefore, by fostering this environment you are not only retaining great talent and attracting a larger pool of top-tier employees but your workforce is feeling more relaxed whilst producing higher quality and increasing their output. What’s not to love?

Today, having a work-and-life-balance translates into happier employees. For example, research recently found that having a strong work-life balance rates higher on the happiness scale than a big paycheck. No wonder a Danish municipality has introduced the four day work week. What’s more, some of our employees at YSB use their flexibility to work part-time and often choose to engage in their local community/groups whilst remaining active employees. This allows them to spread impact and always bring fresh insights from different parts of the world to their work with YSB!


“According to research, employers that advertise a job as ‘remote’ see a 3000% increase in application rates.”

Recruitment doesn’t have to be a long and tiring process. Following a good framework, the process can be remote, repeatable and scalable.  

For example at our corporate team at YSB, we search for profiles that align with our values (fun, integrity, bold and humility) as we believe that the ‘culture fit’ of each employee is of utmost importance. We then translate each of our values into tangible questions during the hiring process to evaluate our candidates on them.

For example, as one of the values is FUN, we always begin the conversation by asking them to share a fun story of their week, or ask them about a moment in their career that they enjoyed most.

Then as one of our values is INTEGRITY, we ask deeper questions on the lines of : “When have you last taken a tough decision in order to stay true to your own values? What did you have to sacrifice?”

To align on values of BOLD we ask : “After learning more about us, what would be your vision for YSB in 10 years from now?”

We also love to include a brief exercise to assess each participants’ problem-solving ability. For example: “We are thinking about investing in a plastic recycling social business in India that also allows waste pickers to escape poverty. How would you design the project? Which steps would you include?”

Despite being remote, we believe that getting together at least once a year for a retreat helps people to connect with each other in the best possible way.

Although questions around ‘skills’ are important in recruitment, we found that their overall suitableness to our working methods is even more crucial. Below are certain personality traits we try to focus on, as these are much harder to train and skill:

  • Independent and Entrepreneurial:  Proactive and capable of self-management, trouble-shooting tasks on own. For example: “What would you do on your first day in the office? Have you started an enterprise yourself?”
  • Remote: Discipline, organised and and strong communicatior.  Example: “Have you worked in remote teams if so, please tell me about it? What are your favourite and least favourite things about working remotely? How do you normally start your workday?”
  • Team: Ability to get along well in a team setting. Example: “What is most important to you when working in teams? Have you every run into problems with a colleague? Tell me how you solved the problem!”

    Additionally thanks to Docusign, we are able to sign legally binding contracts with electronic signatures (which does not require signer authentication).  This helps automate and accelerate certain processes, and saves significant time!


Going remote encourages managers to stay even more connected to their team and make a conscious effort for regular and timely communication as well as clarify roles, expectations and progress with all the employees.

The best thing managers can do is to put utmost trust and confidence in the team’s skill, accountability and work ethic. Your team will do the right thing, providing employers create a supporting structure and environment.

Some guiding questions to define trust and access:

  • How do you make sure you create a team culture where everyone trusts each other and can speak up easily if things are not going well?
  • How do you provide the opportunities for team members to speak up?
  • What are your company goals and how will you share them with your employees?
  • How will you analyse employee performance and recognise their contributions?
  • What benefits will you provide to your employees?
  • Will you accept employees from all time zones? Are there minimum hours of overlap between all members?
  • Do you adapt salaries to the cost of living standards of each individual person?
  • What tools are you working on - processes and frameworks that exist?

We hope this blog post has got you excited about taking on your first remote team members and highlighted all the benefits that this type of work can have. It might require a few adjustments to your management style but “remote” is likely the future and getting ahead of the game will likely payoff. Are you ready?

Previous post

There is no previous post

Next Post

There is no next post

YSB presents the Social Success Note in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation

Prof. Yunus visits Haiti Oct. 12-15

YSB 10 Years Celebration: Here's What Happened!

10 Years Of Social Business: Anniversary Report

Yunus Social Business Turns 10 Years Old!

6 Female Founders Changing the World with Social Business.

We are delighted to share the Yunus Social Business 2018 Impact Report.

We've been featured in the Hauck & Aufhäuser Magazine (German)

The Need of the Hour Amid COVID-19

Join Yunus Social Business on the Global Climate Strike this Friday!

Why Now? Is the Social Business Movement Reaching A Tipping Point?

Ist „#Social“ das neue „#Digital“? Unsere Gründerin Saskia Bruysten schreibt in Capital Magazin

We are delighted to share the Yunus Social Business 2018 Impact Report.

What are the Yunus Social Business team listening to? We list our favourite podcasts.

Remote Work is Here to Stay

It goes without saying, we are living through unprecedented times.

Corona Pandemic: Time Is Running Out Fast, A Letter From Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Thinking Ahead: Securitization Structure Helps to Democratise Technical and Medical Education in Bra

Yunus Social Business Co-Initiates New Alliance With World Economic Forum to Help Social Entrepreneu

“Going Back to That World Is Equal to Committing Suicide.” - Professor Muhammad Yunus on the Opportu

Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis, MBA Students Go Online to Support Our Social Businesses in India

“I Was Truly Blown Away When I Heard the News” - Yunus Social Business Has Distributed 650k USD to H

The Quick Social Business Christmas Gift Guide

Read Our Latest Impact Report

The Life-Savers Now Need Saving

COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs, Initiated by YSB and WEF’s Schwab Foundation

Building The COVID-19 Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs

Fuelling social-business entrepreneurship in Kenya and beyond

YSB Launches Coursera Courses: Education For A World of Three Zeroes

Yunus Social Business and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship partnership

Your mission is bigger than your job.

Living Up To Our Mission: Our 2020 Annual Report

Yunus Social Business Kenya Launches Investment Readiness Programme 20/21

This is for growth-stage businesses that seek to solve a social problem. We are looking for businesses that want to level up and become ready for investment. Social Businesses that seek to apply to the programme should be generating revenues of around US$250,000.

See the highlights from our 2019 East Africa Partner Tri

Earlier this year we took a group of philanthropists and partners to visit some of the social businesses in our portfolio in Uganda including Godson Commodities, Impact Water & Tugende. We also visited Kenya to see some of our pipeline companies.

IKEA Foundation and Yunus Social Business launch the Enterprise Support Landscape Study series

IKEA Foundation and Yunus Social Business (YSB) announced the launch of their Enterprise Support Landscape Study series, a collaborative research project into the social-business landscapes in India, Kenya, Colombia and Brazil.

CURAFA™ integrated points of care: An integrated primary healthcare platform in Kenya

People in rural and peri-urban Kenya are lacking access to high-quality healthcare and medication. Less than 5% of Kenya’s GDP is spent on healthcare and only 17% of Kenyans have health insurance coverage. With 46% of the country’s population living below the poverty line, Kenyans are particularly vulnerable to financial catastrophe when facing health issues.

Shifting Mindsets in Munich: The MAN Impact Accelerator #3 journey begins

After an inspiring week in Munich, launching the third cycle of the MAN Impact Accelerator - we reflect on some of the week’s insights - where entrepreneurs, mentors and the program team all met together, for the first time.

MIA Spotlight: The Solar Powered Motorcycle for Africa

Find out how going electric can create jobs, increase a driver’s income, provide a lower carbon emissions transport option and revolutionise the boda boda industry in East Africa.

Cookie Consent

We use cookies to provide necessary website functionality, improve your experience and analyze our traffic. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our cookies usage.