While Texas employers get comfortable with a mostly remote workforce this year, it can be tempting to look outside the Lone Star State for your talent. Why not give a genius coder in San Jose a try? What about a marketer in Minneapolis? A sales pro living the good life in Hawaii? This year has proven that your core business can function well outside the boundaries of an office building, so why not cast a wider net for talent?
While, on the surface, it may seem trivial to prioritize Texans first for your remote jobs, there’s a reason the savviest employers still do. Look at it this way: A recent study by LawnStarter shows eight out of the 10 best cities for remote work are in Texas. At the other end of the spectrum, six out of the 10 worst cities for remote work are in California (none of the worst are in Texas, by the way). The very worst, coming in at #150, is Honolulu, Hawaii. While this study was conducted for the benefit of job seekers, it offers clues for employers as well.
- Remote workers are happier and more productive here. The LawnStarter report showed the highly ranked Texas cities earned top scores for work environment and connectivity. The first category—work environment—is an obvious plus. Happy workers are great employees. But connectivity? How big of a deal is internet speed? If you recall back in March when we all jumped onto our home connections and tools like Zoom at once, you have first-hand experience how debilitating poor connectivity can be.
- There is a lower cost-of-living and no state income tax to drive up salary requirements. By 2019, the overall cost-of-living in San Francisco was 84% higher than in Austin. Salary requirements reflect those differences. And with taxes, some states impose a state income tax where you live, particularly if you’re not paying income taxes to the state where your employer is based (like in Texas). As a result, some out-of-state workers will essentially pay their state to work for a Texas company, and their salary requirements will reflect it.
- There are fewer employment regulations to deal with. Texas is an employer-friendly state, which means we have relatively unrestrictive state labor laws compared to states like California, Illinois and New York. Everything from overtime to discrimination and more is exponentially harder to navigate outside of Texas. And you must follow the labor laws of the jurisdiction in which an employee works.
“Plus, hiring Texas workers—even for remote work—keeps Texas money in Texas,” says Mark Turpin, Founder and CEO of The HT Group. “The Texas unemployment rate in September was 8.3%, more than twice what it was a year ago. Hiring local taps into that talent and keeps economic funds and support inside your community where it’s needed. You may have better luck bringing those workers back into the office when it’s time, too.”
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The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.