Airbnb's (ABNB -1.68%) new recruitment and retention policy for employees could be transformative. In this video clip from "The Virtual Opportunities Show" on Motley Fool Live, recorded on May 3, Fool.com contributors Travis Hoium, Rachel Warren, and Jose Najarro discuss how the vacation rental company has become a leader in workforce flexibility, letting people work and live wherever they want.
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Travis Hoium: The thing I think it's really notable about this is the pay piece of it. Because a lot of times and I think Meta (META -0.43%) did this during the pandemic was basically said, cool, if you want to move out of the Bay Area, that's great. But you're going to take a 40% pay cut or something like that.
If you think about it from a business perspective, it isn't like the job changes because you live in Nashville instead of San Francisco. It doesn't really make sense that your pay structure would necessarily be different in this current world that we live in, this more digital world. I do think that's really interesting. It will be interesting to see if other companies followed that.
I worked at 3M (MMM 0.38%) for a while and there was like a base pay structure. Then if you lived in one of a handful of high-cost areas, you got a little extra just so that you could afford to live there. It seems like tech companies have kind of gone the opposite direction. If you start in San Francisco and then you move to a lower cost, they'll deduct your pay. It was good to see that.
That's something that I think would be compelling for a lot of people who, I'm from the Midwest, there's a lot of people who will move to the West Coast, live there for a few years, and then be like, yeah, I'm not going to wait and try to save money to buy a $1.5 million shoebox, I'm going to move back to the Midwest.
If you've got a job at Airbnb or Meta or something like that and then you could then move elsewhere that was lower cost, I think that is potentially really compelling and could bring the best talent to those companies without having to force them to live in Silicon Valley.
Rachel Warren: Yeah, absolutely.
Jose Najarro: I agree there with Travis where I do think the biggest thing that grabbed me there was the pay change my wife, very similar to what Travis mentioned. If she was to move to a different state, her pay would decrease. Here in the East Coast in Jersey is probably one of the highest because we're closer to the New York area. It does seem like maybe Airbnb also wants to enter a new solution and they want to start testing it out with their employees. I think that's also pretty smart in that direction. Pretty cool.
Again, I wanted to see how the other big techs, because I personally thought we were going to start to see the opposite where maybe not return everybody back to the office or do more of like a mixture of hybrid in between. It's pretty interesting to see Airbnb be like, nope, we're doing this completely, however you want to work and live your life.
Warren: I will add one more thing here. I will say this article by Bloomberg that was saying about how Airbnb is trying to really compete for talent. It noted the examples of some of these other really large companies like Apple (AAPL -1.00%), like Microsoft (MSFT -0.32%), and it was saying, for example, Apple takes pride in its culture of secrecy and it's trying to figure out whether that hush, hush development process is feasible with decentralized employees.
It also cited the example of Microsoft. They were saying, Microsoft is opting for a hybrid strategy. Yet schedules with more than 50% remote time have to be approved by managers. Then essentially there has been a mess of approaches to work in the post lockdown era. For Airbnb to take such a broad approach, it seems to really outpace the movement in this direction toward flexible work that we've seen from any of these other really big names.
Hoium: Well this gets the culture too. Do you have a culture that is built to do work remote first, as opposed to being in an office first? I think it's going to be much, much harder for Walmart (WMT 0.09%) to go to work remote than it will be for a company like Airbnb because they are a digital-first company. That will be something to watch.