WHETHER YOU ARE A JOBSEEKER, RECRUITER, OR EMPLOYER, YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT HR WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE POST PANDEMIC ERA.
Charting out your 2021 recruitment calendar? Well, the pandemic has changed the way things work for both recruiters and jobseekers. The pandemic drove use of emerging technology like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), and NLP (Natural Language Processing). So here’s a look at the HR landscape in the new normal – and this is not some passing phase, it’s here to stay for a while – at the very least through the next decade.
That’s obvious and we’ve spoken on the subject before – it ranks right up there at the top of the list. Want more proof? An IWG (International Working Group) study shows that 70% of the working population works remotely. Remote work has therefore become the rule rather than the exception; and in the post pandemic era it will become the norm.
Besides employers are expressing concern over employee health and cutting costs, the employees are also expressing their desire to work from home and jobseekers are actively looking for jobs that offer flexibility. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that WFH will soon be considered a perk rather than a facility. Businesses must therefore gear up to manage diverse and remote teams.
Not only will your teams be working from different locations, you may be handling multicultural teams from diverse locations speaking different languages. Don’t worry – project management and workflow software like Trello and Stackflow are here to help as are collaborative software like Google Meets and Teamviewer. The likes of PukkaTeam will ensure that employees stay focused and committed by making the WFH environment less lonely and less isolated. Focusmate CEO Taylor Jacobson says that staying focused boils down to accountability in a structured environment. This is easily achieved through virtual conferencing and virtual or physical co-working spaces if you do not want to create your own portal for your employees to check-in everyday.
Moreover, with WFH on the rise, we are likely to see a surge in outsourcing, freelancing, and cloud based collaboration. For the recruiters this means a bigger candidate pool and more job-sites to choose from. We may see an outcrop of sites that mirror LinkedIn, Fivver, and Upwork where jobseekers set up their profile for recruiters and HR professionals to browse. We might also see micro-niche sites that allow WFH workers, professionals and freelancers to post their profiles for specific jobs.
Trade Unions, strikes, and protests ruled during the past decades but employers have now woken up to the fact that employee wellness is of prime importance if you want to improve your productivity and retain your employees. It is now an established fact that employee wellness – not just physical but also mental – not only improves productivity of the concerned employee but impacts the entire team and its performance. Small wonder then that employees and their well being will rule in the days to come. The pandemic forced everyone to work from home and employers began expressing concern about distraction, stress, and mental wellness of employees. The new decade will witness an inclusion of remote employees – perhaps including contract employees and vendors – in health benefit plans. The health benefit plans themselves are likely to get personalized based on data shared by employees. New healthcare plans will also address mental health and burnout as employers wake up to the ramifications stress, psychological disorders, and not-so-good mental health. Already, mental health startups like Lantern are helping employers deal with anxiety, stress, and depression among employees as are life-coaches and psychologists.
HR strategy of the future will perhaps focus on employers and creating a good virtual environment for those who are working remotely. Of course in-office is not out the door yet so managing both groups effectively will be the new challenge. Forbes says –
“Organizations creating the right environment for their staff can have a positive impact on employees’ health and wellbeing, as well as their job satisfaction and productivity levels”.
Even in-office on-the-payroll employees are likely to work from home more frequently than before as concern for employee well being escalates. So flexibility will be the order of the day in the new decade.
Use of social media platforms for branding has been on the rise. This applies not only to consumers but also to potential employees. Recruiters agree that a company or brand’s social standing significantly affects the recruitment process and cost-per-hire – two things that all employers are trying to reduce. The better the social standing the more you attract qualified jobseekers. This is one area that organizations and employees alike are looking at more closely. Employment boards and job portals like Monster.com and Naukri.com, as well as professional networking sites like Upwork and LinkedIn are converging – meeting up with company review websites like Glassdoor to create Employer brands. You will soon see targeted social media ads for employment, and focused job offers that will reach the right audience. One tangential benefit of Employer Branding that we are already witnessing is Employee Advocacy – a trend on social media and networking platforms where employees speak up in favor of the organization they work for. Jobseekers can take advantage of this to research potential employers.
Another thing that both employers and recruiters are doing is to enhance the candidate journey from identification to hire, and speed up the process of recruitment. In fact, technology is transforming the recruitment process. From submitting CVs to individual and group interviews, the entire process is moving online and emerging technology is helping things along. CHROs and recruiters have tools that enable them not only to provide candidates a seamless and smooth journey across the recruitment process but to woo them. Platforms such as Pathmotion facilitate communication and conversation between in-office employees and potential candidates. Chat bots and AI are being leveraged for screening candidates and speeding up the recruitment processes even as businesses, employers, and recruiters alike dig deeper into candidate profiles for better value and alignment to job profiles. Retention is also trending and businesses are seeking ways to personalize employee experience through the recruitment process and beyond. In fact, employers are now taking the initiative in the recruitment process with a view to securing valuable employees who will not jump ship but stay with them in the long term.
Naturally, recruitment for the long-term is also trending as both employers and candidates work in sync towards the common goal of a long and satisfying relationship. Yes! Jobseekers and potential candidates too are now looking for security over salary as fallout of the lesson on work-life balance taught by the pandemic.
In a world where everything is about data and data drives all decisions, HR is right there front and center. From candidate survey to employee feedback and beyond, data is being utilized to improve HR processes and employee experience. Complex platforms like Peakon are measuring employee satisfaction, enhancing engagement, and helping CHROs better understand their employees.
AI is being leveraged to collate data and train ML by identifying trends and patterns. Augmented Analytics is delving into large employee databases using AI for deeper insights and NLP to present the results in human digestible format. Websites like HRForecast are answering recruiters’ questions and matching candidates based on historical data analysis.
Pay slips are history and people – both jobseekers and recruiters – are expressing concern over security of employee data. HRTech developers and vendors need to look into this aspect of HR tech.