By Deepshikha Kumar Anand

The COVID-19 pandemic is synonymous with uncertainties and challenges, but in the all-new complex world, it has catalysed structural as well as operational transformations across industries. Being the most dynamic department of any organisation, HR has to play a pivotal role in making these transformations fast and effective by bringing in staffing strategies that shape a transition.

In the past few months both ergonomics and work cultures have changed dramatically in large as well as small organisations. In many places, HR managers could mitigate the effects of the ongoing crisis with well-anticipated policies such as remote working, extensive data management, contingent worker expansion, making organisation more robust in terms of social safety, broad classification of employees’ skills and roles, and improved organisation resilience. While these, and various other strategies have proven successful in most of the cases, they could not stop the growing complexities in people management, especially in the staffing procedures. Consequently, the following trends are expected to witness in the post-covid business world.

Work from home and advanced HR-Tech

In the second quarter of 2020, millions of professionals all over the world have lost their jobs due to layoff schemes by their employers. Amidst these redundancy programmes, the market is now flooded with talented, experienced, and employable job seekers. For progressive and sustainable businesses, this is the right time to pick the best talent from the market at significantly lower cost. Today, employers have better bargaining power than ever before. With more attractive employment policies than their competitors, smart HR managers can empower the companies with the most suitable people to accomplish business goals.

Also, as remote working has become a new norm in many sectors, there is a big advantage to recruiters to hire exceptionally good people beyond the geographical boundaries. Work from home (WFH) criterion and improved communication technologies have lifted many physical barriers between good employers and quality workforce. It’s boosting global hiring and helping companies to improve their deliverables to clients. Many expansion programmes which were shelved due to the non-availability of the desired talent are now possible due to the flourishing WFH culture. Organisations quick in adopting the advanced HR-Tech are the biggest beneficiary of this emerging trend.

 Project-based hiring 

Until the market situation improves completely and businesses start making decent profits to afford full-time staff, a number of small enterprises and even some larger ones would prefer to hire talent on the project or contract basis. This trend will create enormous opportunities for freelancers, especially in the service sector. Professionals such as programmers, data scientists, visual artists, and content writers will definitely love to exploit this trend at least by 2022. This trend will offer equal negotiation powers to both recruiters and freelancers.

Digital hiring and onboarding 

Digital technologies have simplified many of the HR functions, including hiring and onboarding. With AI and SaaS-based staffing solutions, the modern-age HR managers are helping organisations in finding the right candidates at the right cost. These new HR technologies have also played a pivotal role in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus and ensuring better health safety to employees. Now, right from the job posting on virtual networking platforms to onboarding of the selected candidates through video conferencing, all the pre/post-hiring processes are gaining digital-edge. On the other hand, organisations which are still stuck to old hiring trends are facing myriads of problems in hiring the quality people.

e-learning and virtual training 

After Covid-19, companies want to see their employees more adaptable, technologically more proficient, and good at communication skills. These qualities are sought after in existing as well as prospective employees. Usually, organisations conduct training and development programmes, workshops, and seminars to up-skill their employees. But, in the current scenario, these training and development programmes are neither feasible nor secure. Hence, keeping in mind people’s safety and budget constraints, businesses are now switching to e-learning programmes for equipping the employees with desired skills.

Now, using e-learning training modules, employees in any region or time zone can access thetailored training programmes of the industry experts. And, unlike exorbitant conventions and seminars involving hefty consultation fees of industry experts, venue expenses, and a large amount of logistics expenditure, e-learning is quite frugal and doesn’t require breaking the bank expenses.

Thus, the COVID-19 crisis has brought many challenges which have transformed the businesses in almost every sector and industry. Employees, being the most fundamental requirement of a business are expected to make this transition favourable for their organisations. Hereby, it is the responsibility of HR managers to reassess their staffing policies and incorporate changes which are essential for a smooth transition and sustainable growth.

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