We’re living in an age where you can talk to pretty much anyone at any time on your choice of LCD screen. While all that technology is great for connecting with family and friends it wasn’t necessarily being leveraged to its full potiential in the workplace until the pandemic caused a disruption to the business is conducted. But that genie isn’t going back into the bottle! Even after the pandemic ends, organizations will need to rethink the way that they do business every day — including sourcing and onboarding new talent.
In our latest look at how Covid-19 has reshaped the way we work, we’re exploring new hiring practices to adopt post-pandemic. (If you missed the first article in the series, find out more about the 5 models one expert has identified for the post-pandemic workplace.)In a fascinating piece in the Harvard Business Review, Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America and a labor market expert, and Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Innovation Officer at ManpowerGroup and a professor of business psychology at University College London and at Columbia University, and an associate at Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, explore how companies should adapt their hiring practices in the wake of the pandemic.
At this point a lot of ink has been spilled about the Great Resignation, which has seen millions of people around the world leave their jobs and, in some cases, abandon the workforce altogether. Taking this exodus as their starting point, the authors make the case for using technology to attract talent:
“Technology has the potential to be a great enabler, providing humans with the tools to remain emotionally and socially connected even while in physical isolation, and the crisis has been the critical catalyst for change. At the onset of this crisis, talent literally left the building, and we’re now beginning to realize that in many places, it is unlikely to come back. In what will surely count as one of the strongest demonstrations for the extraordinary human capacity for adaptability, workers of the world have been able to remain productive even in lockdown.”
Given that many workers were able to leverage technology to their advantage during the pandemic, it only makes sense that many prefer to continue working from home. “As we look to the new next, unsurprisingly, many people have no desire to return to the office full-time, and, by extension, be forced to live close to it, especially if it is there mostly for symbolic or decorative purposes. As our newly released ManpowerGroup global analysis shows, 8 in 10 workers want more remote work to attain a healthier work-life fusion. To be sure, we had been talking about the benefits of an agile, hybrid, and fluid workforce for some time, but the pandemic marks the formal entrance to the age of digital nomads and a personalized workforce, with five salient trends (and opportunities) to consider.”
Here’s a look at the five hiring trends these experts have identified.
We may be socially distanced, but we’re spending more time together than ever before: “While the crisis accelerated the use of technology, which enabled the decoupling of work from a “place”, this shift was already occurring as a large proportion of organizations — large, medium, and small — made necessary investments in online collaboration tools like Zoom and Teams, growing the market for collaboration software to more than $45 billion globally (resulting in a 300% increase in Zoom’s share price since the pandemic started).” As these real-time communication tools become more sophisticated than ever, the trend toward telepresence will only continue.
No more cold brew on tap or group catered lunches? That doesn’t mean your company’s culture is dead. “Fundamentally, culture is “how we do things around here,” and it’s the sum of default behaviors, preferences, values, and decisions that make each organization a unique habitat, regardless of whether people frequent an office or not. Now company leaders are realizing it as well. Leaders can focus on building culture anywhere by refraining from micromanaging, getting over the politics of presentism, and learning to measure what each employee actually produces and contributes to the organization with as much objectivity and data as possible.” Bottom line, if you respect your employees’ time and expertise that’s worth a lot more to them long-term than an outing to the nearest beer hall.
The pandemic was an eye-opening experience for workers around the world as they suddenly had more control around the hours they worked and were able to enjoy more flexibility day to day. Work-life balance becaume something attainable rather than the latest buzzword, and workers got used to it. “It’s critical for leaders to realize that while workers may still want to occasionally come to the office, few want to come in every day. For jobs that must be in-person, it’s going to be important to flex the hours to minimize the commute, flex the shift to allow parents to be part-time teachers, and flex the days to enable the workforce to work in a way that supports life.” As long as productivity isn’t suffering, don’t hold people to a time clock or require them to be onsite a certain number of days or hours each month.
When everyone is attending a meeting virtually, it’s harder for bigwigs and blabbermouths to take center stage. It’s also a more fair environment for women, people of color, and anyone with a disability. “As companies work to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, technology provides the level playing field most groups want. Not only is it harder to engage in office politics, show-off, or manage up when you are in a Zoom call and everyone is watching, but the ability to capture, record, and analyze meetings data provides organizations with hard facts to evaluate DE&I in real-time. Diversity analytics, including a measure of how much people from different groups speak during meetings, whether they are included or excluded from the informal social networks that govern the power dynamics of an organization, and whether their ideas and comments are well-received by the group, promises to accelerate progress in a still dysfunctional area.” If your company suffers from a lack of diversity, remote work promises to bridge that gap.
If your organization is operating remotely or with a hybrid model, you don’t need to limit your job postings to your local market. “Talented individuals with in-demand skills in any sector now realize they can live where they choose and work where they are qualified. And employers now realize they can source “best of” talent from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet connectivity. The idea that workers have to physically move to get a job is gone, along with the costs of relocation. It’s actually quite simple: talented workers want to be free — free from geographic borders, free from physical location expectations, and free from government restrictions.” Workers are already flocking to remote jobs, so get in on the action by decoupling positions from certain physical markets.
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