The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it challenges never seen before. There is no handbook for businesses to fall back on. They have to find their way in unchartered territories. To survive and thrive, businesses are being pushed to undergo a digital transformation overnight. Not just startups and new-age companies, but traditional businesses too have to shift to work from home or a remote way of working. Thankfully, digital tools such as Zoom, Google Meeting, Slack, Skype, etc. are available and coming to the rescue to ensure business as usual mode.
While business procedures and processes are changing, the current situation also requires human resources to step up and craft newer and more “enabling ways” to operate. While the going may be getting extremely tough for many industries owing to the pandemic, this is an opportunity to use technology to create a more “inclusive, enabling and seamless” work environment for employees. There are also many organizations that are sticking to their hiring plans and plan to grow or even stepping it up to get specialized talent skilled in futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and automation.
Here is what we can do as HR professionals to be at the forefront of this unique situation:
A novel recruitment approach
In current times, it has become imperative to reshape the recruitment process to make it tech-driven. Recruitment has become completely digital now. According to a study by Jobvite, 84% recruiters are adapting their recruitment processes to imbibe a remote experience.
Human Resources managers are leaning on technology to screen, assess and interact with potential candidates. Digital job boards, virtual job fairs, virtual job try-outs, and even social media are becoming popular platforms for finding the right candidate. While online resume screening and phone interviews were commonplace before the pandemic, face-to-face meetings are now obsolete with social distancing becoming the new normal.
Presently, or perhaps even in the post pandemic era, it is unlikely that people will travel for job interviews. However, meeting a candidate is extremely crucial to understand their aspirations, traits, and determine if they are a good fit. This is why face-to-face meetings are being swapped by virtual interviews facilitated via video conferencing. Platforms such as Zoom, Skype, etc. are proving to be powerful enablers for recruiters.
Automating end-to-end process
Not just hiring, but onboarding and training are being digitised as well. An HR manager’s job does not end with a new employee signing the contract. There is a usually a comprehensive process of onboarding and training them for their role. This becomes challenging with employees working remotely. To solve this problem, HR leaders of progressive companies are relying on gamification. Not only does it make training fun, gamification has also proved to be an effective way of learning. It makes new information be retained and is more interactive than sitting in a conference room with data being thrown at new recruits.
HR professionals are working feverishly to develop relevant e-learning and development programs that can ensure seamless onboarding and training for employees working from home. This is not being approached as just a stop-gap fix for the lockdown, but as a long-term digital recruitment strategy that will continue to be leveraged in the post-pandemic world.
Going forward, innovative online learning tools will also play a critical role in nurturing talent, keeping them motivated as they work in isolation, helping them upskill, building a future-ready talent pool, and creating a culture that is rooted in learning and employee well-being.
Businesses will have to automate and virtualise other aspects of human resources also be it the benefits offered by companies to employee evaluations, performance reviews, examinations, grievance management, and more will have to go digital to support remote working.
The evolving job seeker
Not just HR professionals, job seekers need to adapt to this new situation too. They will have to learn how to tweak their resumes with the right keywords for talent acquisition platforms. They will also have to understand how to interact with AI-powered recruitment tools that are being leveraged by automated businesses. Most importantly, they will have to polish their video interview skills to be able to pitch themselves and put their best foot forward in absence of face-to-face meetings.
Lastly, they will have to get creative with their applications and interviews to stand out and be chosen from a vast sea of applicants.
These new hiring patterns and recruitment strategies are here to stay. While the current pandemic has created the need for human resource processes to go digital, they will be imperative even as the situation evolves. HR leaders will have to stay abreast and adapt to changing trends as businesses manoeuvre through the challenges the next few months throw at them.
Digital hiring has become non-negotiable and it will continue to be relevant even after the pandemic ends. It is time that intelligent, agile and forward-thinking businesses adopt this new normal.