The new normal, work from home, WFH, webinars, zoom meetings, video calls and the list goes on and on. These keywords have become the most seen words/topics on any online forum. I was a few seconds closer to declaring these as pure “buzzwords”, I got to see a below post by one of the employees talking about savings he made due to WFH.
I am sure he is just one of many who saw the silver lining in the otherwise challenging period; I am sure there are a lot of employees for whom WFH became a welcome positive experience. It raised a lot of questions into my recruiting mind about: -
What-if WFH becomes a reality. What disruptions can it bring to recruitment?
And the train of thoughts started to run along with various stations of the candidate journey. For the first time, an unforeseen disruption has caused the future of work to become reality overnight. Of course, these disruptions will work differently based on the nature of work, industry etc.
Opening up the talent pools?
What if – it opens up new talent pools to be sourced from? As candidates may not need to travel to the office every day, can we remove the location filter from our searches and find new opportunities which never existed before? The WFH may cause the removal of borders for many roles either nationally or internationally. It will need a new set of hiring practices, law and people management practices. Question is – are our hiring managers ready for this?
Impact on Compensation & Benefits
What if – the new normal disrupts comp & ben models. As employees may not need to travel much, can come from any part of the country (or even world), what kind of impact it will have on compensation breakups, variable pays, pay components and benefits companies usually offer like car rentals, travel perks etc. As most candidates will now set up the offices at home – would it need new components to be added like furniture expenses, mental/health wellness allowances etc? Think about what will attract candidates if they have to work from home for most cases.
Recruitment Process Disruptions
What if – your candidates will never visit offices before or even post joining. What changes you will need in candidate engagement, interviews, offer & onboarding process? We will need new sets of protocols and governance for weeding out fake/red cases. As most business managers will not be travelling and neither candidates need to travel, would it positively impact time and cost to hire? What kind of new tools, processes and governance it would need to support this disruption?
Remote team management – not everyone’s cup of tea?
What if – your recruitment assessment process is no more around tech skills but also starts to assess candidates for their virtual team management, communication and remote stakeholder management skills. You now need leads, managers and leaders who can successfully engage their teams from any location. Are your hiring managers, job descriptions and initial screenings equipped to manage this change?
Importance of Mental Well-Being
What if – mental well being becomes a key success factor for selecting & hiring candidates? Working from home may look tempting as it provides a lot of flexibility but it requires mental wellness for employees to perform in work-life balance conditions. Are your screening & assessment processes taking this into account? Best managers and leaders are the one who provides the right remedy for their team members to help navigate mental wellness. It is far more important now as you can not see your team members face to face.
Diversity & Inclusion Hiring to Benefit?
What if – remote hiring helps you to optimize your hiring process to remove gender bias from the process? This is a perfect opportunity to build focused HR policies to help attract & retain diverse talent into organizations. It opens up the opportunities for many sections of diverse groups to become employable (E.g. Mothers who take a break for their kids)
Gig Economy to get a boost?
What if – the flexibility of work from home attracts many untapped talent pools for independent professionals/freelancers to be part of main-stream talent hiring. The WFH will be a huge opportunity for the liquid workforce to become available for open positions. The uberization of work is here!
The pace of digital/tech transformation
What if – this is the opportunity the digital/tech industry was waiting for! WFH and the new normal will become the biggest driver for new tech adoption. The pace of championing the change will make a huge impact for business and talent. This is THE time to make all buzzwords into reality for HR to LEAD the change! The seat at the table is taken already.
Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds. The organization, leadership and employees need to undergo a cultural, operational and mindset change to achieve this change. The successful companies will leverage this opportunity to bring “future of work” into reality; again a big buzzword for ages.
As an HR/recruitment professional – how are you enabling this change? What are other opportunities you foresee? Comment below!
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