China has now awakened from its economic coma with things gradually returning to normal. However, the definition of normal is beginning to shift, thanks to the myriad of lessons learnt from the crisis which will undoubtedly shape the future of work. No, things will not go back to the way they once were – they will be much better. This is a key moment in time which calls for attention of many professionals, particularly HR and recruitment specialists who can make use of this transitional period to effectively drive their business into a better future.
There are four key steps detailed in this article to allow you to be best prepared for what is to come in the post-Covid-19 era:
- Take advantage of the current time period
- Re-fill the empty positions carefully
- Understand new employee expectations
- Prepare for the future
Take advantage of the current time period
The economy is now back online but with a changed business landscape, making adaptability a necessary quality for any business wishing to thrive in the current situation, particularly when recruiting new talent. The government has provided many preferential employment policies to serve as an impetuous for economic growth, therefore, conducting business in China during this period can prove to be advantageous if the business is sufficiently flexible to meet the new market demands.
One of the key factors that contribute to business success is its employees, and it is the responsibility of the recruiters to ensure a business has the right people to propel it forward. This is often an area of difficulty for many foreign enterprises due to their unfamiliarity with the local labour market. However, recruitment and HR management are important aspects of any organisation and, now more than ever, employers need be highly attentive to their recruitment strategies to attract fresh, high-quality talent.
Whilst the pandemic has been unkind to many industries, there have been areas which have enjoyed an unexpected boom. Online education, for example, has seen a surge in the sign-up rates with growing numbers of parents giving e-education a chance to ensure their child is not left behind in the competitive educational environment. However, the crisis has also devastated the economy with many industries being hard-hit, forcing a number of workers to change their way of work and even accept salary reductions, while others have been rendered jobless.
This had led to an influx of skilled individuals in the talent pool, many of whom are actively seeking new roles and are even willing to stretch into the areas they had never considered before the crisis. A business needs to take advantage of this key stage and be proactive in recruitment by maintaining a steady presence in recruitment channels, keeping connected with top-ranking talent and being active on social media platforms. In addition, there will be many workers who will be switching career paths, thus, employers will need to be mindful of their transferable skills that may benefit the organisation.
Re-fill the empty positions carefully
Many businesses may find themselves with a lengthy list of roles which were vacated during the crisis but now need to be re-filled. Choosing the right fit for the team requires a great deal of consideration and must not be rushed. After all, if recruitment decisions are recklessly made, there will be spill-over effects on to other areas of the business and will result in wastage of the firm’s resources that will need to be directed towards training the carelessly hired employee.
Nevertheless, it is unreasonable to expect positions to continue to remain unfilled without risking a blow to the business. A possible solution to help tackle this dilemma is to make interim hires to keep the ship sailing, while searching for a candidate that meets the precise needs of the role. Hiring employees on a temporary basis also enables employers to observe employee performance in the given role, thereby, providing the option to offer them a full-time role if they fit the business expectations.
Understand new employee expectations
Hiring is a two-way process and there will be conditions on the employees’ part, too. Many candidates will now be aware of what they value most in a company, with job security being on top of the list. Employers will need to be accommodating to the requests of prospective candidates and understand that what was once seen as a perk will now be seen as an expectation. Remote work, for example, has become the new normal during the crisis and will likely continue in a post-COVID19 era for many types of roles.
Businesses will need to codify their work-from-home policies and determine which roles will become permanently remote. To do this, there are many important considerations which need to be addressed. The organisation should detail the way in which team connectivity will be facilitated, create a distinction between work and private hours, and also outline the tools that will be utilized to monitor work performance.
Prepare for the future
Prepping the organisation for remote work requires more than merely installing a video conferencing application. Businesses should be able to make use of existing and new tools to allow learning and performance management in an efficient manner. During the pandemic, members of the organisation have been closely connected, regularly communicating with each other while working remotely, and in order to ensure this practice continues in a post-COVID19 stage, firms should invest in engagement software tools to allow employees to interact effectively without experiencing any disruption to the information flow amongst the workers.
The familiarisation with remote technology should be reflected by the interviewing process. Business will need to leverage video conferencing tools which has allowed organisations to hold meetings remotely along with specialised technology geared towards conducting interviews. This will allow employers to conduct interviews with multiple candidates in a timely manner.
In addition to the above, the crisis has highlighted the benefit of having a succession plan. Although large companies are often equipped with an such plans, ready to be executed in case of a crisis, the same cannot be said for small or medium enterprises. There needs to be a security plan in all departments in the event a key decision-making figure is affected by an illness or faces any problems which prevent him/her from being able to make key decisions. The plan must dictate who will make decisions in their absence and the procedures to follow should such a crisis occur.
It is vital that a company stays responsive to the shifting climate and make the necessary adjustments to help prepare for a different way of working. The way of work is changing, and business run the risk of missing out on top tier talent if they cannot act quickly and adapt to the shifting demands.