SJ Raj, Senior Vice President, HR Operations, Newgen Software
COVID-19 forced an abrupt shift to remote hiring and new ways of interviewing to onboarding. Talent acquisition leaders can make this transition a success by restructuring their core hiring principles and resetting the company culture, which needs to be in tune with the changing times.
We all are very hopeful and anxious at the same time about how this new normal will shape our future. The pandemic has impacted all areas of our lives, and enterprises have been battling the after-effects for quite some time now. The message that imprinted itself is not entirely nouveau though. For organisations to thrive, they need to be nimble and quickly adapt to the changing business environment. This was a particularly trying time for talent acquisition teams and hiring leaders as they used to thrive on in-person interaction at all points of the hiring journey. The window to pause, regroup, rethink, and transition to a new hiring and talent management model was minuscule. As work from home became a norm, people management processes had to quickly transition to remote hiring—the complete end-to-end process from interviewing to onboarding.
A study by McKinsey also supports that nearly two-thirds of organisations have moved in-person recruiting events and activities to remote settings, and 40 percent of productivity leaders have holistically redesigned their entire hiring process.
Doing Away with Legacy Hiring Models
A safe hiring process became the number one priority for talent acquisition leaders. And the adoption of virtual recruitment processes for video resumes, testing, video proctored interviewing, and onboarding became a norm across organisations. To make this transition, the right technical and operational capabilities are of paramount importance. And the onus lies on talent acquisition leaders to make this transition a success by restructuring their core hiring principles and resetting the company culture, which needs to be in tune with the changing times.
Hiring Trends That are Here to Stay
- Hybrid Hiring Model – This is the future of recruitment. It is the perfect mix of virtual and in-person hiring methods and combines the best of both approaches. Increasingly organisations are seeing the value of incorporating virtual interviews. It introduces flexibility to accommodate a candidate’s time preference, brings about cost optimisation, and overall efficiency in the process. Remote onboarding also has its advantages as new employees can navigate online resources at their own pace to learn about the workplace and the company culture. They can also engage with company leaders through online interactive sessions.
- Social Media Engagements – Companies are increasingly using social media to engage with the right crowd. The utilisation of chatbots of career pages is another tactic that is being used to cull out unqualified candidates. Companies are posting their job openings and inviting applications on social platforms.
- Location Agnosticism – As organisations realised that not all their functions and operations need the physical presence of employees, the limitations posed by the geographic location of the prospective candidate disappeared. Companies are now looking at a much bigger talent pool, and without the added budget for relocation compensation.
- Virtual Hiring Fair – Many companies are experimenting with virtual hiring fairs, which allows them to interact with job seekers online and screen applications in volume.
To ensure a holistic employee experience, restructuring of hiring models and adopting trends is not enough. Organisations also need to creatively manage their talent pool to retain talent, avoid performance plateaus, and ensure adequate motivation and recognition to sustain productivity.
“To ensure a holistic employee experience, restructuring of hiring models and adopting trends is not enough. Organisations also need to creatively manage their talent pool to retain talent, avoid performance plateaus, and ensure adequate motivation and recognition to sustain productivity.”
Talent Retention in the Post Pandemic World
A “Happiness at Work” poll by Partners In Leadership confirms that when employees are happier at work, 85 percent say they take more initiative; 73 percent say they are better collaborators, and 48 percent care more about their work.
The post-pandemic recruitment slump has given way to greater job opportunities across markets. And employee retention needs to be a top priority for organisations now. They need to adjust their lenses and refocus on the talent pool. Keeping the current context in mind, recruiters need to amp up their employee engagement strategy. Here are some quick tips:
- Reshape Your Employee Experience – People function teams need to regroup and redraw their employee engagement strategy. They need to start integrating processes and collaborating across functions to give a seamless experience to the employee. Adoption of new engagement channels like social media and running campaigns over the intranet/internet can be an effective way to have interactive conversations with employees.
- Make Employee Communication More Engaging – Byte-sized communications on messaging apps, emails, and other means will keep the workforce connected by building a culture of trust and transparency. Timely modifications in HR policies and systems always resonate well with employees. Organisations can also increase the frequency of open houses/town halls to boost employee morale.
- Design Holistic Performance Management – Effective performance management is a game-changer. Organisations need to move away from annual reviews and towards a continuous performance management system.
“Effective performance management is a game-changer. Organisations need to move away from annual reviews and towards a continuous performance management system.”
- Create Innovative Reward and Recognition Program – Periodic reward and recognition programs can boost employee morale. The people function needs to design innovative recognition programs by analysing what drives a holistic employee experience and how managers can extend the reward and recognition culture to the virtual workplace.
- Ensuring Employee Wellbeing Must Be Your Prerogative- Stress and anxiety are detrimental to positive workplace culture. Organisations should take proactive measures to conduct regular sessions for all employees to educate them about the importance of taking care of their physical and mental health. Engaging third-party experts, including counsellors and fitness coaches, can further boost employees’ confidence and help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
For hiring leaders, the need of the hour is to look beyond the obvious and reinvent hiring models. Trends like hybrid hiring will be an integral part of the long-term recruitment plans and will be an essential step towards building a modern hiring strategy. Also, people function and business leaders need to collaborate for effective talent management and retention.