Organizations need to redesign how they hire and manage talent based on evolving employee needs.
By Vivek Tripathi
Organizations globally are experiencing a level of social and economic upheaval that is unprecedented in modern times. COVID-19 has made remote working a norm across organizations, and there is no choice but to overhaul people management processes to ensure business as usual and boost the workforce’s morale and productivity. When it comes to HR practices, almost every organization is consciously rethinking legacy recruitment models and talent management processes. This is supported by a McKinsey study that suggests that nearly two-thirds of organizations have moved in-person recruiting events and activities to remote settings and 40% of productivity leaders have holistically redesigned their entire hiring process.
The pandemic created a need for adopting virtual recruitment processes by leveraging digital platforms for testing, interviewing, assessments, and more. This has enabled talent acquisition leaders to continue the hiring process safely. The future of recruitment lies in adopting a hybrid hiring model, which is a perfect mix of virtual and in-person hiring methods. It combines the best of both approaches to make the hiring process more streamlined.
For establishing a hybrid hiring model, organizations need to have the right technical and operational capabilities in place. Also keep in mind to make it a successful practice, there must be change in the company culture, and to do that, talent acquisition leaders need to restructure their core hiring principles and bring in inclusivity. Organizations also need to manage their talent pool to avoid performance plateaus and ensure adequate motivation and recognition to sustain productivity.
Delving Into Talent Management in the Post-pandemic World
A Happiness at Work poll by Partners In Leadership confirms that when employees are happier at work 85% say they take more initiative; 73% say they are better collaborators; and 48% care more about their work.
The satisfaction quotient of employees matters now more than ever. The pandemic has forced organizations to adjust their lenses to renew their focus on managing their talent pool. HR processes and systems need to change and adapt quickly, keeping the current context in perspective. Here’s how organizations can prepare themselves to manage talent better.
• Redefine employee experience. With the new normal, employee experience is not just about people champions managing the workforce, it concerns everyone -from teams and managers to IT and infrastructures. People function teams need to get back to the drawing board and deliberate on integrating processes and collaborating across functions to give a seamless experience to the employee. They can adopt new engagement channels by extending relationshipbuilding exercises to employees’ families. This can be achieved by leveraging social media and running campaigns around the defined objectives over the intranet/internet.
• Ensure employee well-being. Stress and anxiety impact mental well-being as well as productivity. Line HR needs to be upskilled and should scale up to deal with employees facing well-being issues. Organizations can conduct regular sessions for all employees to educate them about the importance of taking care of their physical and mental health. Involving third-party experts, including counselors and fitness coaches, can further boost employees’ confidence and help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
• Communicate innovatively. Communicating with bite-sized messages on emails, WhatsApp, and other means will keep the workforce informed and go a long way in building a culture of trust and transparency. Need-based and timely policy modifications along with clarity in HR policies and systems always resonates well with employees. Organizations can also periodically conduct open houses/town halls with business leaders to boost employee morale. Bots should be leveraged to gather and analyze employee feedback and important information related to them. Regular surveys and focus group discussions should be conducted frequently to best understand the psyche of the workforce spread across regions.
• Manage performance. Performance management can be a game changer in the long term, and annual reviews are a thing of the past. A continuous performance management system can keep an organization and its employees on the same page during times of uncertainty and doubt. Stressing about performance, evaluation, and ratings can have a negative impact on the overall productivity of employees. So it’s essential for managers to regularly connect with employees on the team to keep them updated about the company and encourage them to speak about their progress on upcoming tasks and goals.
• Design reward and recognition programs. In the absence of in-person recognition events, HR needs to design innovative recognition programs to boost employee morale. They need to understand what drives a holistic employee experience and how managers can extend the reward and recognition culture to the virtual workplace. Peer recognition is another valuable way to foster a positive company culture.
Today, the gap between sought-after skill sets and academic qualifications seems to be widening with each passing year. Gartner research data shows that only 16% of new hires possess all the skills they need to be prepared for both their current role and the future. The constantly evolving marketplace and the technological advancements also make it essential for organizations to prioritize skills. HR teams should increase their focus on identifying and nurturing employees’ core competencies and equip them with the right skill set to enhance their capabilities.
Challenges pave the way for opportunities, and the need of the hour is to reinvent hiring and talent management models. Making hybrid hiring a part of the recruitment process will be an essential step toward building a modern hiring strategy. People function and business leaders will also need to collaborate for effective talent management, and look beyond academic performance to bridge the capability gap.
Vivek Tripathi is vice president of human resources for Newgen Software.