New research indicates how companies are planning to adapt theirÂ recruitment and return-to-work policies post-COVID-19.
By Larry Basinait
To better understand how companies are managing theirÂ workforce in the wake of the worldwide pandemic, HROÂ Today is conducting a series of pulse surveys. The HROÂ Today Coronavirus Knowledge Portal addresses howÂ businesses and HR leaders are handling the outbreak.Â Because the office environment will continue to beÂ severely impacted going forward, this brief reportÂ examines how HR will function in the new normal.
The study asked respondents their status regardingÂ plans for returning employees to work. By MemorialÂ Day weekend, every U.S. state will have begun liftingÂ measures enacted weeks ago to curb the spread ofÂ coronavirus. Businesses are faced with formulating theirÂ own plans to return employees to the office. For moreÂ than one-half (51 percent) of employers participating inÂ the study, strategy discussions about returning to workÂ are well underway, although about one-quarter haveÂ either not started to make a strategy yet or are still inÂ preliminary discussions (see Figure 1).
The remaining quarter (25 percent) have either finalizedÂ plans or have finalized and sent communications out toÂ employees about the companyâs return-to-work strategy.
Study respondents were also asked how a mix of 11Â different recruiting channels will change post-COVID-19.Â The use of four of methods is expected to increase, withÂ phone communications seeing the greatest anticipatedÂ increase as 37 percent respondents plan to go âoldÂ schoolâ. Outside of LinkedIn, social media will alsoÂ increase for 34 percent, while company website usageÂ will increase by 29 percent. LinkedIn will also be used byÂ more than one-quarter (27 percent) of employers.
Decreased usage of some channels is even moreÂ pronounced than the increases in other areas. NotÂ surprisingly, these channels all involve face-to-faceÂ interaction. Use of in-person interviews will decrease forÂ over three-quarters (76 percent) of employers, while in-personÂ job fair usage will decline by nearly as much, 73Â percent. Students approaching graduation or looking forÂ an internship will find it more difficult to get exposureÂ to recruiters, as 61 percent of employees anticipate on-campusÂ recruiting will be less frequently used.
Usage in the recruiting channel mix for four otherÂ areasâemployee referrals, Indeed, job boards, andÂ outsourced recruitingâis anticipated to largely remainÂ unchanged.
Return-to-Work Time Frame
Respondents were asked to estimate the percentageÂ of their workforce that will return to the office in theÂ foreseeable future. On average, just over one-quarterÂ (26.1 percent) of the workforce will be back in the officeÂ within the next month (see Figure 2). The period ofÂ one to two months will see aÂ modest increase of 3 percentÂ to 29 percent of employeesÂ back in the workplace. The realÂ increase comes in the two toÂ three-month time period, whereÂ 42.6 percent will be back in theÂ office, followed by an increaseÂ 20 percent more in the threeÂ to six-month time frame, withÂ nearly two-thirds (62.7 percent)Â back in the office.
The survey found that 71.8Â percent will be back in six months or more, and theÂ remaining percentage is likely due to employers notÂ knowing when all employees will return, or exactly whatÂ percent will remain working at home. According toÂ findings from the prior wave of HRO Today Pulse SurveyÂ Research on the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce,Â 28.8 percent of the workforce will be remote, an increaseÂ of nearly three times the amount prior to the pandemic.
Editorâs note: During the period of May 7- May 19, 2020, a surveyÂ link was emailed to a sample of the HRO Today network, and linksÂ were posted on the HRO Today website and Twitter. A total of 77Â surveys were completed. Because of the small sample size, theseÂ results should be considered as directional.