How are you feeling? 

I find myself asking others this question a lot, and many ask me. 

Twelve weeks ago, the world, as most of us knew it, was put on hold. The way we live and interact was forcibly modified and, potentially changed forever. 

Overnight, many with careers in HR, recruiting, and sales needed to adapt and embrace technology to overcome the obstacle of the “new normal.” 

I am one of the lucky ones, as I have worked remotely for some time. While challenging in a lot of ways (such as homeschooling my children), these changes weren’t tremendously different for me. However, the people I interact with daily and support in the workforce had to learn new methods of attraction and engagement of talent.  

If you’re in a role that requires you to hire talent – compare how you did this twelve weeks ago, with today. What has changed? Which tools were you using? What are you using now? Was it difficult to attract and hire? Does it remain difficult, or has it become easier or more efficient? Have your discussions with talent changed because of the unknown and fear that people may be feeling?  

Take time to reflect on these things as an individual contributor and as an organization. 

The days of reactive recruiting were long gone prior to the pandemic. Why then should this notion of changing behaviours around sourcing, interview, and hiring cause angst? 

The reality is, while many strive for and recognize the benefits of skills development and innovation, change is often uncomfortable. And change that is thrust upon us without our input is overwhelming and intimidating. 

To quote Heraclitus, “The only constant in life is change.” Demographic changes, business shifts, evolving market conditions, and technology significantly impact recruiting. From tools (job aggregators, social media, AI,) to work designs (permanent, temporary, gig, job sharing, virtual) to job opportunities (temperature checkers, COVID representatives). Change is both inevitable and constant in recruiting. 

We are in a new era: a skills revolution focused on the human age and one’s learnability. Yet, I’ve come to the realization that many current organizations continue to use outdated recruiting processes from the industrial era. In many cases, employers require paper resumes as well as online applications. In-person interviews, and tenured experience and education misaligned with the desired results of the job.  

So, ask yourself honestly, will the outdated processes and tools that you were comfortable with twelve weeks ago be successful in an era of social distancing and virtual interactions? 

Did you use a social platform or interview tool to “meet” them? Were you reliant on a third-party partner to build out your workforce? Did you allow concessions around education or other areas to get employees hired quickly to support continued revenue? Provide flexible interview times – outside of the traditional 9-5, Monday to Friday?  

If your answer is no to any one of these questions, then you will most likely have to re-evaluate. 

Let’s not forget, retention is also impacted in this new era and must rise to meet the wants and needs of both current and future talent. Flexible work options, split shifts, paid additional education and upskilling, cross-learning, variety of health benefit options, simple employee information systems, and recognition that work and life are no longer separated.  

It is wonderful to see many employers responding during this time by providing hazard pay, accommodating shift schedules, and work-from-home options. 

However, when the “new normal” returns, how many of these offerings will disappear? As much as the way we source, interview, and hire has changed, an employee’s expectations of employment have also changed. This “new way of working” is here to stay. No matter where you were pre-COVID, I’m certain of one thing, post-COVID looks much different. Embrace the changes that have transpired over these last weeks. You may like what comes out of it.    

So, let me end by asking you: how are you feeling? 

 

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