Uncertainty. Widespread danger. Mandatory masks. Social distancing. Remote work. Lay-offs and furloughs. – COVID-19 is re-architecting every aspect of our lives in a way that no predictions or analyses could have imagined last year. The HR industry didn’t have the luxury of being excluded from these unprecedented changes.
As the pandemic started to stall the economy, 42 percent of employers said that consumer spending is down, while 30 percent considered paying their employees as a challenge. As the second wave of coronavirus continues to impact countries around the world, businesses have to align their policies and trends with the aftermaths.
Deloitte has come up with a document named Workforce strategies for post-Covid-19 recovery, which explains that most companies will go through three phases during a typical crisis: respond, recover, and thrive. The final stage presents learnings companies will acquire to adjust to the new normal. Trends they create in a process reflect the new realm and how one business copes with the pandemic.
After eight months of coexisting with coronavirus, we can identify the global trends that are shaping human resources and its post-COVID-19 future.
REMOTE WORK: THE END OF THE OFFICE AS WE KNOW IT
Although there’s been an 18-percent-shift in remote work since April, 33 percent of employees are still working remotely full-time. Most businesses have at least one hire working remotely, but 35 percent of them prefer to continue teleworking even after the pandemic ends.
Many companies and organizations can’t afford remote work, or their staff is considered essential being at the forefront of the pandemic. However, some CEOs and CFOs are also thinking about whether they need real estate if they can transit to teleworking. Shifting their employees to remote work can save money and improve their bottom line.
Despite the effects of widespread remote work still being ambiguous, with the restrictive measures being re-imposed across the world, it’s safe to assume that this might be the era of teleworking. The office we used to know (e.g., a myriad of workers in one place with strict schedules) will probably come to an end, and the remote culture will establish dominance.
With employees working in a remote setting, HR departments will also have to change and enhance the recruitment process and onboarding. According to the executive director in the Human Capital practice at Deloitte Consulting, many enterprises will use technology to merge office and remote work.
THE RISE OF HR TECHNOLOGY
Smart automation and advanced technology have been a hot topic in HR in the last few years. With telework and recruitment challenges of COVID-19, employers are keener on integrating HR and AI technology to reach their objectives.
With more people working from home, companies turn to mobile technology for for empowering employees. Solutions such as Clockwork will let an employee time-in from wherever he or she is, and at the same time will also track the employee’s location and even take a photo. HRIS solutions such as Everything at Work will allow employees to file overtime requests, leave requests, loan requests, official business requests, etc. online easily and seamlessly.
The pandemic has altered the workforce in 2020, creating a surge in unemployment worse than during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. With so many being fired and unemployed, companies are also facing an unexpected talent boom. Although that may come as a silver lining in these tumultuous times, it’s also a challenge to determine who is the right candidate.
The abundance of job applicants and other pandemic-related issues is both a catalyst and a speed-up stimulus to implement AI and automation technology. The advanced tech can help companies and recruiters to source and screen candidates. Intelligent algorithms are the core of AI, and having software that relies on these tools means automating tedious tasks.
Not only AI can take care of all the monotonous and administrative activities, but it can also detect the most compatible talents and necessary skills. HR technology allows employers to customize workflows, schedules, payments, conduct social media background checks, and parse resumes.
With the pandemic, the AI boom is more intense, drastic, and rapid. Companies all over the world seek ways to ease the work for their employees and improve productivity, communication, and net income amidst COVID-19. That means going a step further and integrating Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) technology as that may have a positive impact on HR.
According to the recent PwC report, AR/VR will have an impact on 23 million jobs by 2030, mostly in large economies like China, the US, the UK, and Germany. As an emerging HR trend during the pandemic, VR can increase efficiency, enhance remote training, hiring, meetings, and create an identity expansion.
INTERNAL MOBILITY: OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE COMPANY
There is an inevitable talent abundance happening, but that will force most companies to be selective and careful with their resources. As many face a hiring freeze and lay-offs, there’s also a spending and sourcing freeze. Yet, that doesn’t eliminate the fact that there will be skill gaps and continuous needs. Hiring managers will have to seek these skills and talents within the company, encouraging internal mobility.
As a powerful strategy to enhance and retain existing talents, internal mobility is among the essential HR trends during the pandemic. Organizations will focus on nurturing and developing processes that allow them to assess their current employees and consider reskilling and transfers.
Transparency and growth opportunities are crucial for employees’ desire to stay in a company for a long time. Internal mobility programs encourage workers’ productivity and engagement, letting them know that their company can provide them with professional development and success.
L’Oréal is the highlight of successful internal mobility, whose program led to a 40 percent increase in the number of internal candidates filling vacancies. After discovering that 50 percent of employees wanted more visibility into career possibilities within the company, they launched Positions Open Portal in 2018.
EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING: A MUST, NOT A CHOICE ANYMORE
The imbalance between life and work, isolation, and being overworked are just some of the obstacles employees need to combat during COVID-19. Thus, many feel continuous worry and stress of whether they will be the next victims of lay-offs and furloughs. Unfortunately, some workers have to replace those that left the company, meaning that they often work double.
The aftermaths of the pandemic often reflect in lack of motivation and productivity, anxiety, and depression. Inevitably, employers and HR departments have to enhance and intensify their well-being programs. In some cases, companies are only starting to implement health policies and resources.
With 69 percent of workers stating that coronavirus is the most stressful event of their careers, employee well-being is inherently one of the principal HR trends during the pandemic. Hence, companies will seek the best ways to support their staff, ensure their safety, and find suitable insurance policies. For example, Starbucks uses its Headspace app and mental health sessions to help its employees overcome COVID-19-induced stress.
OPPORTUNITY WITHIN A CRISIS
As the pandemic continues without a clear end in sight, most companies will have to put in extra effort to protect their employees and business. However, these mental health programs will probably surpass the level of being just an HR trend. What used to be a rarity in pre-corona times and then necessity during the pandemic will evolve into a regular element of the HR practice.
Similar to the previous three, it can prove to be an essential element of HR processes that keep living on in the post-COVID-19 era. Many trends and methods are opportunities that are immanently born in a crisis.
If you are chasing these possibilities, you might want to enhance the way you manage and streamline your HR processes. The Everything at Work HRIS software solution takes care of all of your HR and payroll needs with its multifunctional model, ensuring that you can focus on crucial parts of your business. Click here to learn more about Everything at Work HRIS.