Pandemic lessons HRs had to learn the hard way
More than a year after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the business world is still adapting to the new normal. The ensuing economic and social turmoil, lockdowns, and emergent social distancing practices have changed the way companies operate – probably forever.
Many of the fundamental principles and driving forces had to be reexamined and reimagined in very short order for companies to continue functioning. One of the aspects of business that had to undergo the most dramatic changes is HR.
Naturally, some HR practices have remained unchanged over the last year or so – such as the need to use a good DBS checks provider when sizing up potential applicants. That’s a crucial part of HR’s process that is here to stay. However, many other trends were turned on their head and are never going back.
Virtual recruiting and onboarding is now the norm
Online recruiting has been around for a while, and forward-thinking companies had already moved parts of the process online even before the pandemic hit. Some businesses had even extended the practice of doing the onboarding process online as well, but by and large, it was customary to do at least some part of both processes in person.
Now, recruitment communication is conducted almost exclusively online and video calls have almost universally replaced in-person interviews – at least in the initial stages of hiring. The onboarding process has also been digitized almost completely in many cases.
Remote work is the future of work
Some jobs just can’t be done remotely – that’s an inescapable fact of business. However, the majority of office work can actually be done remotely without hindrance – and the benefits of moving your workforce to a remote office are many and varied.
The practice of hiring remote workers has enabled companies to avail themselves of talent that would otherwise be beyond their reach. The ability to hire the best person for the job is certainly a boon – but it has come at a price.
Now more than ever, HR has to be extra careful to carefully research all applicants and perform thorough background checks on every potential employee to make sure they’re up to snuff.
Corporate culture has to be promoted online
Promoting corporate culture at an office is hard enough – but doing it in an online environment is another kettle of fish.
HR has had to develop a deeper understanding of social capital and how it can influence the dynamic of the remote workspace. Creating collaborative, innovative work cultures in a remote environment is not easy but is crucial for companies that wish to stay afloat.
Emotional intelligence is more important than ever
The pandemic has been hard on businesses and people alike. At its start, many workers were happy that they didn’t have to go to the office – at least for the first couple of weeks.
As weeks turned into months, which then into a year, it became clear this situation was not ideal either. The soaring depression and burnout rates registered at the end of 2020 can attest to the fact that people were suffering. Improving the wellbeing of employees as much as possible is something that HR has had to find a way to deal with.
The answer was to focus on emotional intelligence EQ skills, especially self-awareness and empathy. These can prove instrumental for maintaining the resilience, morale, and engagement of workers – which is crucial for preventing high turnover rates.
At the end of the day, making sure you hire the right people for the job and checking their credentials is all well and good – but if they end up quitting in a month, all that effort is wasted.
Collecting and storing personal data is part of the job now
Data collection and storage are not a problem – as long as you don’t have a lot of data on your hands and that data is not sensitive.
Nowadays HRs have to receive, process, and store data from hundreds of applicants every time a new position opens. This can be anything from the CVs and contact details of applicants to the sensitive personal background and credentials information of the most promising job seekers.
After all the background checks are done, this information needs to be processed and stored securely – which is now another task that HR needs to be on top of.