COVID-19 has had a big impact on employment, though the impact is not yet fully understood
No doubt there will be positive outcomes, like employees leaving unrewarding jobs to pursue new challenges. Likewise, some businesses will ‘rationalise’ their workforces to better serve shareholders, customers and employees.
One thing won’t change. Most businesses will still need people to complete certain work. And some of these people will be ‘employed’ (as opposed to engaged as contractors or consultants). For now, finding employees is more competitive in most industries and businesses are working harder to position themselves as attractive employers.
How are businesses approaching these emerging employment challenges?
Here are seven ideas.
Review Organisational Design
There’s an opportunity to get smarter about organisational structure. Not every departing employee needs to be ‘replaced’. Perhaps other people can do what they were doing, so-called ‘internal recruitment’. Or perhaps that role is no longer needed as the business has evolved.
Managers will tend to do what has been done in the past, but leaders will take a fresh look at the workplace and make the most sensible decisions for the organisation.
Emphasise Job Security
Employees have always valued certainty. It can be even more important than culture, compensation, professional development, team dynamics and other factors. However, employees are increasingly re-evaluating job security, something that has been taken for granted in the past.
While the desire for job security makes it more difficult to attract employees, it also makes current employees more loyal. That can be a good thing… if you have a productive team in place now.
Stand-out employers (and recruiters) will give assurance on long-term plans, funding and show a track record of sustaining revenue, productivity, and headcount, even through the recent challenges.
They might also offer permanent roles rather than contracts or trial periods to add a layer of protection for the applicant.
Know the (Employee) Market
Think about the candidate being hired and what they value. Without being discriminatory, the fact is that people of different ages, in different locations, pursuing different career paths, etc., will have different objectives. How will you enhance their lives and help them succeed? How will the rewards you offer (both financial and non-financial) distinguish your business? What’s in it for the employee if they join your business?
Rather than just second-guessing what potential employees want, you can ask existing employees for feedback (formally or informally). They will have insights into what works well and what can be improved in your business. Then you can confidently present your business during recruiting efforts.
Watch the Competition
Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. To some extent, they are in the same boat as you and you can learn from their recruiting efforts. Where are they publishing ads? How do they describe their value as an employer? Who are they trying to attract? How do they define the roles they want to fill?
Expand your Boundaries
Some businesses are set in their ways when it comes to hiring. They want employees with a certain set of qualifications, experience and even a particular personality. This may make sense when there are abundant candidates but it’s increasingly worthwhile to seek candidates from other industries with different qualifications.
Yes, you will need good on-boarding and professional development processes. In many cases, there can be unforeseen advantages with these ‘less-qualified’ candidates, who bring in new approaches, contacts, systems and vigour into your organisation.
It’s likely that recruitment will take longer than in the past. Successful employers will forecast needs well in advance and streamline the hiring process to act fast when the time is right.
Stay with the times
When the entire organisation worked in a central office (or offices), there was more emphasis on social events and team activities to ensure there was a good work-life balance. Enter working from home (fully or partially) and employees tend to value flexible working conditions. This could include remote-work technologies to support staff and ensure good processes. No point in promoting your office environment if it doesn’t match the current work style.
Keep these pointers in mind as you deal with the evolving employment environment. Again, there are as many advantages as disadvantages… and businesses which respond quickly and intelligently are well-placed to succeed.
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