With no end-date in sight for Covid and its variants, smart businesses are adopting strategies and processes in line with the new realities.

 

As 2021 and the second year of Covid-19 wind to a close, new virus variants continue to delay a “Covid-free, post-pandemic” era. Perhaps there isn’t going to be a Covid-free future and we will just vaccinate annually as we do with the flu.

Whatever the future brings, much of the business world is already adjusting to a new norm. We can see that safeguards expected to be short-term stop-gaps have now taken root. They are reshaping aspects of business that may have long-term benefits for employee and management conditions.

The imposition of remote work has given many of the workers who could work from home a less stressful workweek that is commute-free, lacking in dress codes (at least waist down), and potentially more productive. Despite being deprived of socializing it seems clear that, regardless of what happens with the pandemic, many workers around the globe are wanting – at a minimum – flexible schedules that include at least some portion of their week spent in their home office.

An overwhelming 90 percent of the16,000 employees surveyed in a recent Ernst & Young study stated they “want more flexibility in where and when they work,” and more than half would “consider leaving their jobs post-Covid-19” if they are not afforded at least some flexibility.

To me those percentages read as a directive to leadership.

The survey also found a bright spot regarding improvements in corporate culture, with half the respondents indicating they “believe organizational culture has improved.”

Despite the survey results’ reference to “post-Covid-19” as the time when this demand for flexibility will occur, corporations need to begin adjusting their talent acquisition strategy and hiring processes now.

 

Virtual Recruitment Is the Future

As hybrid workforces become more normalized and companies reach across geographic barriers for new talent, traditional hiring and onboarding procedures will need some modification – if not total revising.

We are already seeing companies adopt a virtual recruitment approach and investing in virtual platforms to streamline their recruiting processes.

Many international companies have been engaging in some remote assessments and video interviewing before Covid-19. The pandemic and realities of rolling lockdowns have greatly increased reliance of the virtual recruiting process. Virtual recruitment has the advantage of speed, efficiency and cost reduction. It speeds up the hiring time and by letting you reach candidates before your competitors, safeguards against losing them to other companies. Virtual recruiting also allows businesses to hire top people from a larger pool of talent and better diversify their workforce.

As demand for virtual hiring capabilities rises, technology will become increasingly dependable and strategic in reaching skilled talent. Businesses should strive to refine virtual hiring processes and master the technology so that all they need to do is add a human touch into the global recruitment plan.

The EY survey determined that flexible work arrangements have opened many opportunities for organizations to expand their global workforce and is now the “new currency for attracting and retaining top talent.” As flexible working becomes an integral part of their talent acquisition strategy, organizations must accommodate virtual hiring and onboarding, continually adjust their HR policies as well as re-assess the impact of the new work model on their cultures.