It has fundamentally changed the way in which people work. As a result, traditional office jobs may never be the same.
Covid-19 has caused a seismic shift in the way many companies operate around the world. It will have a huge impact on us as individuals, as a society and as a workforce.
Remote working, flexible hours, and reliance on technology have become increasingly common practices in many modern-day workplaces over the last few years, however, Coronavirus has accelerated their implementation.
It has fundamentally changed the way in which people work. The remote dynamic is very different from being in the office, as a result, traditional office jobs may never be the same.
The job market has changed underneath our feet along with the hiring process. Employers have had to adapt to entirely new ways of recruiting and inducting new staff. Face to face interviews are out of the question in the remote working world while on the job training becomes a huge challenge. Things we thought were distant trends that would take years to come to fruition are labeled normal, albeit a new version of normal. For organisations looking to hire, virtual recruitment is a go-to method to keep hiring processes moving while all the time trying to maintain the human aspect of the process.
Recruitment has always been about relationships. The human element is how companies will make the best impression on their potential candidates and vice versa. Building a rapport with a recruiter is key for many people searching for a job. In days gone by, many candidates would have looked to meet their chosen recruiter in person and ensure that there was a clear understanding of the type of role and business they’re interested in. Today this close relationship needs to be mirrored online.
Initially we at CareerWise found that businesses were reluctant to go ahead with making new hires as it meant not being able to meet candidates in person. However, we have seen a huge shift in clients moving over to video-based interviews. Even when clients have the option for face to face interviews, the majority are still choosing to begin the process through an initial zoom meeting. However, it’s important to note going forward into 2021 that companies should be weary of how the widespread use of this technology impacts the candidate experience. Fewer in-person interviews and meetings mean that great communication, employer branding, and transparency matter more than ever. The candidate experience has a direct impact on your brand and your potential talent pool.
Few candidates have had an entirely virtual interview process before. Companies that provide tools and tips to succeed in this new hiring environment can stand out from their competition. Show you care about your candidates by providing as many resources as possible.
As a result of all the disruption to everyone’s lives, workers have re-evaluated their careers. From the employee perspective, the shift is massive and very consequential: people are making new choices about where they want to live and creating new expectations about flexibility, working conditions and life balance that can’t be undone. Businesses have had to become employee-centric as well as customer-centric, and it has a positive impact on employees. Workers now worry about a stable wage and their ability to pay their bills. People are saving money by not having to commute to work, they have more time in the morning to fit in a quick workout or a calm cup of coffee while still benefiting from the camaraderie of an office with regular conversations over channels such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
We’re going to see a big shift from office by default to remote by default. Some organisations will adopt a hybrid-work model other companies may use video communications to be completely remote. However, both models will enjoy increased productivity and deeper collaboration, and a greater ability to attract a more diverse workforce. We all know that work will never be the same, even if we don’t yet know all the ways in which it will be different.
A lot of ambiguity and uncertainty remains regarding COVID-19’s continued impact going into 2021. The pandemic continues to impact and change our society in numerous, unpredictable ways.
We have learned that business agility is a must, organisations must be able to adapt to a changing environment through its own flexibility and ingenuity. Companies that get it right may emerge from the crisis ahead, in the war for talent, and workplaces that foster collaboration and productivity for the new way of working. Covid-19 taught us the importance of flexibility and trust, from economic, sustainability and health perspectives and that it is critical for business leaders responsible for managing change to avoid any disconnects with staff when going through a period of disruption and transition.
Despite the size, scope and intensity of the pandemic, some work activities will go back to the way they were, however, there will be permanent changes, which will forever alter the way we think about and behave at work.
What has also become clear over this incredibly turbulent period is that companies that had been making savvy digital investments pre-COVID-19 were the most resilient and best placed to weather the storm.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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