THE CHANGING FACE OF HR DUE TO COVID- 19
The role of HR:
An HR manager is a crucial role in a business that employs people. Speaking more accurately HR managers are the bridge between the employees and the board directors in a company. The process of recruiting employees has always been one of the foundation tasks of the company for steady and escalating growth. In the present competitive scenario hiring the best set of employees is everyone’s number one priority. So, there must be quality recruiters who can make sure the one passes through the best of the screening process before being part of a company. That’s what HR managers are for. They influence a company’s culture and the way employees perform, and take care of putting business first every single time.
As an HR manager, one’s job will range from administrative tasks with an understanding of the law, right through to making decisions that could affect every single person in the company you work for. The job of the HR manager is exciting and challenging. Here, one will discover fascinating insights from industry experts and people who are already working in the role. One will delve into the qualifications and experience one will need and find out what it takes to succeed.
Depending on the size of the business and the industry in which the HR manager works, day to day and responsibilities can vary. “An HR manager is responsible for protecting the business and developing coherent business processes relating to employees,” says Alasdair Hobbs, employment law solicitor and managing director of specialist HR consultancy Human Results. Hence to sum up various responsibilities of HR managers include:
1. Leading the recruitment process, including selection and interviewing of candidates.
2. Handling employment relations issues such as grievances and employee welfare.
3. Providing detailed reports to senior managers.
4. Leading new starter company inductions.
5. Overseeing staff attendance and absence monitoring.
6. Collaborating with other managers in the business, sometimes internationally, to ensure the smooth running of the company from a people perspective.
7. Handling highly confidential information in an honest and trustworthy way.
8. Administering financial elements like payroll, compensation, and benefits, and pension schemes.
How Covid-19 has changed the process
Pre-covid HR trends:
Before the world was hit by covid 19, the whole of the recruitment process was physical and the whole concept of online recruitment though existed was scattered and not practiced by many. The interview process was mostly face to face and maybe it had its own advantages and disadvantages. Recruitment is the process of attracting qualified candidates for a job role and selection is the process of identifying and selecting the right candidate for the job. This selection process is one of the major backbones of a company ensuring its steady and promising growth.
The various steps in a recruitment process prior to Covid were:
1. Integrate the postings and job description:
Creating a database of job postings and link vacancies to well-defined job descriptions and skills. This makes it easier for the recruiter, the hiring manager, and even the candidate.
2. Display job postings on the website:
Publishing the jobs on the career page of the website along with the postings on social media platforms to ensure it gets the required reach.
3. Manage previously submitted resumes:
Old submissions often get lost. To avoid this a database can be built that allows easy tagging and searching, keeping track of applicants, and inform them of the new positions.
4. Having a robust onboarding process:
Improvement in the whole recruitment strategy on a regular basis has always been a priority of all the companies. Hence, a regular study must be conducted on the hiring process and the process should be made swift and robust.
5 Management of the candidates effectively:
Assign interviews to shortlisted candidates and automated reminders to candidates and interviewers.
It was totally unplanned that everyone would be working from home and students will be studying from the laptops. Believe it or not, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us many things and has transformed the whole process of recruitment. The workplace is experiencing dynamic improvement, and here the HR department is like the pilot of a fighter jet. The Covid-19 pandemic has given a significant breakthrough to the recruitment industry. Seeing the current situations, HR professionals have to adopt some new-age HR skillsets to tackle the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Impact of Covid on HR
The covid-19 pandemic has impacted many areas of life which include health, economics, and markets and it’s a really complex situation at present. One of the biggest visible impacts of the virus has been on organizations and the nature of workplaces. Work from home has become the immediate solution to the business community. Some of the necessary attributes to be demonstrated by the HR managers in the lockdown scenario include – Agility, creativity, and flexibility. As employees started logging in remotely, HR functions stepped up to transform physical offices into virtual workplaces overnight. Certain guidelines for proper conduction had to be suddenly defined and devised. In many cases, employees even had to be supported with digital infrastructure including laptops, data cards to ensure that the business was not interrupted.
The coronavirus pandemic has increased the emphasis on the human connect aspect of the HR function. In midst of this rapidly unfolding health crisis, HR functions geared up to provide critical communication on safety protocols, hygiene practices, emergency numbers, a list of hospitals, guidelines for quarantining and isolating, and much more. Also, most companies provided a helping hand to cope up with the increasing stress of online classes and look onto the employee’s wellbeing and motivation.
One of the major concerns during the pandemic was employee safety and the HR teams collaborated with other functions to define ways of ensuring safety and social distancing compliance at factories and plants that continued to operate. Regula sanitization of offices, buses, and colonies became a priority. The procurement of masks, handwashes, and sanitizers was critical. The coronavirus crisis has helped shine a spotlight on the value that HR delivers in keeping employees engaged, motivated, safe and productive. However, the WFH concept and minimal staffing situation are likely to continue. This implies that the pandemic situation will impact HR practices like recruitment, onboarding, and learning and development. Recruitment will focus on tech-savvy talent who can perform better in a predominantly digital workplace. Processes for onboarding new hires will have to change to become fully digital. Training and skilling will reconfigure for an online-only mode.
Future Work trends on HR:
As the pandemic resets major work trends, HR managers have to rethink the whole process including workforce, employee planning, management, performance, and experience strategies. The various possible future work trends in the field of HR are listed below:
Introduction of various virtual methods for the recruitment process:
Pre covid the interview process which is one of the most critical, screening was done in a face to face manner and it had its own advantages and disadvantages. But after the pandemic more virtual methods are being introduced and being practiced by companies to conduct the interviews. Platforms like Google Meet, Skype, Microsoft Teams are playing a major role in the process and will continue to do so in the future. Newer technologies like ML and AI are being introduced and with the help of these innovations, the process is becoming more sophisticated and providing the best results.
Also, all kinds of corruption in the process can be eradicated with the help of these technologies. Hence post-pandemic, the innovative virtual mechanisms for recruitment will be one of the toppers in the priority list.
Expansion of WFH concept:
It is estimated that 48% of the employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic versus the 30% before the pandemic. As organizations shift to more remote work operations, explore the critical competencies employees will need to collaborate digitally, and be prepared to adjust employee experience strategies. It should be taken care to shift performance goal setting and employee evaluations to a remote level.
Dependent workforce expansion:
The pandemic has brought in economic insecurity which has caused many workers to lose their jobs and to be exposed others for the first time to nonstandard work models. Many organizations responded to the pandemic’s economic impact by reducing their contractor budgets, but there has since been a turn of events. The researches show that organizations will continue to expand their use of contingent workers to maintain more flexibility in workforce management post covid and will consider introducing other job models they have seen during this pandemic situation.
Data collection on a larger scale:
16% of the employers are using technologies more frequently to monitor their employees through various virtual methods. While some companies track productivity, others take into consideration employee management and well-being to better understand employee experience. After the pandemic, the HR trend is being accelerated by new monitoring of remote workers and the collection of employee health and safety data.
Creating the wall between critical skills and roles:
Before the pandemic, critical roles were viewed as roles with critical skills, or the capabilities an organization needed to meet its strategic goals. Now, employers are realizing that there is another category of critical roles- roles that are critical to the success of essential workflows. To build the workforce in post-pandemic managers will need to focus less on roles- which group unrelated skills- than on the skills needed to drive the organization’s competitive advantage and the workflows that fuel the advantage. Offering greater career development support to employees in critical roles who lack critical skills.
Injecting emotions into the workplace:
While some organizations have recognized the humanitarian crisis of the pandemic and prioritized the well-being of the employees as people over employees as workers. Hence, being deliberate in the approach managers could take better effects on employee experience which profits the growth of the business. This whole process has a long-lasting effect and it addresses inequities if remote and on-site employees have been treated differently.
Making the organizations more concrete and stable:
After the pandemic leads to a global financial crisis, many companies were nationalized to avoid failure. As the pandemic subsides, there will be a similar nationalization process. Companies will focus on expanding the geographic diversification and investment in secondary markets to mitigate and manage risk in times of disruption. Enabling business units to customize performance management, will improve business. As organizational complexity complicates career pathing, providing reskilling and career development support — for example, by developing resources and building out platforms to provide visibility into internal positions.