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COVID-19: The unforeseen predicament in our era has caused a sudden turn of new challenges across the world. This outbreak has profoundly affected the global economy, putting many professionals out of jobs and businesses. Furthermore, this pandemic has derailed the hiring plans for employers spanning across industries such as Manufacturing, Hospitality, Automobile, Tourism, and Real estate, just to name a few. Many enterprises have had no choice but to furlough or even let go, employees. This has caused a significant impact on the job market and the recruitment industry.
On the other hand, in sectors like E-Commerce, Healthcare, and E-learning, we’ve witnessed an upsurge in hiring due to labour demand. Giants like Amazon and Walmart have definitely scaled to new heights during this pandemic. To quote Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, “We’re hiring for 100,000 new roles and raising wages for our hourly workers who are fulfilling orders and delivering to customers during this period of stress and turmoil. We hope people who’ve been laid off will come work with us until they’re able to go back to the jobs they had.”
Having said that, mid-sized IT companies definitely face innumerable challenges to survive and sail through the rough tides. It has undoubtedly embraced the new mantra, “Work from Home,” but optimizing productivity in every department remains a steep hurdle to overcome.

Talent Acquisition: Let’s first start with Talent Acquisition. This function is the critical bridge between the company and the outside world. The ongoing pandemic has served as a bottleneck for recruitment, and consequently, employers have resorted to hiring remotely. Recruiters who were apprehensive about this are now forced to use remote-hiring tools to conduct online interviews and assessments. Sourcing suitable candidates has become more challenging, and the number of phone calls having to be made has increased drastically. Considering the heavy dependency on technology for hiring, a recruiter must adapt to its drawbacks by being cautious and identifying plagiarized resources used by candidates during online assessments, remote video interviews, etc. Nevertheless, we are learning!

Employee Onboarding: Frankly, the Human Resource department generally wasn’t prepared for the current crisis and has limited resources for onboarding new employees remotely. We, recruiters, have grown accustomed to the “Human connection” aspect of the onboarding process, looking forward to the coffee-time conversations with the team, buddy talks, mentor-mentee programs, etc. Now that we are resorting to a remote way of induction, we’re forced to talk to a computer screen. The whole process seems somewhat superficial. As a result, some new employees don’t feel comfortable interacting with their managers and team members. This raises the challenge for the Human Resource Management to have video conferences, collect online material, prepare formalities for the new recruits, and sync with the team. Nevertheless, we are learning!

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Company Culture: Now that companies have gone remote during the pandemic, we are experiencing newfound challenges with their distributed workforce. The goal of Human Resources has always been to attract, retain and grow their talent, and help foster company culture. But COVID-19 has impacted the company culture and also the HR Productivity significantly and has forced us to re-assess new alternative ways to stay motivated during these challenging times. This reassessment has proved to be the catalyst for innovation, pivoting to remain operable, rethinking how we build our workplace, and maintaining business culture online. Imbibing workplace culture into a Work from the Home environment, defining no arbitrary rules but blending the discipline and creating a framework, is quite challenging. Nevertheless, we are learning!

Productivity: From a recent survey conducted, researchers say that remote working does not decline productivity. They say that the remote environment has made them more productive because they’re better able to craft an environment that works for them. This extends to things like the choice of work attire, the availability of pets, and the ability to personalize their workplace entirely. We ponder this quite a bit as we have run this modus operandi for over a year now and are still trying to cope. Several factors are entangled: Power outages, disruption in the internet, weather changes, etc. Another saddening aspect is that innovation has suffered quite a bit during this pandemic. Human Resource is the nucleus to any organization trying its level best to create online hackathons, devising a tech week where employees could build a prototype, bring it across to the table, etc. We advocate our employees to use the right tools for training to increase their effectiveness in their respective core roles and while collaborating with the others in the team. 1-1 reviews, brainstorming sessions, and regular interactions with the team, even amid change and disruption, are the key takeaway to ensure productivity.
Experimenting with new ideas, implementing and embracing the recent changes will definitely take us leaps and bounds. This period should be viewed as a great learning opportunity. Let’s quickly adapt ourselves to this new environment and create several success stories together.

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