COVID-19 continues to take a toll on the global workforce, ultimately transforming the business landscape for good.
In labor markets across the world, talent shortages limited how effectively businesses could uptake new employees to address the demands of the global pandemic. Areas of recruitment changed drastically, including the candidate experience, as many reassessed their priorities. Employers who sought to attract and reward employees throughout COVID-19 had to rethink their compensation strategies, where the lure of free coffee and pool tables no longer felt like the most rewarding benefit.
Here are the key methods for recruiting and rewarding staff after COVID-19, especially for those looking to benchmark their hiring and employment practices for the new year.
1) Hire and reward with flexibility
Globally, over a year after the pandemic began, the percentage of people wanting to go back to the workplace either partly or fully is now at 78%, according to Randstad.
For many, working life has changed permanently, as hybrid arrangements dominate employee expectations. In fact, 85% of people want some kind of a flexible work arrangement today.
LinkedIn, along with other job boards, have become hotspots for remote or hybrid working opportunities. Companies and their executives are increasingly being praised for how they hire (and reward) employees with different approaches that reflect this new kind of flexibility.
For employers looking to set themselves apart from the busy market, they can build jobs and reward schemes that are flexible for a competitive advantage. When it’s deployed as a strategy by an employer, remote working is more than a passing trend in recruitment, but rather a magnet for retaining and rewarding staff long into the future.
Flexibility doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing for every employer and employee. This often-sudden transition into the hybrid office, whereby employees are offered remote working opportunities, is now considered one of the greatest challenges that employers face. For global employers, this difficulty is heightened. Many return to their compensation strategies and job offerings to review flexibility as a perk and a condition of employment.
2. Focus on workplace stability
But flexibility is not always perceived as an advantage. If a business looks troubled, flexibility can be mistaken for workplace instability, which is a growing anxiety in the modern workforce.
When looking to attract new employees after COVID-19, employers must ensure that they’re demonstrating, and even showcasing, the operational stability of their business. Premature closures of national businesses across the country have – and continue to – cause a degree of panic in the workforce. Stability and longevity have become as employees want to discover more about a business and its future.
3. Demand for transparency grows
There has been a mixture of employees onboarding from either now-defunct roles or looking for further career progression. This process relied more than ever on employees’ trust and confidence in a business (including the level of job security).
Tiny Pulse found transparency is the number one factor contributing to employee happiness, which only emphasizes its critical function in the hiring after COVID-19.
Transparency is not a reward, as much as it’s a courtesy afforded to an employee at every touchpoint with your business. Transparency and honesty will enhance an employer’s reputation and image, helping you gain more willing candidates in future recruitment drives.
4. Focus on retention
Talent management is often focused on acquiring new talent at the expense of retaining existing talent. Ongoing talent acquisition can be advantageous for a business, especially one that relies on fresh innovation and new ideas.
For many industries, retention has become the immediate priority. And retention is a powerful tool in recruitment strategies.
What employers should focus on, especially when talent shortages trouble effective recruitment uptake, is how internal talent can be upskilled and trained to drive or reimagine business success after the pandemic.
Importantly, retention is an ongoing project for HR. This means you want to work with your talent continuously and help them upskill into new roles and responsibility.
5. Make culture and environment matter
When an employer expresses a goal to build and design a motivated and productive workforce, the environment and culture is often the focus. Even as employers look for alternative answers to the office, it’s still the hub of a culture and a social lifeline for its workforce, no matter how scattered employees are.
The relevance of the office hasn’t changed, even if employees visit it infrequently. Recognizing the value of a work environment can help build towards a globally successful team with fewer limitations and barriers. This is because an office can be the main space where a business defines, celebrates and reviews team spirit, unity, and its culture.