It seems that just about every day we learn a little more about just how broadly the pandemic has impacted society –– from public health to the disruption of supply chains, to the introduction of new ways of working. And when it comes to business, the ways in which companies see and manage their employees' needs have likely changed forever.
This has put HR departments in challenging positions, as they face the need to establish a proper balance between the interests of companies and the emerging needs of employees. As a result, these departments have had to come up with innovative solutions. In this post, we’re taking a look at some such solutions that can help to lead businesses successfully into the post-pandemic world.
1. Taking advantage of new apps
As organizations’ and employees’ demands alike grow more complex, so too do the functions of the HR department. Tasks that used to be done in a relatively short amount of time, like interviewing candidates and managing benefits, now involve a variety of considerations that require additional time and effort. But departments can cut down on this added time and effort by taking advantage of related apps on the market.
HR management systems in the form of cloud-based apps can in fact alleviate some of the work of modern departments They can, for example, follow an applicant during the hiring process, monitor that applicant’s progress during the onboarding, and provide feedback regarding performance. They can also assist with more everyday tasks such as administering benefits, as well as help with time management practices.
2. Streamlining the hiring process
Recently, a lot of applicants for jobs have complained publicly about the number of interviews they are expected to attend. However, this is not a new issue. For years companies have struggled to balance their need for an extensive candidate selection process against the issue of wasting time and resources in a long and tedious process.
Today, however, the idea of streamlining hiring processes has emerged as a key aspect of reinventing HR practices in a post-pandemic world. Organizations are making efforts toward narrowing down hiring processes so that only those who truly need to be involved are a factor in. As a result, candidates will face fewer interviews and “meet-and-greet” sessions, and hiring processes will go more quickly.
3. Adapting to hybrid work
After a long period of adaptation, both companies and employees seemed to have embraced remote work as the new standard. However, as restrictions eased, conflict and confusion arose, in many cases, between companies wanting employees to return to offices, and employees preferring to retain flexibility.
Under these circumstances, hybrid working models –– in which an employee works part of the week at the office, and the rest from home –– have emerged as unexpected but popular solutions. This is not to say it’s a perfect solution; some find it to be exhausting, or at least to require some adjustment. The point from an HR department’s standpoint is to be open to change, however. Being considerate of the possible need for remote or hybrid work is a means of supporting employees.
4. Talent beyond borders
Another consequence of the switch to remote and hybrid working models has been that many organizations have discovered an enhanced ability to collaborate with employees or contractors all around the world.
Companies have learned that people from different countries and backgrounds can not only make valuable contributions but also that they tend to adapt (virtually) to the company culture with relative ease. As a result, HR departments may need to adjust to broader hiring practices and onboarding techniques for new employees who begin as remote contributors.
5. Access to services
Another lesson the pandemic taught us was just how much use we could make of digital and remote services, not just in day-to-day productivity but for all kinds of purposes. Demand for telehealth services exploded early on in the pandemic, for instance, as many employees sought ways of addressing health concerns (as well as stress and mental burdens) from home.
Given this shift, as well as a growing emphasis on mental health support in general, it is now vital for HR departments to consider and implement access to remote services that relate to employee wellness.
It’s undeniable that the pandemic has given rise to numerous challenges for HR. Managers now have to deal with different working models and a range of new needs and demands. Nevertheless, organizations that take the opportunity to prove their flexibility and adapt are in a strong position to keep employees happy.