A year ago, everything was normal: office buildings and boardrooms, busy with leaders and executives, working to thrive in another ordinary year. Nobody had the slightest hint that a pandemic that would disrupt their lives.
And here we are, in our home offices from where we meet our teams, boardroom executives, customers, no matter where they are in the world. The ongoing pandemic, though unexpected adversity, heralded a new era of resilience to survive and thrive.
New ways of working with hybrid operations have forced organizations to undergo significant shifts in their talent and business strategies, workforce policies, and corporate philosophies.
With that as a backdrop, let’s explore some post-pandemic trends in talent management and how they can help leaders drive performance from their people’s potential.
Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on Well-Being
The greatest and most lasting effect of the pandemic is on the well-being of the workforce. Though it has been almost a year, many people are still trying to recover from its lasting impact of personal loss, stress, anxiety, and sickness. Mental health is at stake.
According to McKinsey,
- Seventy-five percent of employees in the United States and close to a third in the Asia–Pacific region report burnout symptoms.
- European nations are reporting increasing levels of pandemic fatigue in their populations.
- The number of those who rate their mental health as “very poor” is over three times higher than before the crisis.
The ROI of Employee Well-being
A focus on employee wellness will not lower your insurance costs. Even if it makes your people healthier, the results are lost in the community-rated insurance pools. However, well-being does deliver measurable ROI in other ways:
- Lowers employee turnover by as much as 11%.
- Improves employee engagement, driving revenue growth.
- Boosts customers service, creating more repeat business.
For leaders, the pandemic is more than adversity. It is indeed an opportunity to transform the ongoing pandemic into a launchpad for building an agile workforce —one that not only help businesses succeed in the present but gain a competitive edge in the future.
The true test of leadership is how well you function in crisis— Brian Tracy
Post Pandemic Trends of Talent Management
As employee well-being is gaining the spotlight, organizations are re-strategizing their current methods of talent management.
Let’s look at three key trends that can boost your talent management strategy.
Recruiting is critical to navigating from today to tomorrow
At the onset of the pandemic, unemployment rose.
According to the Congressional Research Service report on unemployment rates:
- The unemployment rate rose quickly in March 2020, and by April 2020, it had surpassed previous peaks observed during and just after the Great Recession.
- Although unemployment rates have declined since April, the December rate (6.7%) remained almost twice as high as the rate observed during February (3.5%).
While there was unemployment, there was also high volume hiring in healthcare, eCommerce, and manufacturing. Some of the notable trends in recruiting are:
A drop in permanent hiring: 67 percent of 190 chief officers and functional leaders surveyed across industries say they expect to spend less on permanent hiring in the next 12 months.
More reliance on internal hiring. Internal hiring is growing as an effective option to build workforces. Hiring people internally into critical business roles can save the time spent on onboarding training, getting accustomed to the culture, and driving performance.
According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends, 2020 report, talented professional talent professionals say that internal recruiting brings in many advantages in retention (81%), new hire productivity (59%), and speeding up the hiring process (63%).
Digitization: Hiring is virtual now. With no access to meet the candidates in person, a recruiter’s most reliable hiring methods are driven by technology.
Video interviews offer many advantages. They reduce time-to-hire for recruiters and commute time for candidates with flexible schedules. They also offer a stress-free and safe way of interviewing candidates.
Artificial Intelligence and other digital tools can speed up assessment of a candidate’s abilities and match them to available opportunities.
Focus on Diversity: With enormous activity to support Black Lives Matter, companies want to reinvent their hiring practices to reduce bias and build a culturally diverse workforce. Diversity has become a critical component of workplace cultures.
Recruiters are also building diverse interview panels with interviewers who evaluate candidates not based on their own choices or preferences but based on the candidate’s potential and how that would add to the organization.
A hybrid model of permanent and contractual employees: Organizations have been focusing on having a flexible operating model that involves a mix of permanent employees to handle the day-to-day critical tasks and the contractual employees to work on seasonal or specific technology projects.
What’s in it for a Recruiting Team?
A recruiting team that can build new capabilities amidst the challenges can survive and thrive.
- Analyze the hiring needs of the business.
- Make the most of available technology, despite budget constraints.
- Stay on top of potential risks with a mitigation plan.
Building a flexible, result-driven recruiting strategy can help lead the race, bring in the right people, and contribute to creating a resilient organization.
Unlock Your People’s Potential with Learning and Development
Learning and development continue to be critical for a successful talent management strategy, and the post-pandemic world made it even more critical.
The McKinsey Institute says that learning organizations face a tension between continuing cost pressures in a downturn and the need to deliver training to help workers adapt to a changing organization and business environment.
One of their surveys found that 29 percent of learning and development organizations plan to invest more in the next 12 months and that 38 percent plan to invest less.
Keeping employee choice and learning behavior at its center, here is what L&D can do to thrive:
- Empower your people with agency and choice of what they want to do, and how they want to learn so you can drive the maximum value of their potential.
- Create talent or opportunity marketplaces that expose the business needs to employees and workforce capabilities and skills to the organization. These marketplaces align your people’s interests and passions with the needs and interests of the organization. They are an effective way to understand your teams’ potential and organization gaps in handling the priorities.
- Foster leadership training. Managing people spread across a hybrid working model needs strong leadership skills to motivate, drive performance, and build agile organizations.
- Allow employees to take initiatives to solve critical business problems and advance the organization.
The New Measure of Success
Employee experience can make or break your organization’s reputation. It is no exaggeration to say that the pandemic made it a mandate. Thus, this trend preoccupies the mind of every leader and tops the agenda of every organization now.
Employee experience is about doing things with and for your employees, not to them.
- Mark Levy, Former Head of Employee Experience, Airbnb and Allbirds.
Organizations are reinventing the way they foster their employee experience. The LinkedIn 2020 Global Talent Trends report shows that employee experience has shifted from employees conforming to their employer’s needs to organizations conforming to workers.
The report breaks down the entire employee journey into four Ps of the employee experience journey:
Organizations should employ strategies that can boost the four Ps of an employee’s journey. And those that prioritize employee experience do not just succeed but dominate in the journey ahead.
Talent Strategies That Put People’s Well-Being at the Fore Win
Whether it is your L&D, performance management, or hiring strategy, take caution to make it people-centric.
Spend some moments with your people. Ask them how they feel and if there’s anything that’s getting in their way.
Establish a culture grounded on the principles of trust, belonging, empathy and compassion. And you are likely to navigate through the disruption and realize the fruition of your vision.
“We’re in a world now that’s all about people. We’re in a truly human moment where any connection that doesn’t absolutely lean into people will go nowhere....”
— Bill McDermott, CEO, ServiceNow