3 HR Takeaways from Covid-19

The events that have occurred in the first six months of 2020 have had a major impact on companies across the world.

Business leaders and employees have had to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and teams have had to completely change the way they work in order to conduct business in the midst of a global pandemic.

What impact has this had on HR departments?

HR is a people department that relies on human contact; it’s called Human Resources, after all! While working remotely, HR teams have had to quickly adjust to new, virtual ways of working to continue supporting employees.

Additionally, HR professionals have been dealing with the added responsibility of assisting furloughed staff, supporting employees facing mental and physical health issues as the result of the pandemic, and trying to maintain employee engagement while the workforce adjusts to remote working. Also, many HR staff have been furloughed themselves, leaving a very lean in-house team to handle the extra pressures.

The effects of the pandemic will likely still be felt in businesses operating in a post-Covid world, however what are the main takeaways HR teams will have learned from the past few months.

1. Teams can adapt – and flexible working is do-able

Similar to other departments that have been working remotely, HR has quickly and successfully adapted to new working practices, which shows the flexibility and resilience of teams across the world.

Knowing that teams can adapt quickly to working from home potentially opens the door for new ways of working moving forwards. Flexible working is something that’s long been desired amongst employees, particularly those seeking a better work/life balance. As the requirement for social distancing looks to continue for the foreseeable future, employees will likely be able to continue working from home or working staggered, flexible hours within the office.

Some businesses may have even made the decision to work remotely on a permanent basis, which opens up more flexible and inclusive employment opportunities within your company. No longer are you limited to hiring candidates within a commutable distance of your office; you suddenly have a whole world of talent at your fingertips.

2. Technology is no longer ‘desirable’ – it’s crucial

The role of technology has changed over the past decade. Rather than it being a ‘nice-to-have’ to replace manual processes, it’s become essential in the way we communicate with our colleagues, customers and candidates.

This has become even more apparent in the wake of Covid-19. Whether it’s using a cloud-based phone system to ensure no disruption to your phone lines when working remotely, an applicant tracking system to manage your recruitment or video software to conduct meetings and interviews, there’s no denying the importance of technology to allow businesses to function as normally as possible.

How’s your technology faired over the past few months?

Putting your HR tech stack to the test in an extreme situation (i.e. a global pandemic) can make you realise that your tech isn’t performing as well as it should. This can help you to identify gaps in your software and define requirements for future tech. Although your budget may be stretched coming out of the pandemic, there’s never been a better time to make your case for technology.

(We’ve put together a guide, How to Build a Business Case for Recruitment Software, which relates to recruitment tech specifically, however much of the advice is transferable into other areas of HR tech)

3. You can operate more efficiently than you think

With many employees being furloughed, those businesses continuing to operate have had to work more efficiently with less staff.

As a result, companies are exploring smarter ways of working. Increasing efficiencies and identifying process improvements can sometimes be put on the backburner during a typical working week. However, the impact of Covid-19 has forced teams to explore ways they can work faster and smarter.

Because of this, many teams will come out of the pandemic better equipped to work more productively. Maximising efficiencies will no doubt be a priority for teams looking to achieve more in the future as they start to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Are you currently evaluating your recruitment technology options? Book a demo to see Webrecruit ATS in action.

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