COVID-19 has adversely affected the work culture in different sectors. HR leaders need to evaluate and prepare for the various trends that will impact their operations and fix improvement goals. Identifying what immediate steps need to be taken and addressing to what extent the changing trends will affect strategic goals and plans should be amongst the top priority for HR executives.

As everything is moving toward a ‘new normal,’ companies must prepare themselves with an advanced mechanism that will help them to remain stronger in the long-term and adjust to a new business environment—to recognize safety measures and fulfill employee preferences.

As an employer, ensuring steps to engage employees and addressing their concerns is amongst essential tasks. Actively implementing these policies will help companies be unique, be more attractive, and support their efforts to retain talent.

Problems faced by talent management recruiter amid COVID-19

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) prediction, globally, there will be a 7% reduction in the working hours during the second half of 2020, which is almost equivalent to 195 million full-time jobs.

Analysis by McKinsey states, in regions like Africa, Europe, and the US, nearly one-third of the employees will face reduced income, furloughs, or even layoffs due to the current crisis. ‘N’ number of people may lose their jobs permanently.

It’s time when the talent leaders need to invest their efforts and time in mapping the skills required, identifying the critical roles, and getting ready with the workforce for the current and future work. To evaluate this, HR executives will have to start collaborating with other stakeholders such as the government, the employees, and other important associates. The process will begin after building up broad views on the sectors, functions, and occupations at risk. HRs also need to look forward to the roles that are turning more relevant during the times of pandemic.

Solutions for the same

1. Work from home or return to office

Some employees are eagerly waiting to get back to the office, for being more socially interactive, to focus on productivity, or maybe for advanced tools and facilities. Simultaneously, some employees have very well settled with the remote work activity owing to the flexible environment and would like to continue the same as they feel free from heavy traffic, busy elevators, shared office spaces, and increased social interactions. Letting employees personalize their working activity depending on their changing needs will make them feel valued.

Knowing that many employees prefer to work from home over the office environment will help increase a company’s success by retaining talent management for the future.

2. Permanent or gig

Some time ago, what talent leaders would look for was a long-term commitment, loyalty, and an experienced candidate for the company’s well-being. But for now, gig workers over permanent employees are given more preferences, as achieving more in less becomes essential, and will also remain as is.

Work from home felt like a far-fetched dream for many companies, but the pandemic has turned the bottle upside down. As most companies are now operating remotely, many employers will get to know the good sides of the gig working model. Also, gig working will be another advantage for the multi-talented individual who is looking for multiple sources of income.

Employers need to identify what role needs outsourcing on a contractual basis and what roles are required for permanent talent in place, after analyzing the critical roles needed to achieve the business outcomes. Business and HR executives also need to keep a check on those employees who can perform multiple roles within the company.

3. New workforce culture

Organizations that plan to merge remote and traditional work environments to enhance their workforce for the future will need to redesign their procedures. Focusing on new health precautions, such as sanitization of desk stations, daily temperature checks, and maintaining social distances, should be amongst the top priority of the companies.

Keeping employees engaged by implementing virtual activities like fun Fridays and some similar major steps can enhance the overall work culture too.

Brace up according to needs

According to the Global Human Capital Trends survey 2020, in the next three years, about 53% of respondents believe that they need to rework on their skill set and capabilities. 59% said that they need additional information to know about their readiness for their workforce to meet new demands. In comparison, 38% said understanding workforce development needs and prioritizing it is their biggest hurdle in workforce development.

Employers must now invest strategically in data analytics to map the capability needs and explore the available solutions to improve their internal talent versatility. The investment made today by employers after evaluating training in the entire reskilling project would go a long way.

Software & application programmers, health care & social assistance, data analysts, digital skills, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) skills are amongst the top jobs and skills that will be in greater demand. Soft skills like adaptability, resilience, critical thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship, will also be highly demanded in the market, after seeing a constant rise in artificial intelligence (AI) and emotional intelligence.

Workers who regularly renew their skills and are keen to learn new ones are those who will be capable of finding employment in today’s rapidly shifting job market


Pandemic has shown the most challenging times of all due to which the job market is experiencing tremendous transition that is hard to ignore. Let that be an employer or employee; it’s time for everyone to pull up their sleeves and get ready for the rapidly changing work environment. The objective must now be equally on redeploying and reskilling talent with enhanced data insights, consumer understanding, and agile organizational culture to maintain business sustainability and survive and prosper in the midst of the crisis.

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