We’re all aware of the conditions of the current economic climate and how it is impacting organisations in some way, shape or form. The pandemic has also seen a significant shift in workforce management, leading to many #newways of working that have a direct impact on HR professionals and their recruitment strategies. For example, how and who they are hiring and what they need to be thinking about when sourcing talent.

We’ve highlighted some of the key industry changes, advice and hiring tips for HR leaders in this article to consider when recruiting talent in a disruptive and uncertain environment.

the shift to remote working

One of the greatest shifts in terms of work trends this year is the ability for employees to work remotely. Many workers have since discovered how to strike the perfect balance between work and life after working from home in the past few months.

Companies benefit when employees work remotely in terms of reduced transport allowances and expense claims, as well as increased productivity. With the remote working structure on roll, one of the biggest questions for HR leaders to consider is salary.

If the remote working model is a HR initiative that your company wishes to roll out as a permanent feature, then you would need to start considering how you can fairly remunerate your employees based on location, tech requirements and outcomes. Remote working has also raised a valid question, which is, ‘Can we hire outside of the country now since talent can be based anywhere?’

With more reliable digital communication platforms, this can easily be done if there is an appetite from the business to do so. The instant access to a wider and more diverse talent pool has also sparked some interests from ambitious businesses. If the company is seriously pursuing this agenda, hiring managers should also ensure that terms such as ‘remote working’ and ‘working from home’ are included in the job description and advertisements to effectively attract talent who value such benefits.

remote work salary
remote work salary

1. remote working and pay

Complexities can potentially arise when it comes to salary and remote working as well as how companies set salaries for remote jobs. Should a developer based in San Francisco, where there is a higher living cost, be paid more than a person in the same role in Birmingham or have the same work from home compensation for example? They are doing the same work, but have completely different quality of life, taxes and wage policies.

Companies would need to collect global compensation benchmarking and employee data to design an equitable salary and benefits framework.

2. employee benefits in 2020 and 2021

It’s no surprise that employees will start to expect greater benefit packages that include additional support for remote working. Although a good basic pay remains the most sought-after employee value proposition (EVP) factor for most job seekers, requests for work from home allowances, new technology equipment and utility bill supplements are becoming more common.

While this change may at first seem impossible in the reality of the current economic climate, employers can consider freeing up savings made in other areas and repurpose these funds to support such benefits.

3. reskilling with cost benefit balance

For years, employers have been fighting over in-demand talent by entering a price war. It was not uncommon for a candidate to receive three job offers and eventually choose to work for the highest paying one.

However, this is no longer the case now as organisations are reducing overheads and expenses to stay afloat. Furthermore, employers are also under governmental pressure to create new jobs to help reduce the rising unemployment rate. With such stretched budgets, it is no longer realistic for employers to use generous remuneration packages to attract and secure talent. Half of this disrupted workforce could be re-skilled by employers with a positive cost-benefit balance.

HR leaders will need to review their internal workforce strengths and weaknesses to develop a comprehensive and updated talent strategy that would benefit the company in the future. While this may mean that they will not have the talent they want, employers have the opportunity to shape the workforce in the way they envision it to be.

For example, this would be a good opportunity for companies to zero in their investments on deep tech and build the workforce’s capabilities in these areas. Employers may also want to consolidate their business units to encourage more collaboration and build specialised teams in the process of doing so to optimise cost efficiencies. This would include having a strong internal knowledge transfer structure that will include upskilling and re-skilling initiatives aimed at strengthening the capabilities of their employees.

a shift to a client-led market

One of the biggest changes of recent times is that the market has pivoted from a candidate-led market to a client-led one, which means that employers now have the upper hand. However, regardless of whether companies are hiring or retrenching, it’s still critical for employers to protect their brand during a crisis, in the most considerate and empathetic way. People will always remember how you treat them, particularly during these challenging times.

5 tips for effective leadership in the new normal

1. fresh mindset in the new normal

Change your mindset in light of the new ways of working. HR professionals have new expanded responsibilities to help the business now. Apart from managing the workforce and organisational culture, they need to be more flexible and hands-on throughout the talent recruitment process. Many are expected to assume the role of business partners and work with business units to hire and manage talent.

In light of COVID, many governments around the world have introduced new policies to reduce talent management costs and hiring programmes. In addition to adjusting to unchartered waters such as remote workforce management and engagement, HR professionals are expected to be more involved in helping their organisation save costs by leveraging such policies, subsidies and schemes.

leadership new normal
leadership new normal

2. training and upskilling

Employers are under increasing pressure to build a resilient, virtual learning ecosystem at speed, with the ability to educate their staff remotely.

Knowledge transfer typically comes from conversations between peers at conferences and seminars. With the lack of physical events this year, companies need to be more creative in ensuring that effective knowledge transfer continues to take place.

During the interview process, line managers and HR professionals should evaluate the candidate’s transferable skill sets, mindset and ability to pivot. There should also be more online modules and on-the-job training for employees to continue learning and develop their skills and jobs for the future.

3. be informed

In an employer-led market, it has become more critical for HR professionals to obtain information and data from trustworthy resources so that they can make informed decisions. For example, the compensation and benefits team should have exclusive access to industry insights and data on the latest salary benchmarks to ensure that the existing remuneration structure is still considered fair and competitive.

Hiring managers and candidates can find this information on SalaryBoard, which is a real-time database that allows you to compare salary, benefits and level of responsibility with those of similar professionals in Singapore.

4. effective interviewing

Time is a precious commodity. Be sure to ask meaningful questions in the job interview to understand what’s important to your candidate on a business and personal level. With more and more people expecting to lose their jobs or search for new career opportunities, the top-of-mind for many candidates right now is ‘job security’ and not ‘reward’. Be empathetic and aware of how they are feeling and find out what is valuable to them.

5. a dedicated recruitment partner.

As your dedicated recruitment partner, Randstad can help you address your skills demands and needs at speed, with maximum cost efficiency.

We have a pool of highly-skilled professionals that you can tap into to achieve workplace flexibility, productivity and efficiency. Our team of dedicated and tenured specialists ensures that your talent needs are well taken care of, so that you can focus on activities that have a greater impact on your business.

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