3 weeks ago, our lives were redefined. Our new normal settled in without too many introductions and leaving us with no room for long-term adaptation. Survival of the fittest comes to mind, but what does that even mean if the future looks so uncertain? Can we predict what’s to come? Can we draw models and trends on such volatile foundations? Maybe. But, as we already know, the only constant will be change.
All industries, regardless of their vertical, will be affected forever, but if we place a magnifying glass on HR, the impact is drastic. The virtual era is now, and more essential than ever. Our new normal has no real human contact- yet our roles gravitate on human fit (even our industry is labeled as such- human resources…go figure!)
Let’s start by stating the obvious: our interactions will be virtual, how you communicate has become your number one cornerstone for success. Recruiting people through video is and will be the new norm. Forget about long and complicated processes of approval for creating 30s videos, costly productions, and the number one excuse “I don’t like being in front of a camera”. It is not a matter of being comfortable, it is a matter of staying relevant and afloat. Most of us are working from home, some with kids running around, others with the same pair of sweatpants as last week. Regardless of what reality you are living in, we can all relate. Take advantage of this opportunity so it benefits your organization and your needs.
The other great opportunity you have with videos is to showcase your Employer Brand in the most candid and authentic way. Share how you’ve adapted to having your teams working remotely, how you encourage your employees and your local communities or how you build the strength of your managers so that they can rally their teams (even if they are going through the same hardships). If you provide essential services, your resources are knee-deep in the trenches, explain how you protect them. Show it. This is your organization- uncut and personal, embrace it. Yes, we know what you are thinking, we all see it on a daily basis already: screenshots of video conferences and home offices but we might haven’t seen yours… This is all part of your candidate experience, don’t forget that. Incorporating this into your strategy will not only make your hiring process more agile but you will also have a positive effect on your KPIs.
Then there’s onboarding. As we all know, onboarding is the make or break for candidate retention, this is where it all happens. And if that wasn’t enough pressure already, now you have to do it virtually. Don’t panic- take this as an opportunity to build an experience that works and that has a positive (and memorable) impact on your employees. Challenging? Yes. Doable? Heck yes! Invite people to discover your organization, their role, their boss, their teammates. Give them fun challenges over a couple of days, make them feel like they are part of it all. Don’t get us wrong, we are not asking you to send hundreds of non-mobile friendly PDFs- please, just don’t… Instead, look for ways to make it interesting: record videos (yes, videos- do you see a trend here?), book virtual lunches with colleagues, share fun facts or even book a gaming Happy Hour session if that’s your thing. Make it personal and unique. If you plan this well, half of the retention battle is won.
Virtual is doable. Virtual is our new norm. But how do we make virtual more human in an industry based on that principle? Connectivity.
Our longing for connectivity dates from before this pandemic, it’s our way to feel we belong to something. And connections come in all shapes and forms. We connect based on our affinities, hobbies, work interests, backgrounds, languages, and the list goes on. If we have a common ground, we find a way to connect. The same way you connect to find belonging, connect with your candidates- they too are looking for a place they feel they belong to, and that might be your organization.
And to make connectivity happen you need technology and humanity to coexist. The success of technology lies in your people because “without talent, creativity stalls and innovation crashes”. To maximize the potential of technology to stay connected, you need to leverage humans where it matters the most.
We are faced with the greatest opportunity of all time, which is to fundamentally rethink our work architecture to benefit our organizations, our teams, and most of all our people.
This is the key to building the workforce of tomorrow, today. And to build tomorrow’s workforce, you need to do things differently and be the change you want to see happen in order to drive success. These actions and new ways will be useful not only for work but also, for our own personal lives.
So, instead of looking at this on the negative side let’s take a more optimistic approach. Let’s think of this as an opportunity to focus on work that demands our collective creativity, imagination, passion and above all, humanism.
Stay Safe. Be Strong. Together, we can do this.