Hiring and workforce trends after COVID

| November 26, 2021
From new restrictions and health measures to a power shift in global economics, the last two years have impacted the workforce and the hiring industry in quite drastic ways. With social and economic uncertainties, combined with talent shortages worldwide, employers were forced to find new strategies of workforce management, planning, experience, and performance.

As a result, new hiring and workforce trends emerged, most of which are likely to reshape known processes and continue the change even in a post-COVID world. In an effort to understand how large-scale sifts impact the workforce, employee behaviour, and business operations, it’s critical for employers to keep up with the new industry tendencies.

The rise of remote working

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has been experiencing continuous lockdowns and closures, which has significantly impacted some of the country’s most important sectors, such as the hospitality and retail industries.

In turn, Australians are breaking up with casual work in these sectors, choosing instead to find remote working opportunities that provide enough flexibility for working from home even in the most challenging times, while often offering more suitable and profitable positions as well.

In order to keep up with this sudden shift, companies should aim to prioritise remote working operations, and explore the crucial competencies needed for effective digital collaboration in a remote context.

An expanded contingent workforce

The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic has led a significant percentage of the workforce to lose their jobs and subjected others to non-standard working models for the first time.

Not only has this given rise to remote working opportunities, but it has also prompted companies to increase their use of contingent workforces, in an effort to maintain more freedom and flexibility.

Thanks to their agility, adaptability, high efficiency, and lower requirements in terms of benefits, contingent workers seem like a viable workforce management solution in a post-COVID world.

An increase in data collection

Employers are now using new technologies more frequently than ever before, in an effort to monitor their workers through different methods like tracking computer usage, clocking in/out virtually, and observing internal emails and other communications.

While some businesses monitor productivity levels, others are tracking employee well-being and engagement in the hopes of better understanding the employee experience.

Companies were increasing their use of digital monitoring tools even before the coronavirus outbreak, but this trend was only accelerated by the need to monitor employees working remotely and their data.

Although monitoring tools are quite helpful for increasing engagement and boosting productivity, businesses still need to employ ethical practices for ensuring responsible use of sensitive information.

More efficient payroll solutions

As the demand for contingent workers rises in Australia, so does the need for improved payment and invoicing processes. Managing a contingent workforce can be a challenging task for many organizations, which is why incorporating more effective global payroll solutions is the top trend among local businesses.

By working with professional and experienced payroll providers, companies are supplied with necessary hiring assistance to ensure the process is completed in a compliant and timely manner, as well as detailed payroll calendars that ensure efficient and accurate pay cycles, thus making the contingent workforce management process much simpler to handle.

Employers as social safety nets

The COVID-19 pandemic has also promoted the trend of employers playing a more important role in the physical, mental, and financial well-being of their employees.

The most common forms of support were adjusted working hours, financial assistance, prolonged sick leave, and childcare solutions, but some companies even decided to support their communities through free goods and services, for instance.

Clearly, personal factors are now essential for many employees, and employing similar measures can be a good way for any company to increase employee health and satisfaction in the changing climate.

A new focus on resilience

When contemplating what the future of work will look like, there’s one aspect many of us failed to consider – resilience. In the past, businesses mainly prioritised streamlining workflows, roles, and supply chains in order to improve efficiency, but this model only left companies open to vulnerability. When there’s no flexibility, we aren’t equipped to respond to sudden changes and disruptions, and the emergence of COVID-19 only highlighted this fact.

On the other hand, resilient businesses were able to respond to the crisis better, quickly and correctly changing course. For that reason, resilience seems to be the main focus for many Australian organizations, which can be achieved by providing employees with flexible, adaptive, and varied roles that will allow them to acquire diverse and multifunctional knowledge.

As employers search for new candidates amidst emerging technologies, talent shortages, and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, staying on top of new hiring and workforce trends proves to be crucial. The effective strategies mentioned above will hopefully allow businesses to adapt to these sudden changes, and gain a considerable advantage over their competitors.

What does the ‘new normal’ look like for your business?

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