Blog

Talent Strategies for 2021 | Navigating the Impacts of COVID

talent strategies in 2021
Business

Talent Strategies for 2021 | Navigating the Impacts of COVID

Table of Contents:

Decisions HR Must Address in 2021

How Candidates Have Changed Through COVID

Recognition

Flexibility

Expansion of the Contingent Workforce

It’s fair to assume that most of us could not be more relieved to have 2020 in the rearview and a whole new year ahead. Especially considering Australia’s remarkable bounceback from a COVID fuelled recession, giving many Aussie businesses a glimpse at a great year to come. 

While the virus and economic hardship are still plaguing much of the world, Australia has managed to head into 2021, officially recession-free. Thanks to COVID precautions, like social distancing and lockdowns being eased in the last few months of 2020, consumer confidence grew, and so did our economy – growing 3.3 per cent for the September quarter. More than expected by analysts. 

Economic growth is, of course, just one step in the right direction, but it does give us the luxury to take a breath and take stock of the current talent landscape. 

Decisions HR Must Address in 2021

In 2021, HR and recruitment departments are going to face similar challenges that they always have: finding the right people, improving retention rates, processes and strategies, all the while growing their talent pipelines and continuing to ensure diversity hiring is a top focus. What’s different is that the trends of 2020 will remain – working remotely, working flexibly, and relying on technology. 

To best prepare for 2021, HR departments need to revisit their talent strategies with the “new normal” in mind. Consider what tools and technologies will be needed, what the office space should look like, how people will use it, and whether standard working hours are still relevant. Could you offer part-time, 70 per cent, or 85 per cent time to staff who want more flexibility? How will you ensure you continue to hire for diversity? The commitments organisations made around inclusivity in early 2020 will continue to be expected of them in 2021. 

How Candidates Have Changed Through COVID

Strengthening your talent strategies for attracting the best candidates means thoroughly understanding what has changed during this period. Corporate culture was not easy to re-create over Zoom, and as such, many people had new revelations about what they expect from their workplace. They want more: 

Recognition

Managing staff virtually requires a new way of engagement, and recognition goes a long way. According to O.C. Tanner, employees that were not recognised were 23 percent less likely to feel supported by their company and 2x more fearful of COVID-19. That fear and dissatisfaction can cripple a workforce, increase stress and lead to burnout. 

On the other hand, sharing recognition with sincerity makes staff 103 per cent more likely to feel supported, and 59 per cent more likely to trust their leader.

Flexibility

COVID restrictions solidified the standard for flexible work, and it is not going anywhere. One huge benefit from this is that large organisations with multiple offices can promote and act on internal mobility. HR departments can look at talent in other offices, states and countries, not just those willing to relocate, which can be a powerful tool for retaining quality staff and offering advancement opportunities that may not have existed before. 

Expansion of the Contingent Workforce

According to Gartner VP, Brian Kropp, “32% of organisations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure.” The instability of 2020 highlighted the benefits of a contingent workforce. Those who had a well-managed MSP solution were able to increase and decrease their workforce with ease, ensuring the business needs were quickly attended to and allowing HR departments to focus on other value added tasks. 

What’s more, many candidates who found themselves in the market last year were introduced to nonstandard work models for the first time, making contingent arrangements more mainstream to a broader range of talent. 

2021 is no doubt still set to be an interesting year with many challenges ahead, but the legacy of the COVID-crisis has made positive changes in our workforces and with Australia out of the recession, there are clear skies ahead for companies ready to innovate. 

Looking after our clients and contractors throughout COVID was a significant focus for the Launch leadership team last year. As a result of some of the initiatives we put in place helped us win the APSCo Australia Award for ‘Best Response to the Pandemic – WHS’. If you’d like to hear more about you can benefit from having an outsourced provider look after contingent workforce, get in touch with us today.