Has COVID-19 changed our work and hiring habits for good?
What does COVID-19 mean for Australian recruitment agencies and businesses? As a leading recruitment agency in Melbourne, here’s our predictions for what post-coronavirus teams and hiring could look like
Think back to December, 2019 – what were you doing back then? Probably clinking champagne glasses, nursing a Christmas food coma and wondering what 2020 would bring.
We’re pretty sure nobody could have predicted it turning out the way it has so far!
COVID-19 has thrown so many things into uncertainty, changing our plans and our habits.
And that includes the way we work as well.
Obviously, working from home for months at a time is going to change people’s work habits.
But what other permanent changes are Australian recruitment agencies and workplaces going to have to grapple with in the post-pandemic world?
Expect more demand for flexible working arrangements
If there’s one good thing to come out of this pandemic, it’s that it’s forced many teams to seriously consider remote working as an alternative to the traditional 9-5 hustle.
And for many of them, they’ve come out the other side sold on the idea of remote working and more flexible working arrangements.
No more lengthy commute. The ability to enjoy a slight sleep in. A positive environmental impact.
A lot of people have gotten used to this arrangement. Once everything returns to normal (whatever the “new normal” may look like), expect at least some of your team to start the conversation around more flexibility with their working arrangements.
As an employer, you’ll need to consider accommodating this, for example by extending your current remote working arrangement or by offering a split between in-person and remote working.
Could you get away with downsizing to a smaller office?
After all, if only half your team is going to be there in-person at any given time, do you really need that much space?
Post-pandemic, expect a lot of workplaces to downsize to smaller offices, with fewer employees working in the office at the one time.
And this will change the way your team works:
- Instead of everyone having their own desk, you might practice “hot desking”
- Your documents and information might need to be stored digitally
- You might have to schedule staggered start-end times
These are just some of the changes you might have to make to accommodate this new style of working.
Data-sharing and communication are going to become a big deal
One of the issues with a team that might be working remotely (whether completely or partially) is the issue of information sharing.
While using email chains and attachments can work in a pinch, they can also get incredibly congested, and it can be easy to lose track of an attachment in a long email chain.
Whether your business goes full remote or does a split post-COVID, it’s important that you have a robust system in place for sharing files between team members – ideally, one with:
- Automatic backups
- Remote access
- Strong security features
On top of that, you’ll also need to think about the way you communicate.
You might have to set stricter boundaries
It isn’t all good news – in some ways, COVID has changed the way we work for the worse.
One of the big ones? The line between work time and private time can get a bit blurry at times.
While many have had a good experience working from home, others haven’t been so lucky. According to this article from Bloomberg, some workers have reported spending an additional 3 hours at work per day.
This is an issue that predates the pandemic – however, easy access to work at all times has made it even worse.
This isn’t good for anyone – tired, stressed and overworked employees simply aren’t as effective or motivated as well-rested team members.
As an employer, you’ll need to set stricter boundaries, and make it clear that they don’t need to “bring work home with them”.
How things are changing at Australian recruitment agencies
It isn’t just employers who are having to change the way they do things – so too do recruitment agencies like us!
Okay, so the actual day-to-day hasn’t changed all that much thanks to our largely digital recruitment process. That said, it has changed other things…
It’s a buyer’s market now
According to the ABS, COVID-19 has taken at least 835,000 jobs since March – and that’s before Melbourne went back into lockdown for a second time just last week.
If you’re looking to hire, now’s the time to do it.
Location is no longer a limiting factor
With remote working now proving itself to be viable, does it really matter if an applicant lives close to your office with an easy commute?
The upshot: our recruitment agency in Melbourne is able to cast a much wider net when looking for qualified candidates, maximising the chances of finding the perfect applicant the first time.
Your COVID-19 response could become very important
Once things settle down, some in the recruitment industry predict that these responses could come back to bite you when hiring.
Expect applicants to ask about your response to COVID-19 during interviews long after everything returns to normal.
Soft skills are more important than ever
Another thing the pandemic has revealed is how things can change in an instant.
In particular, this has also shown the importance of choosing resilient staff who can roll with the punches and successfully adjust to these changes.
We’re entering a new world – one that demands a new approach towards recruitment
Luckily for you, our innovative approach towards recruitment means that we’re in a great position to prepare your business for the post-COVID world.
Our focus is, and has always been on connecting your business with the perfect applicant for the position.
By understanding your organisational culture as well as the qualities and traits an applicant will need to succeed both in the position and your organisation, we’re able to connect you with staffing solutions that:
- Fit in perfectly with your new working arrangement
- Work effectively both in-person and from home
- Have the right personality for the role and your company
- Are strong independent workers
Over the years, we’ve earned plenty of kudos (pun intended!) from our clients, with an extraordinary 80% referral rate and a resume that includes some of the country’s biggest names.