The world has radically changed since the first quarter of 2020. The pandemic prompted a dramatic transformation of life as we formerly knew it. Modern workplaces have seen some of the most visible changes. Conventional workplaces, with cubicles, shared working spaces, meeting rooms, and office cafeterias, seem suddenly to belong to another time.
With the global shift to remote work, most employees now complete the vast majority of their tasks from home. Whether or not this is a permanent transformation is not within the scope of this blog. Instead, it focuses on how model businesses are responding to this change: hybrid workforces. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
Hybrid Workforces and the Dos and Don’ts When Hiring
Remote work predates the pandemic, but COVID-19 made it one of the few options businesses had to remain operational. As a result, most businesses now operate remotely and even hire workers remotely. No doubt, the benefits speak for themselves; the remote working model helps save costs, increase scalability, and even improve worker safety. Employers hope now to build on these advantages. Instead of a purely remote model, the concept of a hybrid workplace is very promising for many types of business.
When hiring workers for a hybrid workforce, recruiters need to consider the unprecedented challenges that result from business decentralization. Subsequent workforce management concerns, such as conducting an HR investigation, may also present obstacles.
Video interviews have proven to be a useful tool in the remote recruitment process when hiring permanent, temporary, or contract-to-hire workers, but this in itself may not be enough to guarantee sustainable recruitment and workforce management. Given the current situation, businesses need to find a middle ground between leveraging in-office collaboration as well as remote working. Here are a few tips that may prove helpful:
Don’t Undervalue Soft Skills
Soft skills can often prove very valuable in terms of meeting long-term business goals. Most business recruiters already understand and value soft skills. Even so, you need to make sure you don’t undervalue their use in a hybrid workforce.
In fact, in a remote hiring scenario, soft skills may be more important than ever. Workers in a hybrid workforce will likely have minimal in-person contact with other workers. That means soft skills like strong communication ability or being self-driven are invaluable, not to mention how other skills like creative ability, innovation, logical and critical reasoning(and even empathy) add value.
Avoid Giving Weight Solely to Technical Skills
Technical skills are very important. You can’t reasonably hire someone with no tech experience for a cybersecurity consulting position. But the technical skills shouldn’t be the sole focus of your hiring. You also need to give due weight to other factors.
For example, consider – is a candidate a potentially good fit for your business culture? Does the candidate have a personality that will gel in well with your existing workers? Technical expertise should always be a core consideration. But never at the expense of skills that are much harder to teach. These can include a strong ability to handle pressure, motivate others, and even displaying independent creativity.
Value Workers Who Accept Change
The business landscape remains volatile. Nobody is sure when the pandemic will finally be at an end, or when workplaces will reopen to their workforces. However, if managers have learned one thing over the past two years, it is that adaptability is crucial.
Remote recruiters need to factor this in when considering potential candidates for hire. Workers who are dynamic and embrace change are more likely to be able to manage it. Workers who are resistant to change must overcome their own bias first. Only then can they start to work under changing conditions and business models.
Include Screening for Remote Interviews
The screening element of recruitment helps recruiters maximize their utility. When unsuitable or irrelevant candidates are screened out, recruiters have more time to dedicate to the right ones. This ensures smoother workflows for recruiters and better hiring efficiency.
Remote hiring should continue to use the screening component for hybrid workforces as well. You could adapt a video interview for this purpose. Encouraging applicants to send in a one-way video interview with pre-determined prompts can help recruiters judge and screen a candidate far better than a simple resume.
Focus on Leadership Skills and Potential
Hiring future leaders is just as important with a hybrid workforce as with a conventional one. Therefore, your talent acquisition strategy should continue to focus on recruiting candidates that display the right potential. Specifically, candidates that bring a new perspective along with visible leadership qualities. Recruiters should also consider whether a candidate has the learning ability to grow into a valuable business leader down the road.