The new role for HR following the Covid-19 pandemic

The new role for HR following the Covid-19 pandemic

Human Resources used to be viewed as one of the least thrilling areas of an organization to work in; it’s now become one of the most dynamic places to work in. What used to be the part of the company that deals with hiring and firing or operating in closed conference rooms have now been reinvented to take the role in planning and driving the strategic growth of the business.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth, roles, functions and overall impact of HR; the increased usage of technology as the worldwide lockdown continues has changed the landscape and roles that the HR now has to perform. The post-Covid HR is now at the forefront of driving strategy, employee experience and business continuity as the world struggles to cope with a new world brought on by the pandemic.

The need for a digital technological transformation from operating in a traditional cocoon is no longer an option. The sooner the shift in roles happens, the higher the chances of survival and continuity for the business or organization.

The new role of the HR will definitely be a shift from the old and will look like the list below.

From the “hirers” and “firers” to the mentors, coaches and thought leaders

The days when an employee was scared to interact with the “people of HR” are gone; the focus has now shifted to a better working environment and experience for the employee. The tools for evaluating employee performance can no longer work in a world where remote working is now the norm. The very act of evaluation will have to be placed on the backburner to employee onboarding to remote work and virtual video tools, employee physical and mental health, and employee development with the new tools they have to work with. This is not saying the HR won’t hire or fire, but the roles of the HR has now metamorphosed to also include;

- Coaching of every member of the organization on how to reach their personal best in an organization struggling with the effects of the pandemic.

- Creating a seamless mesh of technology and human resources to enable the company’s embrasure of remote work.

- Actively listening and providing feedback through online surveys and other feedback instruments.

From part-time usage of technology to total reliance on technology

The future of work is remote, or in better words the presentation of work is remote, and subsequently, the present of HR is remote and digital. The new HR must embrace technology more than ever before to expand its role. The new HR can better understand employees and make better strategic decisions that affect them by using new tools like AI, analytics and big data as opposed to the old role of using tradition and emotions.

Before the pandemic, it used to be that the lack of people with the right skills hampered the adaptation of digital transformation, but as the world has now been forcibly pushed to adapt and adapt or die, every organization and their HR must now follow suit. One of the ways HR has braved this digital transformation is to hire skilled employees and upskilling the old ones to be able to work in a digitally challenging environment.

Forever gone are the old ways of managing the human aspect of an organization, the future of HR has arrived. HR needs to be a function that takes the lead in understanding what makes people engaged and the culture and technology that will bring the most productiveness out of the workplace.

From the physical to remote work

Remote work was once thought of as a growing trend; with the pandemic, it is now a necessity. Many companies around the world like GitHub and Flexjobs have used the advancement in cloud services and videoconferencing technology with the opportunity (sic) the pandemic has brought to go totally virtual.

Remote work, of course, is not new. In the past, remote work has been largely reserved for customer service representatives but that’s changed now with remote work being the reality for a large swath of industries across the world. Not only is the HR with other departments of the organization responsible for switching to remote work, but the HR alone must also ensure:

- Proper employee engagement
- Rules and strategies for facilitating remote work
- Inclusion of each member in the team to ensure proper participation
- Flexible work scheduling
- New virtual hiring processes
- New rewards for achievement of goals

The shift from filling gaps in jobs to unlocking human potential

HR is now focused on making sure every employee gets the professional development skills they need to better their careers and work with the new environment and technology that the pandemic has thrust upon us all. Instead of simply plugging employees into positions in the organization, HR will work with people to find their best skill and unlock and develop such skill and talent that will help the organization in the new world we are headed.

With the wealth of talent available now in the global marketplace due to the pandemic and lockdown, HR will no longer need the degrees but the skills and talent that will be important and valuable to the organization has the world waits to see if these changes will be permanent or temporal.

From siloed lines of business working closely to understand business needs
HR used to work separately from other departments of the organization in their own corner office without much interaction with others. The result was usually a siloed organization filled with rules and red tape if other departments had to collaborate with HR. the pandemic has changed all that. HR now needs and must work closely with other departments to ensure business continuity. There is often a lot of overlap between HR and other parts of the organization, and open working relationships make it easier to join together for great results.

The new approach helps HR quickly design and implement new programs and ideas and stay ahead of workplace trends. New technology is changing things quickly, and HR no longer has the luxury to sit back and create perfectly formulated plans. HR must be agile and stay close to employee sentiment and trends to build an environment that reflects the current needs of the organization.


written by NEWCruitment Switzerland, the Leading Technology Talent Agency Specializing in Senior IT Architects and IT Engineers in Switzerland

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