How is the HR Managing Hiring During this COVID-19 pandemic

Impact of Covid-19 on hiring

India’s leading job portal Naukri.com conducted a survey on its portal which said the Overall hiring activity in India declined by 18 percent in March. With travel and airlines, hospitality, and retail industries witnessing a massive 56 percent drop in offering jobs as compared to March last year. The retail sector saw a 50 percent drop in hiring, followed by auto/ancillary (38 percent), pharma (26 percent), insurance (11 percent), accounting/finance (10 percent), IT-software (9 percent), and BFSI (9 percent), according to the ‘Naukri JobSpeak Index’ for March 2020. Hence how is the HR Managing Hiring During this COVID-19 pandemic

Which sectors are hiring?

The worst-hit industries have witnessed a sharp dip in their hiring of new job professionals. The hotel/restaurants, ticketing/travel/airlines, and marketing/advertising/MR/PR sectors witnessed a dip of 51 percent, 48 percent, and 33 percent, respectively.

Despite the current scenario, there are some sectors like e-commerce, healthcare that have kept their hiring momentum. Getting a job in these industries might be difficult but not impossible.

E-commerce

As the nationwide lockdown is followed more people are confined to their houses which leads to a rapid increase in the demand for the essentials and their online deliveries. Where many e-commerce sites have stalled their deliveries, the e-commerce sites which are focusing on essentials have seen growth during the lockdown. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the market is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion in 2017.

Healthcare and pharmaceuticals

India’s pharma sector is shifting towards in-house manufacturing of pharmaceutical ingredients as the global supply chain has taken a hit. As per the recent survey, India accounts for about 10% of the world’s pharmaceutical production by volume and 1.5% by value. As more money is floating in these sectors, giving rise to the production capacity and thus increasing the manpower to carry out the work.

Hiring process during COVID-19

Remote Hiring during COVID 19
Remote Hiring during COVID 19

Source and Screen

The sourcing of candidates is mostly done via social media platforms or career sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster.com, Naukri.com, etc. Most companies have also shifted towards Employee Referral Program where the internal employees can refer candidates via their network and also tech-enabled assessment — ATS(Applicant Tracking System) which aims at easing all their recruitment and hiring process that shows how is the HR Managing Hiring During this COVID-19 pandemic

Once the shortlisting is done the company’s HR approaches candidates for scheduling an interview this is done via telephone, emails, SMS, etc. Amid lockdown, organizations have also started adding additional questions like whether they have traveled to any red zone area in the past 21 days, the profession of their family members which will help the organization to have total transparency.

Interview

Organizations have shifted to virtual house interviews. Using only those apps which don’t require the user to download additional apps can prove to be beneficial like Google Meet, orsoftware having integration with the video-conferencing application.

At a time where loud noises of pay cuts, layoff are dominating the following companies are giving a sense of positive feeling for their aspiring applicants and employees:

Tata Consultancy Services

Jobs and salaries may have put on the chopping board but not necessarily across the board. TCS India’s biggest IT firm, chief Rajesh Gopinath implements work from home for his 4 lakh plus employees with no salary cuts and is all set to fill in 40000 openings with new recruits.

Coca Cola

While others are worried about how to get back their businesses on track with the economy and the losses they are facing, India’s favorite drink company decides to hike their employees’ salaries by 7 to 8 percent. With 15 bottling plants around the country, they made clear there would be no pay cuts no-layoff because of sales disturbance caused by COVID-19.

Infosys

They made it very clear that even if new job recruitment or appraisal for the future are frozen the company will still honor those candidates whom they have already rolled an offer letter. They assured they will onboard all their campus hires and stated it as their ‘no-regret move’.

Flipkart

It currently employs 8000 employees but is on the verge of adding more 1200 employees to its technology and engineering team. They have also initiated weekly virtual assimilation sessions across the organization for new hires to induct them into their respective teams.

Virtual Onboarding Process

The documentation part of the employee can be done remotely via emails or web-based platforms. If the company wishes to send their hires welcome materials it should make sure that the safety standards are maintained by the courier service.

Welcome Team Meetings are arranged so that the new hire feels a sense of belonging in the organization. The expectation and the team are also introduced to the new hire and the work culture of the company so that he/she is prepared to bring the best in them, this is how is the HR Managing Hiring During this COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual Training

Training for the new hires is also suggested to be done via the same application which was used for the interview process to maintain the comfort of the employee. The work for the hire, work policy, mentor which used to be done via physical orientation has now shifted to virtual training.

Recruitment Challenges

Employee Engagement

When everyone’s at a distance it can be really challenging for HR to come up with tricks and activities to keep their employees motivated. Keeping your employees motivated and productive can really take a toll on HR.

“Those who are sitting at home without work are more vulnerable to emotional distress and anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to engage them in a positive way,” shares Ravi Mishra, SVP-HR, Grasim Industries, Epoxy Business, Aditya Birla Group.

He himself makes it a point to regularly connect with employees who reside in Germany and Italy, to keep their morale high. A helpline number has been provided to all employees and their families to connect with a doctor as and when needed.

High Volume Hiring

Where some industries have taken a major hit like airlines, travel, the hotel there are some industries that might see a sudden increase in their sector like IT industry, sanitation, healthcare, etc. managing these high volume hiring will be a challenging task for the recruiters.

Rather than seeing this as a challenge, this should be seen more like an opportunity by the Recruiting team. This is where the companies could automate their hiring and recruit by using specialized recruiting software like AviaHire which will streamline and fast track their hiring process this is how is the HR Managing Hiring During this COVID-19 pandemic

Reduction in Recruiting budget

During these times as productivity is affected, the management will definitely cut costs across various departments and also might not allow keeping a wholesome budget for the recruiting and hiring process. So as an HR Manager you need to be efficient to have such software that will be simple to use, effective, and most importantly AFFORDABLE! Look for free trials across platforms and based on your requirement and budget finalize a software.

Changes in HR policies

Remote Work

There are high chances that the work from home could take a long-term shift. This has burdened the IT and the logistics department. HR should be able to provide employees proper real-time collaborative tools like asana, Trello where the manager can assign work to its employees, prioritize the work, set the deadline, etc this is how is the HR Managing Hiring During this COVID-19 pandemic

Also, demands for communication channels, virtual meeting rooms had a boost in the lockdown period. The downloads in the US for Hangout Meet, Houseparty, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom Cloud Meeting app increased by 30 times, 8 times, 11 times, 14 times respectively during the Q4 week of March 15–21, 2020 as that weekly average for Q4 of 2019. These applications can make sure that the employees are using their time efficiently by having a regular check on the status of the project.

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Growth in Downloads of video Conferencing apps. Source: Techcrunch

Leave Policy

Many private companies have shifted to hourly wages or day-wise wages to increase the availability and productivity of your employee, as the study has shown that in this type employees are less likely to take leave. HR should closely manage leave policies based on their market situation to get the most out of their employees.

Benefits

Benefits in the form of family coverage and financial counseling can be fruitful for the employee and the organization. An increase in the medical claims of the employee will let the employee know that the organization cares about him. This will also let him worry a bit less about his family and concentrate more on the work. Financial counseling for those who went through distress in these times.

Yes, the lockdown has taken a toll on the hiring but the recruiter with proper strategies and appropriate technology can turn this challenge into an opportunity. One of the biggest positives with remote work setup is now you have access to the vast remote talent. You can now hire talent which you couldn’t in the past.

With Aviahire’s easy hiring you can source, evaluate, attract and hire top talent at every stage of growth and you can migrate your data from GoogleHire’s system or any other Application Tracking System(ATS) to Aviahire system. Aviahire will provide you with an end to end recruitment solution. It will help you hire qualified candidates faster and seamlessly integrate with Gmail / Business Mail, Calendar, and any other application that the company is currently using.

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Suchismita Panda