For most members the year 2021 was a successful one, and it was also an opportunity for many of us to rethink.
What’s the situation in India, the USA or Spain like, after almost two years of the pandemic?
Bipashit Bose, India: The lockdown at the onset of the pandemic brought the economy and the labor market to a complete standstill. In the second half of 2020, some large companies cautiously started hiring again while others used the pandemic to lay off non-performers. Schools were closed and bringing up children is a woman’s business in India, so many women were forced to quit their jobs. Now that business has picked up again, these often highly educated women are being hired by growing IT and technology companies, the same ones that suffered from a shortage of skilled workers before Corona. And the state infrastructure program is expected to create jobs too.
Bernard van der Lande, USA: In the first half of 2020 we had 40 per cent fewer placements as most firms were just waiting to see what would happen. The first vaccines in the fall of 2020 changed all that and in the meantime, we are really busy again and there are plenty of unfilled positions. The problem now is, however, potential candidates are reluctant to switch jobs at this stage.
How did Corona restrictions change the world of recruiting?
Bernard: Hugely! In the US, we usually find potential clients and candidates through networking and at events, and these are still not really happening. And with online candidate interviews you just don’t get the same impression of a person as you do in a face-to-face meeting. So meanwhile I’ve taken to meeting candidates in the park so we can get to know each other while out walking.
Bipaschit: Yes, also in India it’s still difficult to meet people. For jobs below first management level candidate selection is done exclusively via video. Companies are hiring people without ever having seen them in person. Only in top management is the final meeting face-to-face.
Monica: In Spain everything was done via video during the lockdowns and now we are using a combination of online interviews and personal meetings, where we wear masks. I’m not sure which is better because the mask makes it hard to read facial expressions.
Will things return to normal once the pandemic subsides?
Bernard: In the US around 40 percent of the population is still not fully vaccinated. Worldwide, the percentage is much higher. The pandemic is going to be with us for a long time yet.
Bipaschit: Yes, and with all consequences for corporate and HR management. The problem is, how do you communicate corporate culture and values when people are not present in person, and face-to-face encounters are not even possible? How can “remote performance” be monitored and assessed, and how far does trust reach? How do you motivate employees who are working exclusively from home? It’s difficult to show real empathy online only. What we expect from our managers and HR specialists will change fundamentally as the pandemic continues.
Dr. Matthias Rode is the Regional Director EMEA of AGILIUM Worldwide and your main contact in Germany: For any questions please contact him directly.
Founded in 1984, Agilium Worldwide LLC is an international executive search group of independent, owner-managed retained executive search firms, with members who are active in virtually every market. Agilium Worldwide ranks among the world’s top 25 executive search organizations.
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Verfasst von: Agilium Worldwide