SouthOfMetro.com | 4 Critical Changes in Philippine HR and Recruitment in the Post-COVID World | The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest shared crisis in recent world history. But regardless of when (or even if) things go back to “normal”, life will go on. While the pandemic has doubtlessly devastated businesses throughout the country, Metro Manila job hiring continued, albeit at a slower pace. While many jobs were lost, new opportunities also arose, especially in logistics and related industries.
Even hard-struck businesses such as factories and BPOs continued hiring throughout the extended community quarantine, something that has not been lifted in Metro Manila as of writing. On the other hand, hiring practices had to readjust in light of the ongoing concerns with COVID-19. Chances are HR departments and recruiters everywhere may not be able to go back to the way things were before the pandemic.
Here are some things about HR and recruitment that are likely to change in the world after COVID-19.
1.) More virtual interviews
We may not see the end of face-to-face interactions but we’ll certainly see a lot of job interviews go online. Before the pandemic, some HR and recruitment specialists may see hundreds of people they do not personally know every week, which puts them and the current employees and contractors in the workplace at risk not just from diseases such as COVID-19, but other common illnesses, such as the flu, mumps, chickenpox, measles, and herpes.
While it was rare for final interviews to be conducted online, we might very well see a situation where facilitating the entire interview process through tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts will be commonplace, even for jobs that require an employee’s physical presence.
2.) Higher tech skills will be demanded of job candidates
Even after the pandemic’s threat to public health has passed, we will likely see a great proportion of white-collar jobs permanently turn into work-from-home positions. This won’t just be due to government mandates or a collective attempt to mitigate public health risks. The pandemic has demonstrated to businesses of all sizes that allowing employees to work from home is a viable option for reducing costs and improving productivity as well.
The big caveat is that employees that work from home need to be reasonably adept at technology, particularly in the use of collaborative tools and video conferencing apps. HR and recruitment specialists will likely emphasize knowledge in the use of these apps in their job postings. This means applicants and current employees that are not able to demonstrate sufficient mastery in these will be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to their prospects.
3.) Candidates that can work independently will be more valued
Let’s face it. One big problem with Filipino work culture is that most businesses only claim to value independent thinking and creativity. The typical Filipino office is extremely hierarchical and employees are more or less encouraged to follow only one way of doing things.
This approach may no longer be as viable in a situation where half the people in a team are working from home. Working independently requires — you guessed it — independence. Job applicants, regardless of whether they will be working from home or at an office, will now be more seriously screened to see if they are capable of working without supervision. This means that more than ever, leadership skills and initiative will become more relevant and an advantage, even in non-management roles.
4.) HR departments will have to familiarize themselves with a new set of legal issues
Protecting the safety and well-being of employees is the obligation of every employer. The way different businesses have handled the epidemic has created some questions that may have legal implications. For example — should you let go of someone who refuses to work from home or at the office? What counts as adequate protection in the face of another emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic? Can you compel employees to work in such conditions without providing them hazard pay?
In addition to those questions, HR departments and business owners will have to do their best at interpreting government mandates that may, at times, seemingly conflict with each other. While the COVID-19 pandemic may very well be gone by next year, the legal questions that it created may not be answered definitively in Philippine courts for decades to come.
As in the aftermath of other serious disasters, we as a country will likely move on at surprising speed. However, it would be a very serious mistake for Filipino business owners, HR managers, and recruiters to think that just because there will be a semblance of normalcy after COVID that things will be totally like they were in 2019. There is no turning back. On the other hand, it is now very clear what changes in the HR landscape we should all prepare for.