The pandemic has brought forth an unprecedented unemployment crisis and talent acquisition companies find themselves at the center of the chaos.
Among them is Talent21, one of India’s fastest growing Executive Search organization with operations in India, Singapore, USA and UAE. As we move towards unlocking the economy again, Gurinderpal Singh, President & CEO and Founder of TMSS Talent21 talks about how the term human resources (HR) will evolve in the future.
Q: How has Talent21 dealt with the challenge of the imposition of social distancing norms globally?
While it’s a tough time for all, emotionally as well as professionally, there is always a solution to every problem. Since social distancing is of utmost importance in today’s scenario. As an organization, Talent21 took the following steps:
- From day 1 of the lockdown, we gave work from home (WFH) to the entire team.
- Our inhouse ATS helped us keep the business as usual from a delivery standpoint, even though we all were working remotely.
- We had online sessions with the team on physical health and mental health wherein we roped in experts who can help our team members and their family members.
- We conducted online recreational activities like musical events for the team members.
Now, since Unlock 1.0 was implemented, we are operating with 30% capacity wherein team members come to the office as per their scheduled time. All the necessary arrangements have been made to maintain the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed hygiene protocol.
Q: How have the global economic lockdowns have impacted you?
In today’s scenario, I don’t think there’s anyone who is not affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. I personally think that the months of April and May were sustainable due to the momentum of previous months for most businesses. But this quarter will need work.
Nevertheless, even though businesses are down, there is a zeal to bounce back in each and every person, in the society and business, which I believe will take us out of this crisis much earlier than expected.
The many collaborative and progressive steps taken by the authorities and business houses will show results.
Q: What innovative steps should businesses take to overcome this unprecedented challenge?
‘Collaboration, Connect and Inclusive Growth’ strategies will work. While people try to use ICT etc. for connect, there are a lot of areas wherein physically people have to be present. In such cases, organizations and people have to be more sensitive towards each other.
Having said that, I see a lot of innovative thoughts running around to reduce human dependency. At the same time, unless innovation takes the entire society under consideration, things will not work. Some immediate steps for all organizations would be:
- Innovative steps required from the Human Capital angle
- More hygienic workplaces, better facilitated for employees
- Investment on people’s mental and physical health is required
- HR policies should be to enable human resources for better productivity, rather than being just a compliance factor.
Q: How do you see Coronavirus affecting the talent acquisition sector in the long term?
In the coming days, demand will certainly rise in the market. Most importantly, Talent Acquisition organizations have to play the role of career advisor to the individual and growth advisor to the organization. For those firms that fail to evolve and remain only into supplying profiles, space will reduce gradually.
“Talent Acquisition organizations have to step up and play the role of an enabler rather than just a provider.”Gurinderpal Singh, President & CEO and Founder of TMSS Talent21
Q:From the recruiter perspective, what are the biggest challenges in future hiring?
Generating real demand will be the most important challenge —validating appropriate profiles will be vital, since, with unemployment peaking, many job aspirants will start making fake profiles out of desperation, just to grab a job.
With greater supply than ever before, we need a more detailed screening process.
For recruitment organizations, they need to reduce their fixed cost since clients will reduce the service charges. Recruiters have to be effective and productive, else the post-pandemic era is no place for them.
Q: Finally, with the talent market today overloaded with aspirants. What’s your advice for professionals looking for jobs in the post-pandemic era?
Jobs will be there for the deserving candidates. Both organizations and candidates need to come to terms on the salaries. Higher the cost, high the risk. Candidates have to set their expectations right and look for long term gains rather than immediate lucrative returns. At the same time, organizations also should not look for an immediate fix. Rather, they need to invest at the university level to build a pipeline for themselves. As far as lateral operations are concerned – reduce managerial positions and increase the delivery team.
Job seekers should project themselves as solution providers to the employer, rather than just salary seekers. People have to work on their productivity and increase their capabilities. They should work on becoming flexible to play multiple roles, which essentially is going to be the norm moving forward.