We are experiencing and growing accustomed to new ways of working. We no longer have traditional “workplaces”. We work from home, work under restricted conditions or sadly for many, not working at all.
In my case, along with the other HRM Practices around the country, we arrived in after St. Patrick’s Day and went home with technology packs. Meetings with customers, candidates and colleagues are now taking place through apps I had never previously used. Our own personal digital transformation. Stalled images and lost sound having initially sent meetings into a spasm, now go unremarked upon. The Covid period with all its terrible loss continues to surprise. The pace of occupational adaptation a case in point. One day we are going back but we are never really going back.
With our Selection, Research and Support Teams all working remotely we redesigned our organisation and roles. Where engagement in a culture supporting activity such as our Social, Wellness, CSR or Business Process Teams were previously encouraged, they are now required. We now bring our own breakfasts to weekly Townhalls, as these valued meetings continue online. Social connectedness is driven through daily events, our days start with team morning calls to see how we can support customer aims. Our weeks are punctuated with check-in calls, because these are challenging times for all.
Our most important innovation has been the development of our Business Critical Hiring solution. Many of our customers work in Pharmaceutical, MedTech, Biotech, Technology Services and Food sectors and shared concerns about making hiring decisions against the restriction backdrop. Normal hiring processes could not be facilitated, meaning stakeholder input was limited and assessment depth reduced. However, critical hires could not be put off and they feared a tsunami of competition for these skillsets when an end to restrictions was flagged. In my own Practice, this was particularly evident in the strategic end to end Supply Chain and Enterprise Technology leadership roles. Roles that business continuity and adaptation depend on.
We noticed customers were nervous about decision making due to social distancing restrictions, citing the absence of face to face interviews. Though hiring errors are not acceptable for any role, in a Business Critical position the consequences of poor decision making are amplified and the firms we work with needed greater security and assurance.
In response, we adapted our Professional Search solution to build an innovative and unique “decision support programme” that is customised to every client. This research backed solution builds a detailed understanding of a customer’s need and context. It forms the basis not just of our talent goal, but also how we shape the CX to create even more value for customers. With firms whom we have delivered a number of these programmes to, the symbiosis is even greater. As our understanding of informal cultural elements grows, our soft skill evaluation gives comfort when face to faces are not possible. Increased sharing of key information to both stakeholders builds engagement and trust in the process. New layers of assessment and engagement throughout the process, combined with additional assurance commitments make this a truly unique in sector, value proposition. As we are all in challenging times, the solution cost has been reduced and fixed fees introduced.
We have now rolled this out to customers in other sectors and observe, that notwithstanding the continued need for restrictions and distancing, the level of collaboration and engagement this solution generates, brings us closer to customers than at any previous time. Stay safe and stay well.