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COVID-19 has deeply stirred and shaken up the roots of everything that we knew once, throwing businesses, the people, and their innate beliefs in a chaotic state of what we are calling the ‘new normal’. A far cry from the normal that existed before, the new world order brings with it a plethora of challenges for businesses to operate in the already intensively competitive market.

The most critical implication of the new normal comes for the HR managers and the leaders of the company, desperately calling for a rapid and effective transformation in talent management and leadership strategies.

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What will be the fate of the remote working scenario? How crucial is the role of AI and bots for effective workforce planning? How can the HR managers devise and implement better policies in the new normal?

Along with addressing many of such concerns, this blog will also highlight the key considerations for the HR team to undertake while developing post-COVID talent management strategies.

Taking the big decisions

Number 1: Continue work from home or return to the office?

41% of employees are likely to work remotely at least some of the time post the pandemic.”

Gartner’s HR survey has clearly depicted that most organizations, especially the larger ones are likely to continue the work from home (WFH) model.

The pandemic led to an overnight shift from office working environment to remote working, leading the companies to discover the new way of managing work that they never knew could function so well. A Deloitte study showcased that 85% of the leaders said, “agility of their workforce to cope and adapt to the new ways of working is the one thing that surprised them the most.”

So, is it wise to return to office when people have become used to operating from the comforts of their homes?

HR teams will have to carefully base their decision of resuming office or continuing WFH on factors like the type, scale, and size of the business operations, the level of cloud adoption, the employee resilience, and their zest to reskill and upskill, etc.

Apart from this, employee productivity and data security will be the driving variables to arrive at the most favorable solution.

Number 2: Permanent or contractual gig workers?

Pandemic has led the HR departments to take some stern decisions regarding the size of their workforce, forcing them to cut jobs and roles to minimize the operational costs and stay afloat amid the tough times.

In the times when every company is looking to fetch maximum output in minimum costs and is mostly operating in a remote environment, contract-based jobs have seen a tremendous boom, instilling back the organizations’ confidence in outsourcing.

Moving forward, the HR teams will now need to develop a more planned and structured strategy, defining the job roles, their criticality, the spot in the job hierarchy, and other such aspects to gain a clear understanding of the jobs that require permanent, loyal workforce and those that can be easily outsourced.

Prerequisites to developing a future-proof, flexible strategy

Before the leaders and the HR and talent managers begin to realign their strategy to fit the new normal, they need to unlearn a few beliefs that worked in the pre-COVID era but are kind of obsolete now and start embracing the new ones.

Below we discuss a few things that the leaders will need to consider before they build a refreshed talent management strategy for the better times ahead:

  • Identifying potential areas that can be improved using a new approach, new technology, or automation.
  • Analyzing the company’s position in the digitalization journey and its effectiveness in adopting the same.
  • Assessing the type of talent needed across all functions and departments to add value, both internally and externally.
  • Focusing on building a more flexible, agile talent management model that is adaptable and resilient to any unforeseen circumstances.
  • Rebooting the work scope, work description, performance rewards and management, hiring practices, etc.
  • Striving to build more empathetic and productive work environments for employees to attain their organizational, career, and personal objectives better.

Three Critical Areas to Focus

Talent management in the new normal will be significantly shaped by the decisions and transformations that take place in three areas – automation, reskilling and upskilling, and navigating remote work in the light of security and autonomous operations.

Let us discuss each one of them in detail:

Automation

Any and all things within the organization that is repetitive and requires a step-based approach should be done by AI tools and bots. Automation will play a key role in talent management strategies, allowing the managers to make better decisions based on the organization’s capacity and willingness to adopt AI technologies. AI can also prove to be a blessing for companies with complex yet repetitive functions requiring huge manpower as they can drastically reduce operational costs with the right bots and automated tools in place

Reskilling and upskilling

As digital transformation, moving to cloud systems and adopting more advanced IT technologies to function become a necessity rather than a choice, individuals and managers need to continuously and rigorously undertake upskill training of self and team to make themselves more efficient and productive with the new, hyper-digital working environments. Reskilling the existing talent will be equally necessary for fungible skills and for more cognitive-based job roles as AI takes over the mundane jobs.

In short, the talent managers will need to imbibe the culture of continuous learning across everyone in the team in order to help them stay relevant and climb up the ladder in a more meaningful and fulfilling manner.

Navigating remote work environment

If the organization is sticking to the WFH model for the time being, the HR managers will need to build better policies and strategies to make remote working more productive, resilient, secured, and autonomous for better outcomes. They will need to strike a balance between being empathetic to the employees’ challenges of working from home and driving them to be equally productive like in the office. Another major focus of the managers should be to inculcate a sense of responsibility along with authority and flexibility to become efficient decision-makers, helping the leaders to shift to more autonomous modes of operations.

The Road Ahead

Preparing for the future, the organizations and the talent managers need to brace themselves for new challenges along the way. Talent management in the coming time will require managers to rethink their normal work ways and nurture more personalized, meaningful ways of retaining the top talent while simultaneously embracing the power of AI as well as contractual gig workers.

Maveric have re-designed the Talent Management function to nurture young talents, enrich individual’s technical and functional skills and to meet future skill demands. We call it as hire and nurture program, where we recruit and groom fresh talent and provide them with rigorous training on business fundamentals, functional and technical competencies apart from soft skills. Post which, we put them in pseudo projects and closely monitor their performance and problem solving skills before we deploy them in live client projects.

As part of our 2025 growth mission, we are looking to hire across our multiple operating geographies. Our India based offices would account for the maximum new hiring, these include our regular office locations in Chennai and Bengaluru, along with Pune as our next destination. Most of these hiring have already started across our various businesses such as data, digital, core banking (Temenos) and quality engineering. You can be a part of our family and #acceleratenext your career with us.

 

Article by

Rajesh Vasudevan

Vice President and Client Partner