Impact of Pandemic on recruitment in India
Undoubtedly, the COVID 19 pandemic in India has had a significant negative impact on India’s employment statistics since early 2020. According to report by Statista Research Department, the unemployment rate reached 23.52% during the pandemic. Almost all sectors have been seriously affected as domestic demand and exports have plunged, with significant exceptions such as the IT, Outsourcing, Technology, E-commerce, Pharma, and Health Care sectors, which have seen considerable growth. During the pandemic, the world faces uncertainty in all directions, the economy is collapsing, and all industries suffer, including recruiting. This change has prompted companies to shift their working methods from manual to digital. Fortunately, the technical aspects of remote work are much simpler in today’s world. Google Docs, Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype for communication, as well as cloud-based process management tools like Jira, make life much easier. Moreover, companies are technically prepared and moving at a rapid speed to implement it.
JLL India discovered in its Workers Preference Barometer for India survey that employees would prefer to work two days in the office and three days remotely. Post-COVID, nearly 80% of corporate employees want to work from home at least once a week. According to the survey, employees want more balance in their working patterns, with a hybrid work model and flexibility being fundamental. Although the hybrid work environment retains its attraction, more people want to return to the office at least once a week.
The positive aspect of these methodologies is that many vital decision-makers, hiring managers, and stakeholders are now more available due to travel restrictions that have cleared their schedules, which has ramped up the process and given it momentum. Reliable technology is already known to assist organisations looking to hire. Virtual recruitment is a popular way to keep hiring processes moving while also protecting both recruiters and candidates. While remote working has given many professionals more flexibility to strike a work-life balance, the lockdown has been incredibly beneficial for the female workforce in India. It has encouraged them to stay in their jobs and upskill rather than escape due to various domestic constraints. While many individuals welcomed the idea of working from home because it allowed them to spend more time at home while avoiding the dreaded long hours of commuting in bad traffic and working long hours at their workplace, the celebrations seem to have narrowed down. In fact, for many professionals, WFH has devolved into a terrible nightmare, with a lack of work and home life boundaries and almost no human interaction, contributing to even less motivation to give one’s all at work than when working from the office. It has also been one of the leading causes of depression, anxiety, and stress in recent months. According to the study, 52% of respondents reported worsening mental health since COVID-19, with numerous anecdotes due to stressful home experiences.
Work-from-home has proven feasible and has begun to evolve into work-from-anywhere, thanks to advances in telecommunications and the spread of wi-fi services. As a result, there has been a scramble away from the madding urban sprawl. It has begun to crystallise among India’s wealthy in the form of demand for second homes away from metropolitan areas of residence.
Changes are not easy to make, but the employers and employees both need to adapt to the situations.
Employers’ plans for post-COVID-19 working arrangements.
Many service companies have indicated a willingness to return their employees to the office gradually. However, the expectation is that a hybrid work model will be around in the Indian IT sector for a long time. The companies intend to this model in which some employees will work from offices, and the rest will continue to work from home. However, such decisions would be dependent on the importance of the work, vaccination status, and employee location.
In the post-pandemic workplace, the nature of the workplace, work hours, and norms have differed. Currently, offices tend to be a single, central office block that accommodates every member of staff. However, large companies and businesses are likely to invest in a smaller, high-design headquarters with small offices in multiple towns and cities. Possibly, various offices in different parts of the same city reduce commute time and effort, reduce pollution, and maintain the benefits of technology such as videoconferencing and various other tools for collaboration.
Experts agree that a hybrid approach has tangible and measurable benefits for both the organisation and its employees. They have elaborated on the uses of the new hybrid workspace over an existing traditional office, stating that hybrid workplaces will allow companies to optimise real estate while giving employees the freedom to choose their work setup. Companies will also save at least 50% of their infrastructure costs due to the hybrid working environment that will be in place in the coming months. Some of the other benefits that companies are seeing in their employees include increased productivity, work-life balance. The other key aspect visible is the opportunity to engage a diverse, global, and border-less workforce. In addition, employees who work hybrid have a more positive view of their company and HR team, both in their ability to adapt to the pandemic and specifically address their remote work concerns.
Companies will adapt to the new reality in these challenging circumstances. Still, first and foremost, they should listen to their employees and ensure that their needs and well-being are satisfied to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive future. According to experts, companies will prefer a hybrid work model because of the pandemic and the cost factor.