What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Staffing in Technology and Creative Jobs?

7 Lessons to Help Businesses Hire More Effectively in the ‘New Normal’

As the pandemic crisis recedes, many businesses are struggling to hire and retain talented employees for technical jobs and creative roles. At least in part, this is because the disparities between what is important to employees and what employers offer have had the spotlight thrown upon them.

What lessons must employers learn from the pandemic, if they are to win the war for talent? How can hiring companies approach staffing to ensure they remain competitive, attractive to talented job candidates, and improve employee retention?

Lesson #1: Employees Can Work Remotely

The transition to remote working had begun before the pandemic forced organizations to accelerate this change.

Many businesses that had never contemplated their employees to work from home suddenly found themselves with a remote workforce. They also found that it can work – provided you have the right technology, tools, and employees.

Workers found that they enjoy working from home. Especially the autonomy it gives and the opportunity to create their own work/life balance. Loyal and innovative employees naturally find more creative ways to do their jobs more efficiently.

Lesson #2: The Office Is Not Dead Yet

While employees have shown they can be at least as productive when working from home, we’ve also learned that they miss personal interaction with colleagues. There are some great tools to help boost collaboration and communication within teams, but these cannot wholly replace the social side of work – whether this is a ‘pizza meeting’, a chat by the water cooler, or a brief afterwork drink.

Lesson #3: The Hybrid Workplace May Be the ‘New Normal’ of Work

Combining these first two lessons, employers should consider the shift to a hybrid workplace, where the dual benefits of working from home and working in the office are maximized. Employers who adopt this type of workplace should focus on hiring candidates with the skill sets that allow them to be successful in both environments.

In short, organizations must consider what technical and creative jobs will look like in the new normal.

Lesson #4: Adaptability in Staffing Is Key to Success in Business

One of the key lessons is that nothing can be taken for granted. The pandemic has shown us that the world of work can turn on a dime. It’s crucial to be adaptable in the marketplace, and this includes in how organizations staff their teams.

To avoid the damage of long-term closures and short/long-term absences (such as those caused by illness, and, indeed, the Great Resignation), organizations who have access to an adaptable and flexible workforce are more likely to be resilient to enforced change.

Lesson #5: To Win the War for Talent, Be Purposeful and Value-Led

Employees – even those you regard as the most loyal – now seek more from work than they did before the pandemic changed how they worked. This is the core factor behind the Great Resignation.

People have learned more about themselves and what makes them happy. They wish to work for employers that deliver to their values and provide a purpose to work. This isn’t only about delivering a better work/life balance or higher salaries. It goes far deeper.

While it’s crucial to pay competitive compensation, and to allow some tailoring of benefits wherever possible, it’s also more critical than ever to highlight your corporate culture, and how your organization measures up in practices such as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Lesson #6: Developing a Talent Pool Is Mission Critical

The skills shortage is not new. We’ve been talking about it for decades. Despite this continuous conversation, the skills shortage has deepened. Without the skills on board, an organization will become less innovative, less competitive, and less productive. As customers shift their allegiance and their spending, organizations with lower-skilled staffing become less desirable to the most talented candidates. It’s a vicious downward cycle.

To combat this, it is essential to develop a talent pool. But it takes time to improve the quality of existing staff through targeted training and development strategies. It also takes time and continual effort to develop talent pools by networking and staying in touch with previously unsuccessful job candidates. Some businesses are finding a modicum of success by implementing employee referral programs, but even these are proving tough to motivate.

Partnering with specialist staffing agencies can help your business to overcome these roadblocks. Such a partnership provides many benefits, including access to wider and deeper talent pools, as well as fast and efficient staffing solutions to close gaps should an employee quit.

Lesson #7: Look Beyond Local When Hiring

Successful organizations who struggle to fill their key roles locally, because of the constriction of the local talent pool, have learned to look further afield.

As the advantages of remote working have become clear to both employees and employers, one of the benefits to employers is that they can now employ a global search and select strategy.

Of course, the employer must adapt to this type of employee, and it will be necessary to demonstrate a welcoming corporate culture. However, by taking steps to connect with talent from further afield, an organization can hire the very best talent – whether in permanent remote roles or contract roles. As a by-product of this, the employer can use the remote employee to enhance the quality of their own team, not only with the skills they bring to the table, but also by transferring their knowledge and experience to existing employees.

The Bottom Line

As we recover from the trauma of the last two years, the success of a business will depend on the quality of its staff. There is no doubt that talented employees want more from work today, and they are prepared to quit to find what they desire.

However, there is also a huge opportunity for businesses to improve their workforces. To do so, it’s crucial to think differently about staffing.

The organizations that are successful at attracting, hiring, and retaining talent in technical and creative jobs will be those who act more flexibly, personalize jobs, and create a flexible staffing strategy that makes them more resilient in an uncertain economy and a candidate-driven labor market.

To learn how we are helping our clients to navigate the rapidly changing ‘new normal’, contact TECHEAD today.

Get In Touch With Us Today