One of the things that has become apparent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is that more people can successfully work for an organization from anywhere. While there is still a need to meet in person on occasion, it’s been shown there are plenty of tasks that can be handled just as easily by employees working from home as is in the office.
The implications of that transition, however, are now just being appreciated by hiring managers. Prior to the pandemic, there was always a strong preference for hiring individuals that lived in proximity to an office. They may have worked from home from time to time, but most of the time they were expected to be in the office.
However, once that proximity requirement is removed the size of the candidate pool increases by orders of magnitude. There is now no reason to not consider a job candidate that may live on the other side of the country or, for that matter, the world.
As more organizations start to appreciate that simple fact the way they approach hiring is about to fundamentally change forever. Rather than trying to recruit talent locally, hiring managers now need to think in the same terms a general manager of a professional sports team tends to approach talent management. The next rising star could be anywhere.
Tapping IT Talent
It’s now feasible for IT teams to, for example, recruit IT professionals with critical DevOps skills on entirely different continents, notes Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation.
“We’ve hired some folks for our DevOps teams from South America,” says Seepersad.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins during a recent Cisco Partner Summit Digital event went so far as to note the impact on local economies will be profound because organizations won’t be compelled to move people to geographic regions such as Northern California where the cost of living is much higher.
“We can hire people anywhere,” says Robbins.
That shift will also go a long way to addressing economic inequality if individuals can generate income that flows back into their local community while working for organizations that are many miles away, adds Robbins.
HR’s Role in the Talent Search
That shift is going to require organizations to reengineer most of the human resources (HR) applications they currently employ, says David Somers, general manager of Talent Optimization at Workday.
More employees than ever are also working across different shifts that might not be based on the traditional 9-to-5 working day, adds Somers.
At the same time, contractors are playing a large role as organizations either reduce the number of full-time employees or are forced to furlough staff.
Workday, to make it simpler to manage that modern workforce, just added a Workday Talent Marketplace module specifically designed to enable HR professionals to manage talent based on the skills the organization can collectively tap, says Somers.
“We’re just at the start of this,” adds Somers.
Regardless of what HR application is employed to manage the workforce there will be no going back. The challenge and opportunity now is figuring out how best to optimize a workforce not only during a pandemic, but also for an entirely new era of employment.