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Post pandemic employment

Posted by Flux on 

3 May 2022

What’s trending?
During the pandemic, companies and employees had to adapt to new ways of working, most notably a shift to working from home. “We saw other types of competencies and questions become more emphasised—things that have to do with how much work ethic you have; how conscientious you are; how comfortable you are working independently,” says Eric Sydell, executive vice president at Modern Hire. Some of that remains, but now that employees are returning to the office in a post pandemic landscape, employment is undergoing a change once again. Companies have new concerns and priorities. Interview questions are changing to include vaccination status, communication skills, essential in hybrid workplaces, and the preference and needs of employees. What employees are requiring is also shifting. Some of these include wellness, work flexibility and childcare benefits.

Why is it important?
These changes are indicative of a shift of power from employers to employees. The pandemic precipitated a re-evaluation of priorities which led to The Great Resignation. Worker shortages in many sectors in the Western world are now putting pressure on employers to listen to the needs of their workforce. Doing so is an important way of retaining staff or recruiting new talent. Benefits are a priority. A survey by Prudential Insurance found that 52% of employees surveyed would leave their job for one with the “right” benefits. 77% said benefits are a “key part of their compensation”. In South Africa, where unemployment is high, this trend may not hold true for the majority of employees. But for knowledge workers, this trend applies.  

What can businesses do about it?
Businesses are advised to listen to the needs of their employees through anonymous surveys or through one-on-one engagements with them, for example. Workers feel more empowered than in the past and will quite likely be vocal about what they need as long as someone is listening and taking them seriously. This feedback can be used to improve the list of benefits for employees and as a tool to retain and attract the right talent. HR departments need to be trained to deal with this shifting mindset of employees. 

By Faeeza Khan

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