COVID-19 and E-hiring: Preparing for now, next and beyond


By Rohit Thakur

A ‘work day’ in the life of a company and employee has gone through a complete transformation in the last few months. Effects of the new normal are visible & tangible across organisations. Hurriedly companies have come up with business continuity plans and moved from the office to a work from home setup, something which for many firms was unthinkable before the virus struck the world.

The cascading effect of the pandemic has changed the way companies conduct their hiring process. While the transformation has been sudden the ones who are resilient have found opportunities in these adversities. Realising that work from home is viable for most organisations and their human resource teams have adapted their hiring processes as well. It has opened doors to endless possibilities making hiring more flexible than ever.

Now that physical presence in the office is not one of the primary requirements, talent acquisition for organisations has become more flexible than ever. Talent management strategy has become agile with a new set of processes and procedures that attract, onboard prospective candidates to achieve the strategic objectives and key results.

Resilient HR teams have introduced new processes in the way they recruit so that it could be compatible with the demands of the new social distancing norms, and at the same time is in line with their strict selection process. Over the last several months, thousands of professionals have been inducted and virtually onboarded. Technology is playing a key role in the hiring process.

However, working virtually does come with its set of challenges. The hiring process of any company however large or small is a very personal process. While the initial call to a candidate is based on their professional and educational background the actual hiring process only begins after the HR meets the candidate. It is all about getting to know the individual, analysing how they react to the conversation, their body language among other things. For a candidate, it is important to get the first impression of the office space, if they like the facilities, the common areas, even the canteen so that they can be more comfortable committing themselves to the organisation. Also finding talent in bulk which is mostly based on walk-ins has become next to impossible.

Not only hiring, but there has also been a shift in the way appraisal processes are being done. It has become even more targeted on outcomes with a huge focus on measuring productivity. Agility in responsiveness and anchoring on values are also going to get even more critical as performance traits.

Communication of feedback between managers and employees has become more important than ever. Employees expect more transparency in the rating/assessment process as it helps then understand where they stand. This has become important keeping in mind that in-person interaction with employees has not happened over the past 6 months. Some of the critical ingredients in the appraisal process must include, holistic communication of performance, multi-stakeholder feedback, transparency of outcomes, and clear differentiation in performance spectrums via the performance management system.

The author is the CHRO at Paytm .



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