The Changing Face of Employee Retention & Management in a Post-COVID Marketplace


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While some people have been able to return to normal office hours, a majority of professionals in the workforce are still dealing with the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, remote work has become the new normal and that’s making it difficult for companies to attract new job candidates, especially if they offer them a physical work environment.

In some cases, managers have found it difficult to hold onto their own talented employees. According to one study conducted by LinkedIn Data, 96 percent of talent professionals now claim that their employee’s experience is of vital importance when framing their future recruiting operations. Having the right kind of strategy can help to drive employee engagement, which in turn can help managers keep skilled members of their staff on hand for a longer period of time.

Recruiting new individuals, however, remains rather challenging for many organizations.

Bringing New Hires to the Negotiating Table in a Pandemic

Managers have by and large had to sacrifice their physical negotiating tables since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. Many of them have hoped that once things started to clear up they’d be free to meet with prospects all over again. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened in many situations.

Even if someone develops an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus, it’s likely that a large number of prospective employees will still prefer to conduct interviews online. Negotiating in a post COVID-19 world won’t be like anything that came before it. Some people are likely to still be concerned about the possibility of catching some sort of infection years after the current pandemic is done with, which will help to ensure that people will continue to prefer online interactions for years to come.

Perhaps an even more statistically significant percentage of the potential labor market has already gotten used to the idea of working from home. Numerous workers in a variety of industries experienced a degree of difficulty when their employers first switched over to remote work during the initial phases of quarantine. Now, however, many of these same staffers are used to the concept of doing everything online so it has become somewhat unlikely that they’ll want to transition back into a traditional office space.

Creative HR department staffers are taking the opportunity to learn a bit more about the right way to negotiate with people online as a result. Instead of asking for traditional resumes they’ve integrated their hiring policies with common online profile accounts that many people might already have. Those who still prefer something of a more personal touch are using video services to negotiate with individuals online. Some companies have gone so far as to hire executives who do nothing but lead the remote work experience on a professional basis.

Nevertheless, the biggest challenges are still to those who would prefer to fight against employee attrition by maintaining their current roster of trained individuals.

Holding onto Your Employees After the Pandemic

Managers are quickly learning that they don’t want to sever ties with skilled employees even if they’re in the process of terminating their contracts. Organizations that have to lay people off will often find it difficult to bring personnel back once their economic situation improves. Firms that offer decent severance packages and extended health insurance continuations have been among those most prepared to deal with the situation. As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic completely clears up, these firms might do better than the general market average because they’ll be able to bring back staffers they once had to let go. Many of these concerns mirror those experienced by retailers who have to redefine their customer service practices in order to meet the needs of a rapidly changing marketplace.

Companies that haven’t had to lay anyone off might still run into some difficulties, however. For instance, remote workers are suddenly able to switch their jobs more easily than they could at any other point in their careers. They’re relatively free to seek out a new employer from the comfort of their couch while they’re doing their current job. While individuals working in a physical environment might not have the freedom to do this, there’s no reason why a person couldn’t be constantly engaged in a never-ending job search when working from home. A few individuals struggling with their existing pay levels might even decide to engage in the virtual equivalent of moonlighting.

That provides an even more unique challenge for those attempting to retain the personnel that they’ve taken the time to train.

Retaining Personnel in a Digital Economy

Some economists are referring to our current era as the time of an experience-based economy. While this normally refers to the way companies are expected to treat their clients in the post-COVID era, it’s also an important concept for those attempting to retain their existing personnel rosters.

Managers have to make sure that their employees have a good experience in the workplace, even if they work exclusively from home. It can be surprisingly easy to overwork remote personnel, partly due to the fact that you can’t immediately gauge feedback to a person’s current workload if they’re not located on the same campus as you.

Paying close attention to any feedback an individual staffer may give is of paramount importance. Managers who take the time to properly judge how well their staff is treated will have much better odds of holding onto it.

Philip Piletic
I have several years of experience in marketing and startups, and regularly contribute to a number of online platforms related to technology, marketing and small business. I closely follow how Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud and other rising technologies grew to shape our everyday lives. Currently working as managing editor for a UK tech site.


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