The first wave of COVID-19 outbreak had caused many businesses to put hiring on hold. In fact, many businesses were forced to retrench their employees in order to stay afloat. For some industries though, it’s business as usual.
The economy has definitely taken a hit. During the first MCO, around 945 individuals were declared bankrupt. It was also reported that 67.8% of businesses generated no income from April 10 to May 1 in 2020. Thousands lost their jobs and many households lost their main sources of income.
Now, Malaysia is undergoing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many businesses, it is impossible to halt their operations the second time around as the economic impact from the first outbreak was too devastating as many hiring managers scramble for better placed workplace and hiring solutions.
Hiring managers faced various new challenges and major work trend changes and had to adapt to these disruptions. It is imperative that HR leaders reevaluate their employee planning, management and strategies during these times. With thorough research and planning, HR leaders could formulate contingency plans that could be the deciding factor that determines if a business survives and keeps on top of its competitors.
With new driving forces at play, not adapting results in reduced acceleration and efficiency of operations for the whole organization that damages productivity and business performance.
There is no better time than now for HR leaders to rethink and restructure their methods of management and formulate an effective strategy to emerge from this pandemic with a resilient workforce, introduced by new modes of operations from HR leaders.
As a recruitment agency in Malaysia for more than a decade, we would like to provide you with our insights and advice that will help hiring managers in Malaysia tackle current challenges faced by HR leaders.
Develop and Incorporate Remote Working Strategies
The technology to facilitate remote working has been around for ages. However, it is not until recently that many organisations are beginning to adapt to this culture with COVID-19 being the primary driving factor. One of the biggest doubts that decision makers have in fully implementing this work culture is the fear of decreased productivity.
This workplace trend is fairly new in Malaysia, therefore it is still too early to come up with a positive correlation between working from home and productivity. Overseas, however, a recent survey done in California stated that workplace productivity increased by 47% since it was implemented.
Addressing Productivity with Flexible Work Arrangements
Prior to the pandemic, Managers and supervisors would have little to no difficulties in gauging employee’s productivity. One could simply walk up to a cubicle or workplace and have a discussion with an employee in an attempt to monitor the employee’s performance. With most of the workforce working remotely, traditional methods to supervise employees may no longer be applicable. As an alternative, it is advised for supervisors and managers to rely on technology to keep the workforce functioning at an optimal level. Technology now allows managers to track employee’s attendance virtually through employee engagement software that is available in the market.
It is also possible to track the employee’s progress by scheduling frequent video catch ups. This measure provides a platform where both managers and employees can report and update progressions on both ends.
Such practice may be considered as a new normal now, however, with long term practice and proven effectiveness, it may be the trend for future workplace trends. Therefore, it is important for decision makers and HR leaders to prepare for the possibility that this trend will be the way businesses will operate in the future. Therefore, it is advisable for managers to keep an eye out for new technologies and always be prepared to adapt to new ones.
Constantly Strengthen And Improve Workplace Strategies
One question that hiring managers are considering right now, “Is remote working going to take over the current workplace trend or will the traditional working methods assume after the pandemic?”
A sensible approach that one could take is simply to prepare for every possibility and keep an open mind. As of now, it is best to include the possibility that many businesses will have to rely on remote working to continue operations even some time into the future. It is also possible that workplaces will assume the traditional operating model after the pandemic blew over. Or perhaps a hybrid working place is what keeps a workforce productive.
Either way, all things must be put into consideration while formulating a cohesive workplace strategy for businesses.
Current Hiring Trends
Making Contingent Workers A Part of Your Strategy
Economic uncertainty has led many businesses to cut down portions of their workforce. It has also left many hiring managers to explore new hiring models in order to stay ahead of the curve. Currently, companies in Malaysia are hiring contingent workers in the form of contract employees. The digital shift in the economy has created gaps in many businesses as they attempt to continue operations by adapting to the digital transformation. As a result, many hiring managers would have to go through the dilemma of hiring IT professionals while trying to keep company spending at a minimum. Consequently, it is best for companies to hire contract employees at the moment as it keeps employers from bearing any possible risks in the future.
Recruiting International Employees Will Be Time Consuming
Sourcing for candidates from overseas may be a tedious effort that would take a longer time to execute as the Malaysian borders will not likely lift anytime soon. The whole process may even be more complicated and costly if compared to pre-covid time as employees from overseas may have to go through tests and quarantines that will have to be expensed by employers. Aside from that, there will be new rules and regulations that will delay the whole process of recruiting international employees.
Upskilling and Reskilling Current Employees
As a HR specialist, BGC Malaysia often advises its client employers to take the effort to upskill and reskill existing employees. The significance of upskilling and reskilling employees is more important than ever as it would help businesses fill in the gaps in their workforce without having to source for international employees. Reskilling efforts would also enable employees to function in roles that are adjacent to their work.
Workplace and Hiring Trends In A Nutshell
Adapting to the changes in workplace trends is a key element that will decide the future of an organization. Hiring managers must take many factors into consideration while formulating effective employee planning and management strategies.
Should you need help on any HR related issues, do not hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help you. From sourcing of executive talents to contract staffing management, BGC Malaysia is able to provide you well-thought out solutions to your every HR need!