COVID-19 has been a harbinger of change and requires us to navigate through the chaos. But it is time to shift gears from reactively awaiting change to proactively building an exit strategy. How can businesses and HR executives redesign their toolkit for the future?
In his keynote at TechHR 2020, Charles Ferguson, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Globalization Partners shared that we are from the bottom line experiencing an environment that it democratizing the playing field for companies from the smallest end of the spectrum to the large MNCs and are navigating pain points that are affecting us in similar ways. Just not because of COVID-19, these volatile conditions have become manifest because of trade, imbalances in powers between superpowers, and challenges due to rising competition. However, we have an unprecedented opportunity to get ahead of this crisis with brand new solutions.
Today the human capital element has been thrust into the dead center of strategy, focus, and planning across every segment of the marketplace. What are the opportunities presenting themselves?
Opportunity #1: Explore and grow
The entire globe has become borderless wrt access to talent and expectations of the market. Particularly the APAC region has become the focal point of a lot of exploration by global MNCs. Back in the 1990s when the Asian financial crisis hit the economies, we had the Asian tigers. Now in 2020 yet again we are in a crisis wherein markets are interdependent on each other a lot in the ASEAN region. SE Asia is beautifully poised to cut out the other side of the crisis in a very commanding position if companies of the region realize that they have a unique opportunity to go out and explore and grow. Companies that have gone digital will emerge successfully, those that realize that technology is to augment people and not to replace people will be able to navigate this crisis.
Opportunity #2: Hire the world
This exploration calls for a talent strategy to hire the world. In a borderless world, you have a unique opportunity, catalyzed by COVID-19, into a global trend- the work from home experience. Hence we are going to operate in a very hybrid environment from here. What this allows for HR is to rethink the organization structure. Now that talent is borderless and organizations require agility and speed to make decisions, how are you going to leverage this global talent pool and find the best talent available? It calls for understanding who you are, how you are going to grow, where you are growing you grow in order to hire and engage remote talent.
Opportunity #3: Safety and speed
One way of going into these newer markets and hire talent with a focus on safety and speed is through the Employer of Record Model which allows you to hire the best talent in an area where you don’t have a presence. Trends point out to greater regulation in hiring local talent, employee rights, accessibility of data, acceleration of e-governance, and the strong need for companies to comply with local regulations. The opportunity is here to enter quickly in countries with robust programs to invite foreign investment and are reskilling talent, as these present great areas of opportunities for your company.
Opportunity #4: Elevating HR
So what does this mean from an HR perspective in terms of people agenda, core HR, in guiding enterprise evolution, and fueling growth?
HR really has to take control of this conversation and drive the change to embrace the great reset. How it can do that is by designing and executing a comprehensive program around upskilling your talent. EQ programs for leadership, revisiting your rewards and recognition programs, digitizing and automating your core platforms, a hybrid approach to staffing, driving diversity, leveraging partnerships to find new talent in new markets, are the ways forward for HR to fuel growth.
Because the companies who choose not to invest at this time in talent acquisition are going to fall behind. Hence you have to act with urgency as it can absolutely be a competitive advantage as you navigate this crisis.