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While the global pandemic has been a challenging time for all, we’ve seen the most forward-thinking companies learn and adapt to create a competitive advantage. 

In the period of June and July compared to April and May, Omni has seen a 109 per cent increase in the number of new roles released for hire. Such activity directly correlates with the speed in which organisations were able to adapt to what’s been widely coined as the ‘new normal’.

Adversity = Opportunity

Rather than resist, the most pioneering companies accept that change is not only inevitable but can provide significant opportunities to develop and grow. When it became clear that remote working was set to become a permanent fixture, we witnessed businesses get to work investing in the right technologies and people. Our clients started onboarding specialist IT network roles to support their home workers and ensure robust systems and information security protocols were in place from the outset. 

Business agility has also come to the fore, with companies acknowledging the critical need to be nimble in all areas. When it comes to talent management, they are increasingly looking for a resourcing service that will ebb and flow with the needs of the business and in line with external factors. As a direct result, we’ve seen a surge in demand for our Project Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) service to support in-house teams currently on furlough or help businesses scale sharply due to high-demand roles. 

The most progressive businesses understand that RPO doesn’t mean outsourcing all aspects of talent management. Instead, it involves external specialists working alongside in-house teams to bring in additional resourcing and downscaling expertise when required. In fact, one of our clients refers to Omni as their ‘augmentation partner’ as we help them bridge gaps where and when necessary across a variety of resourcing related tasks from attraction to onboarding. 

Of course, there’s always been a need for such a service, but the pandemic has reinforced the requirement for seamless transitions in the face of unprecedented change and disruption. Consequently, leaders and hiring managers are seeking a proactive and high-performing resourcing function that’s not only flexible but can provide a fresh pair of eyes to the business and work alongside internal teams to identify continuous areas of improvement. 

Additionally, we’ve been working with both RPO and nonRPO clients to upskill internal teams in various aspects of talent management, such as direct sourcing and talent pooling, to help them become more proactive. As resourcing functions have been traditionally reactive, it’s been encouraging to see them embrace this dynamic methodology, recruiting skills required for the business they plan to be in future by investing the time and resources in upskilling teams today. 

What’s on the horizon? 

The shifts in talent resourcing and management we’ve seen so far are just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to the future, I predict three significant shifts: 

1. Contingency workers

The use of contingency labour will be used more strategically (and less reactively) to build both agility and resilience into the workforce planning. We are also likely to see significant growth in the use of Statement of Works as employers seek to align cost with output and key deliverables within set timescales. With IR35 changes coming into effect in April 2021, we’re also likely to see more PAYE contractors joining businesses on a long-term basis, rather than just for project work. 

2. Bolstered Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategies

Mckinsey reported that D&I is a powerful enabler for business performance and that companies who welcome diverse talent are likely to emerge from the crisis faster and stronger. Indeed, with employees from diverse backgrounds bringing a fresh perspective, enhanced creativity, and, in turn, more effective decision-making, businesses demanding an agile and forward-thinking workforce will undoubtedly give D&I strategies the attention they deserve.  

3. Talent sharing 

While talent transition and outplacement services go a long way in supporting employees and helping them to move on, more could be done to prevent redundancy in the first place. One solution would see employers in the same or similar industry and sector team up to set up a talent sharing initiative that enables employees to move between businesses in line with demand. Not only does this offer greater job security and increased learning opportunities for employees, but it also means that organisations will develop, nurture and retain much-needed sector talent. It’s an area of talent management that Omni is passionate about and we’re exploring ways in which we can facilitate such initiatives with our client base. 

Those businesses able to respond quickly to the global pandemic, whether by flexing up their in-demand workforce or transitioning employees to remote working, will ultimately come out of this situation stronger. Of course, changes to strategies and processes will take longer to establish, but the right attitude and approach today will benefit businesses tomorrow and long into the future.