The Three (3) Key HR Processes COVID WiIl Transform

As bleak as much of the news has been with the pandemic, there are signs that the “post-covid” reality that businesses and HR departments are going to have to adjust to, is getting closer. The discussion in last week’s “Future of Work” Mastermind Roundtable was led by special guest Carolina Jacob, HR Lead at OpenZeppelin in Argentina. The group focused on three (3) key areas of Human Resources (HR) that might look a lot different when the “new normal” sets in and organizations begin to operate at near capacity again: Hiring & On-boarding, Training & Development and Performance Management.

Hiring and Onboarding Processes

When the “new normal” arrives, HR managers can expect a large influx of new applicants to go along with what may also be a different org chart. Efficiently sorting through all those applicants and then virtually onboarding the new hires will be a top priority. International D&I expert, Caroline Vaquette, suggested tools such as HireVue which is “more effective than just sorting through resumes” may be helpful. "I had a personal experience of joining a new team during the lockdown and everything went well. I think it's easier for people who have already worked remotely. Do not hesitate to ask for one-on-ones to get to know the team and create working relationships with colleagues,” she added. 

Susan Burnett, senior executive and CEO of “Designing Your Life” shared that provides bite-size daily learnings each day and is used by GAP and others to accelerate onboarding in a virtual environment. The group also agreed that leadership consistency, and having all departments mentally “on the same page” will be more important than ever. Joe Bosch, long-time HR executive and human capital management expert, pointed out that “it’s critical for companies to codify the key success factors in the organization, and for the hiring managers to stay consistent with these and reinforce them.” Sandy Harvey, Chief Human Resources Strategist, added, "Lack of emotional intelligence is magnified due to COVID. Managers need help with actionable tools to help them succeed."

Training and Development Processes

The initial post-covid return to work period will see many companies struggling with cash flow, and focused on bottom line results. So most won’t have the luxury of extra budget dollars to spend on training that feels good but doesn’t produce measurable outcomes. As Joe Bosch put it: “In light of the severe economic strain on many companies, I expect to see pretty ruthless cuts in training. While soft skills will continue to be important, all training needs to be reframed with a laser focus on measurement, evidence of behavior change and a showing of immediate, preferably economic, benefits.” 

The very concept of organizational “training” in general is likely to be overhauled as several Mastermind members gave examples of companies cancelling “training retreats” and the often grueling, one-time “team building events” in favor of a hybrid of frequent and hyper-focused virtual and in-person training concepts. As disruptive as this all sounds, in the long run, agile companies who embrace these changes are likely to see new hires and current employees achieving their learning and development goals quicker than ever, due to better virtual onboarding and training tools, that also happen to be less expensive than traditional training programs, company-wide “retreats” or “exercises.” 

Performance Management Processes

Guest speaker Carolina Jacob reported that managers are currently talking less about performance goals with employees and more about stress and burn-out. While there may be resistance from managers to revisit the performance goals at this time, it is critically important. Employees need to be reassured about what has changed, where they fit in, and how they can be successful. While every level of the organization is under much more stress than usual, leaders need to make sure there is even more focus on skills and employee performance that can be measured in terms of efficiency and outcomes. As OurOffice CEO, Sonya Sepahban added, “Goals will need to be outcome-focused versus activity-focused.” 

Join us again next week for another insightful piece! Future Mastermind Roundtables will delve deeper into the trends discussed here, and much more. If you are an HR, workplace culture, or D&I expert and would like to join the “Future of Work” Mastermind Community, please go to