Imagining a Post-Pandemic Workforce
How the hybrid work model can be used to attract and retain top talent
By Jeff Herzog, President of FPC National
When the pandemic first struck and shutdown orders spread throughout the nation, many companies were thrust into uncharted territory. They scrambled to realign their operations so they could survive during a prolonged business interruption. For months, remote working was the norm, and was then replaced by a hybrid model. Many companies adjusted to new workforce paradigms, but they did so haphazardly, not strategically.
Now that companies are beginning to plan to for a post-pandemic future, they have the opportunity to reimagine their workforces, drawing from lessons learned during the past year. Leaders can now strategically deploy a hybrid model to optimize talent acquisition, retention, and employee engagement.
Here are three ways that companies can strengthen their workforces through the hybrid model:
How do you determine who works from home and who reports to the office? Begin by assessing which roles are critical to the day-to-day operation of your company. While each organization is different, these essential roles typically include positions that lead teams, coordinate essential functions, or serve as a central point of contact for cross-functional projects and functions. The in-office team ideally will be agile and able to respond to opportunities, challenges, and time-sensitive operations. For these positions, your company must draw from a local pool of talent to report to a specific location.
But for other roles, reporting to a central office may not be necessary to achieve the objectives of the position. In fact, there are significant benefits to building a remote team as a segment of your workforce. In addition to reducing facility costs, you can broaden your capabilities and provide greater coverage. Companies on the coasts can expand their hours of operation by hiring representatives in different time zones using a “follow-the-sun” approach.
Additionally, by not limiting your search to local candidates, you can tap into a much broader pool of talent from throughout the nation. Expanding your search from one state to 50 provides your company with access to the top superstars in the country. You are also more likely to find a perfect match for niche, your business model, and your company culture.
Working with a recruiting agency with a national presence will help you to identify the perfect candidates for your workforce. With more than 60 offices nationwide and hundreds of experienced recruiters, FPC National has helped thousands of companies recruit ideal candidates for a wide range of roles. Through “FPC’s Exchange” program, we are able to leverage our extensive network and choose from top performers in major markets across the country.
Not all employees thrive in similar environments. Some are task-driven and respond well to rigid schedules, processes, and routines; others perform better when they design their own schedules and are given the freedom and flexibility to complete their assignments on their own. Here are questions you can ask to determine which team members are better suited for in-person, hybrid, or remote work:
- Time Management:
Can the employee independently complete assignments on time, without support, and with a high degree of quality? Certain employees perform better in a supervised, controlled environment.
Is the employee capable of making informed, effective decisions on their own? Or do they need continuous guidance from a manager? Decisive individuals are more likely to succeed independently without the necessity of reporting to a specific location.
Does the team member take responsibility for outcomes? Or do they perform more effectively when assigned a series of specific activities? Results-focused employees tend to be more self-motivated and capable of functioning productively on their own.
Answering these questions will help you make a workforce roadmap to build your hybrid team. When adding new team members, your recruiter can identify the candidates who best suit your company’s work-style preferences.
As business returns to normal, many companies will be utilizing a model that features a blend of in-person and remote working. Now that employees have had a taste of a home-based routine, a significant portion of your workforce will request a sensible combination. Most employees have demonstrated the ability to manage their workloads without having to report to the office every day. This gives them a better work-life balance and can be a powerful incentive to support recruitment efforts and promote long-term retention.
At FPC, we believe there is tremendous value in an on-site, in-person workforce wherever possible. It particularly maximizes results in collaboration, camaraderie, motivation and training. The past year has forced us to challenge traditional models and test the remote working waters. The time has come to examine recent results and restructure work models strategically..