What a difference a few months makes. Human resources (HR) professionals went from laying off workers and desperately trying to hold onto their own jobs to becoming one of the hottest growth areas. According to Indeed, the large job aggregation site, listings for human resources are up 52.5%, significantly higher than other sectors on the site. As a comparison, U.S. job postings on the aggregation site on June 18 were up 30.5% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
In addition to HR personnel, a quick search for “recruiter” jobs on LinkedIn’s job section showed 269,960 results. It wasn’t too long ago that thousands of recruiters and HR people were posting their own résumés online seeking work. We’re now in a roaring, war-for-talent environment. HR finds itself at the center of the action. They need to deal with a confluence of factors, including recruiting, hiring, and onboarding employees. This group needs to help figure out the newly emerging hybrid work environment, which includes employees being in an office setting a couple of days a week and at home for the rest of the time.
There will be a significant constituency that demands working remotely only. Decisions need to be made about vaccinations and wearing masks. With the “Great Resignation,” HR has to worry about finding ways to retain employees and keep them from quitting.
Representative of the growth in this space, a new senior-level job has emerged: the chief remote officer. GitLab is one of the original trailblazers for remote work and Darren Murph, head of remote at GitLab, started the “head of remote” role trend. As corporations confront the daunting task of managing a distributed workforce, they realize they need for someone to oversee the process. Without a system in place, it could lead to chaos.
Murph said in an interview with CNBC, “What we’ve been doing for the past year isn’t remote work; it’s pandemic-induced work from home. There are many benefits of remote working that can’t be accessed right now, and the stressors of the pandemic are creating an added layer of complexity to what a typical remote worker would usually experience”.
It’s not going to be an easy task for HR and the folks who run the hybrid and remote processes. There is a need to establish the folks responsible for the remote workers. To ensure fairness, they will have to see to getting them set up with ergonomic workspaces and all of the technology, hardware, and tools needed to operate successfully. It’s one thing when we all did this thinking it would end. Now, hybrid and remote work looks like it’s our future.
Difficult conversions will take place between HR and employees. Will people earn the same or less money if they elect to relocate to a lower-cost location? Who will pay for the home offices? Should workers commuting into big cities receive stipends? It’s uncomfortable to talk about, but HR and the Head of Remote Work may feel compelled to implement intrusive surveillance software to ensure that people are doing their jobs. How will they keep and maintain a corporate culture? They’ll also need to make sure that the remote workers aren’t forgotten.
When it comes to reviews, promotions, raises, and bonuses, could the people who spend less time at the office and aren’t seen much lose out? What will happen when people schlep into the office for two or three days a week and realize that there’s no one at the office who is relevant to their job requirements. It could infuriate someone to make a two-hour round-trip commute to New York City from a suburb of New Jersey only to find out that they’re spending their day alone, as none of their co-workers are around. They’ll think this was a waste of time and energy that could have been better spent by staying at home.
You can imagine that when some people arrive on their one or two days in the office, they’ll spend the majority of time catching up with friends instead of working.
The good news for HR is that they’ll have job security and growth opportunities. The downside is there will be a lot of work, pressure, and stress.
News Source: Forbes