EMPLOYER DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

I. Background

The rapid spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has sparked alarm worldwide. On 12 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and many countries are grappling with a rise in confirmed cases.

According to an initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work by International World Labor (ILO), almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of COVID-19. Along with it is a series of consequences that lead to loss and recession for the global economy. Following these macro issues, the world economy witnessed a serious decline in various fields from consumer services to productions, especially for HR market. Dr Kouvelis of Washington University estimated that the impact of more than 300 billion dollars on the world’s supply chain can last up to two years after the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

II. An increase of unemployment rate

There are many reasons, depending on the specific of the demographic, political situation, and economic health of each country, the explanation is not the same. However, there are three main reasons that every enterprise are facing at the moment which leads to a shortage in the HR market:

1. The panic:

By the time this article was written (21 March 2020), the number of COVID-19 infections had reached 234,073 cases with 9,840 confirmed cases of death and has been spread over 177 countries around the world (WHO).

People are afraid to go to public area, clients afraid to meet consultants, consumers afraid to go shopping. Around the world, the wave of unethical acts such as racism, especially with Asian has risen as fast as the cases number of COVID-19. The anti-Asian wave or any racism acts is more dangerous than the pandemic for it destroys our humanity, connectivity and harmony with each other.

Carrying all these trepidations along with some authority’s policy of social distancing requirements has pushed many individuals to work at home or just simply quit their job to wait until the pandemic passed.

2. Industry specification:

      Over the world, many schools, institutes and universities (UK, America, etc.) has been closed because of COVID-19. This issue caused huge damage to countries which education export played an important role in economic. For example, Australia education export industry which distributed over $20.7 AUD (68.4% of total on-shore earnings in 2017) may suffer the loss of $2.8 AUD (over 10%) because of the restriction on Asian students, especially from mainland China. This has led to the loss in teaching hours and many job loss for employees who work for businesses which rely on schools operation such as canteen.

       Moreover, following government policies in some countries, the “social distancing requirements” has shut down many entertainment businesses which need to gather many people such as movie theatre, bars, social clubs, etc. This has pushed consumer services commerce to the biggest depression around the world which causes over 120,000 entertainment industry jobs have been lost due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (Variety, 2020).

       3. Enterprises:

Beside objective reasons, the business itself is also one of the reasons causing a significant decline in the recruitment market. Faced with a serious global problem such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which never happened before, businesses are often puzzled on how to handle and respond to the rapid and complex changing of the situation. Furthermore, accompanied by false information from unofficial media sources which lead to confusion and frustrating even with senior managers and leaders. These issues leading to wrong decision making in policies and real-time reaction.  Which directly cause nervous for workers and infective in dealing with the circumstance.

III. What are solutions for brands?

The world is changing day by day, and only people who can adapt will survive. But where there is light, there must be shadow, where there is shadow there must be light. This COVID-19 pandemic will change the world economy order one and forever. Many developing countries can escape economic dependence from abroad by self-sufficient in production, medical and service. While developed countries can have chances to concentrate their financial resources to expand and develop domestic economy fields such as technology, infrastructure, customer service.

Based on 3 main reasons lead to the decline in recruitment demand and supply I have mentioned above, there are 3 basic ideas brands around the world can apply to solve this human resource global issue.

1. Change working methods

Change is hard, but it’s necessary for revolution. With the rapid development of technology, the world is smaller than ever. Recently, with significant improvement both in cost and effectivity of Virtual Reality technology and Internet connection, may brands should consider applying visual reality workplace for future office.

The Glimpse Group, an American virtual and augmented reality platform company that brings together entrepreneurs to develop the next generation of advanced simulations is launching its ambitious vision for future office. The Glimpse Group has invested in many projects. But above all else, its leaders say, it’s working toward a collaborative workplace simulation that could one day replace physical offices and eliminate commutes. This change can help companies retain their current staff, recruit more employees through a new hiring practice (virtual reality interview) and have a more efficient, safer working environment from a distance.

2. Reconstruction working policies

Many companies have applied for the “work from home” policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Meetings turn into online; tasks are given through ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or team management apps such as Monday, Teamwork or Zoom for education. These acts would immediately limit contacting face to face but still guarantee work efficiency and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In some business which forced to work face to face, companies can divide working time into shifts, apply digital thermometer test kit at the office. Moreover, this also an appropriate time for the internal marketing team to media staffs on company brand identity along with governmental health announcements, and public health protection process. The best marketing method is through word of mouth. When an enterprise has gained the trust and loyalty of employees, the mechanisms of recruiting or replacing personnel will be easily done through the workforce of the company itself.

3. Using third party agency

One of the most effective and cost-saving ways to find candidates during this pandemic is to use a third-party agency such as headhunter. With various relationships, professional staffs and plenty data system which been collected and accumulated for long times, headhunt agency would be the best choice for brands during this pandemic.

The concept of headhunting is no longer fresh on the market. However, to choose a competent and professional headhunt agency is what business should carefully consider before determining to contract in a long-term cooperation.

In Vietnam, Headhunt Vietnam (HHVN) is one of the top 5 best headhunt agencies on the market. With more than 10 years of professional experience in the mid-to-high-end personnel market as a senior and exclusive partner of many big brands both internal and international (Coca-Cola, 3M, Lazada, Masan Consumer …), Headhunt Vietnam would be the best solution for recruiter during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

In contrast, the crisis of Coronavirus will bring the world economy into a new era. The way we eat, travel, live daily will gradually change as well as working discipline and basic principle of recruitment in business firm. Welcome everybody a new chapter of the world which definitely is going to be great.

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