The Hybrid Workplace and Talent Selection

The New Normal

I was recently speaking to the CFO of an international FinTech company who said ‘it no longer makes financial sense in the long-term for companies to continue to rent large office space when most employees can work perfectly well remotely. A hybrid model is the most logical option with smaller offices and employees working flexibly.’

Similarly, Anant Maheshwari, President of Microsoft India stated in a conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, that ‘IT services companies will definitely have a ‘new normal’ of a hybrid workplace.’

According to Biswas (2020) ‘a hybrid workplace would essentially result in a flexible culture where employees can choose to work remotely or from the office. It could also mean one part of the workforce being in the office, while the other works from home. ’Whilst the enforced ‘working from home’ model was initially a challenge for employees and organisations alike, most have adjusted well. According to research conducted by Lenovo, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the global workforce feel they are more productive working from home than when they were in the office.

It therefore seems likely that in the long-term the ‘hybrid workplace’ is likely to become the ‘new normal’ and a permanent part of organisational life.

Remote Worker Competencies

As a consequence, the way in which organisations approach talent selection will need to change to some extent. Over the last few months an abundance of literature has focused on the ‘remote worker’ and the key competencies that will enable remote workers to be successful working in this context. Sawatzky (2019) identifies 8 key critical skills that remote workers need:

  1. Communication
  2. Self-motivation
  3. Trustworthiness
  4. Discipline
  5. Curiosity and critical thinking
  6. Adaptability
  7. Accountability
  8. Empathy

Considerations

Some considerations for future talent selection are:

Strategy

The pandemic has adversely affected many organisations across the globe. This implies that for many there will need to be a shift in strategy to ensure continued sustainability, survivability, and viability in the future. Strategic intents will have to take account of the ‘hybrid workplace’ and align their structure and talent management strategies accordingly .

Talent management strategies in particular will need to emphasize more heavily the assessment of remote worker competencies.

Structure

Organisations may need to craft a ‘new’ structure to ensure its’ strategic intent can be implemented successfully. Some structural considerations are:

  • Streamlining and optimisation which may unfortunately result in job losses
  • Determining which job roles will be ‘remote roles’ and which will not.
  • Existing competency frameworks that underpin required organisational behaviour and skills may need to be adapted, redefined or completely overhauled to include ‘remote worker’ competencies.
  • Job profiles and the architecture underlying it will need to take account of the changing nature of work within the hybrid workplace.
People

Techniques for selecting the ‘right’ people to fit the ‘hybrid workplace’ may need to be adapted:

  • Competency-based interviewing (CBI) techniques may need to change to ensure that candidates’ experience and ability to display remote worker competencies are accurately assessed.
  • Psychometric assessments will need to provide a scientific prediction as to whether candidates are likely to display the required remote worker competencies and accordingly thrive (or not) in a hybrid workplace.
  • More emphasis may need to be placed on ‘culture fit’ given the changing nature of organisational culture, which will be directly impacted and shaped by the introduction of the ‘hybrid workplace’.

Focusing on and adapting strategy, structure and people within the context of the ‘hybrid workplace’ is going to be crucial for organisations’ futures and will impact directly on how organisations manage and select their talent.

Bioss SA has vast experience in the helping organisations align strategy, structure and people and we are particularly well positioned to assist in optimising talent selection in the context of the ‘hybrid workplace’.

For more information email info@bioss.com

References
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