Evolution Of Jobs In Post-COVID World

Accepting and adapting to the new normal more willingly, businesses are slowly shifting gears from a life of uncertainty to one of stability.

The outbreak of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 will go down in history as a ‘Black Swan’ event that profoundly altered the way business is conducted. It has transformed the way we work, incorporating both the virtual and remote mode of work – a permanent change for many, perhaps. The health crisis swept away jobs, forced salary cuts, and layoffs. With worldwide employment levels seeing a free fall, technology had its reckoning fueling increased automation of human activities. We are witnessing a shift towards more individualistic endeavours needing lesser human interactions, driven by the gig economy.

As the pandemic is resetting the established working norms, business leaders need to reinvent themselves, rethink and revolutionize the workforce’s conventional practices vis-à-vis employee planning & management, engagement and performance. HR leaders need to be agile in adapting to trends of the near future not just to ensure their organization’s success, but to have an edge over their competitors as well.

Accepting and adapting to the new normal more willingly, businesses are slowly shifting gears from a life of uncertainty to one of stability. There is a dramatic change in the skillsets and competence required for any role with altered job expectations of the employees too. To emerge unscathed from the current crisis, organizations will have to nurture several skillsets of their employees – digital, cognitive, social, emotional, adaptability and resilience skillsets being of prime importance.

Here are some key trends that will gain popularity in the post-COVID-19 job world:

Freelancing to gain momentum: Though the COVID-19 pandemic brought along a grim employment outlook for many, the changing dynamics witnessed a significant rise in the demand for people willing to seize the opportunity. As full-time positions were shrinking, contract and freelance work have been gaining momentum. Organizations are beginning to get a better sense of what a remote, on-demand workforce can accomplish. They have realized the potential of the gig workers as they offer flexibility, optimize productivity and ensure business continuity at much more reasonable costs.

Data-related jobs in demand: We have witnessed a few stories of legacy organizations redefining their business strategies and blending digital into their work due to the pandemic. It accelerated the pace of adoption of technology leading to increased use of data. New-age technologies took centre stage during the COVID-19 outbreak. The post-COVID world will continue to see a rising dependence on data and new-age tech. as businesses leverage them for their strategic growth.

Upskilling to stay relevant: With the rapid integration of technology in business processes, professionals and graduates must upskill to stay relevant. Candidates must practice the mantra of continuous learning to have a competitive edge and evade becoming redundant at work. It has become the norm and a must-have skill that organizations are aggressively seeking. Chances of prospective candidates landing a job offer are higher if they exhibit a track record of continuous up-gradation in their line of specialization.

Adopt technology and sharpen soft skills: The pandemic has not only fueled the use of technology and digital tools but has also led to the need for a whole new set of skills for people to function in remote work culture. People were required to quickly adopt these new skills, be resilient and be more responsible for their tasks. Several other interpersonal skills and soft skills, essential to work effectively in a virtual work environment, are what employers seek in prospective candidates.

Cross-industry talent exchanges: Various organizations are sitting on a talent pool they are unable to utilize themselves due to the business slowdown. They can loan them under certain conditions to other organizations. It could possibly be in completely different and unrelated industries with relevant opportunities, thereby facilitating efficient employee engagement too.

Hybrid work model to retain talent: Thwarting age-old work ethics and principles, the pandemic compelled organizations to leverage technology in order to continue to function virtually. That remote work is possible with almost all job roles was evidenced very clearly in these tough times. This has led to the evolution of a hybrid work model which is going to be the way forward for several organizations. The HR fraternity will need to re-invent their strategies and styles of people management to retain the best of talent and help the business grow.

Healthcare services jobs in demand: One of the key sectors driving hiring in India the past year has been the medical/healthcare sector, which has been at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic. The demand for skilled talent increased owing to the health scare and influx of patients, resulting in a revival of hiring in the healthcare sector by May 2020. The hiring has only picked up vigour from thereon, and with the ongoing vaccination drive, the trend is likely to continue in the coming year as well.

IT, ITeS/BPO and Education to fuel recovery: While a lot of uncertainties permeated into hiring due to the COVID-19, it wreaked great havoc across industries, with a few of them overcoming the crisis unscathed and leveraged the opportunity to reset and grow. Organizations in the IT, ITeS/BPO, and Education sectors will continue to hire owing to the surge in opportunities and necessary to restore normalcy.

The Indian job market is improving slowly, and steadily after taking a hit following the onset of COVID-19. It faced a sharp decline of over 60 per cent in April ’20 and May ’20 year-over-year, owing to the pandemic. As organizations are reconciling with the new normal, they are anticipating a surge in demand for the right talent to tackle the challenges that the post-pandemic world would bring. Candidates must equip themselves with industry-relevant skills to keep a fine balance between technical skills and soft skills.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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