The Efficacy of HRM Practices During COVID-19: Basis for Proposed New Strategies in Aid of New Employee Selection

The Efficacy of HRM Practices During COVID-19: Basis for Proposed New Strategies in Aid of New Employee Selection

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8451-4.ch001
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The lurid and shocking insurgence of COVID-19 has shaken the world in 2019, and it continues to cause uncertainties in all spheres of peoples' lives, businesses, and society. This uncertainty has created employee anxiety, fear of job loss, health threats, and impedes the organization's earning potentials and operational sustainability in the workplace. This chapter aims to investigate how recruitment practices effectively are utilized in selecting new hires amid COVID-19 disastrous situations. Document analysis was utilized to provide interpretations on the data gathered and proposed viable strategies and propositions on new normal-based employee selection patterns. Recommendations were proposed to integrate the findings and strategies into the human resource policies in addressing the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The evolution of COVID-19 since December 2019 has shaken the world and in all spheres of lives. Businesses are shutting down, recurring lock-downs, fearful experiences, increasing increases of diseases, and the likes prevented people from living a normal life. Losing jobs by many has become a norm that people are fed up with countless pressures and stresses of how to continue the life facing threats of life survival. In the global setting, there were 400 million jobs lost in the second quarter of 2020 according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and highlighting the 400% job losses in Africa in just the first three months (April-June 2020) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (Pandey, 2020). Consequently, the Asia-Pacific region has accounted for almost 59% of job losses for full-time wage earners thus, revealing the figures of 110 million from the total job losses of 235 million across the entire region. In terms of the changes in working hours due to the COVID pandemic, the ILO has recorded that in Southeast Asia the working hours have declined beginning March 2020 that has resulted in full-time job losses. Similarly, Latin America has experienced the highest reduction in working hours with a reduced rate of 20% and slightly higher than Southeast Asia having 18% in the second half of 2020.

Struggles have circulated the business industry especially the economic aspects and the increasing unfavorable business conditions, unprecedented job losses, salary cuts, loss of key personnel and skilled staff, and difficulty to hire new staff especially foreigners. None other than the United Nations disseminated warnings on the quick decline in the working hours implemented worldwide because of the stringent rulings on lockdowns to curb COVID-19 (UN News, 2021). Prevalent job losses were also experienced in Africa and India wherein an estimate of 45 million full-time jobs were accounted for across Africa as well as an increasing unemployment rate in India from 8.74 percent in March of 2020 to 23.52% in April of the same year. The ILO has maintained that COVID-19 has brought catastrophic consequences to the estimated two billion informal sector workers in the world (UN News, 2021). In other words, ILO has projected an increase in job gaps of 75 million in 2021 and if the crisis will not subside will continue to increase in the years to come.

Its implication to the business is alarming and threatening to take into account the small and medium enterprises. The difficulty to provide salaries on time to employees, the shorter working hours and shortfall of employment, underutilization of the workforce, and the increasing poor working conditions have been attributed to increasing unemployment scenarios (ILO, 2021). In Oman for example, emerging issues have arisen dealing with travel bans, shutdowns of schools, cinemas, shops, workforce operation reduction, enforcement of work-from-home system, salary and withholding of salaries, and other related precautionary measures (Al-Harthy and Wigley, 2020).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Oman Labor Law (RD 35/2003): A specific provision that gives all workers a 30-day annual leave with pay.

Virtual Communication: A mode of communication wherein technology has been used in lieu of face-to-face conversation through audio or video electronic devices.

Remote Working: A method of working that is done at home or in a location that is not the company’s location or place of business.

Work Redundancy: Reduction of the employee because the position is no longer needed.

Online Recruitment: Also termed E-recruitment is the utilization of technology like web-based resources to implement the process of finding, attracting, interviewing, and selecting new employees.

Virtual Platforms: A software-based system that is utilized for the formation and improvement of training modules through the web and is also used for teaching and learning.

Recruitment Portal: This is a job portal or a career portal that aids the job aspirants to look for a job and helps employers search for suitable and ideal candidates.

High-Performance Work System: A system that combines HR practices, processes, and work structures to enhance the knowledge, skills, the attitude of the employees along with their commitment, involvement, and adaptability.

Hybrid Workplace Model: This is a working method or arrangement wherein the job applies both the in-office and remote working agreement.

Supreme Committee Oman: A special committee formed by the government of Oman that is primarily responsible to make decisions in all activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Onboarding: Is a term used in human resource management that encompasses the process of introducing the newly employed individual in the company. It is also known as organizational socialization.

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