After two months of lockdown, South African businesses have been hit hard. Small businesses have been particularly vulnerable- seeing revenues drop by up to 90% when lockdown started. Many businesses have been unable to pay salaries and rent and some have had to closed their doors.
As we move into level 3 lockdown, most sectors are now able to reopen and 8 million people will be returning to work. However, businesses will look quite different in the midst of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the way they operate will need to minimise risk both to their staff and to their own continuity. Specifically, businesses need to operate effectively whilst minimising contact between people.
For South Africa to get back to work again safely and effectively, a number of new practices will need to be adopted- including contactless hiring, remote collaboration and enhanced workplace safety. We consider each of them in turn and describe some of the new tools that enable them.
The recruitment process is generally a high contact one- often involving multiple face-to-face interviews with candidates prior to an offer being made. In the new Covid world, however, a high-contact recruitment process is no longer safe. Businesses need to change their hiring process to one which minimises face to face interaction but is still effective enough to find the right talent.
For candidate sourcing, a number of automated recruitment platforms exist that can rapidly identify relevant candidates and even enable recruiters to listen to how candidates sound before spending any time contacting them (you can find out more about our latest contactless hiring solution here)
For candidate selection, new tools are now available to substitute face to face interviews telephonic or video interviews. Zoom is an excellent tool for video interviews- it’s both free and has excellent quality. Alternatively, WhatsApp video interviewing is another popular method. WhatsApp can also be used to send documents such as ID and education certificates, enabling businesses to manage almost the entire recruitment process without physically interacting with candidates.
Using these tools together, employers are now able to source, screen and select candidates without meeting them in person at all.
Covid-19 has dealt a blow to meetings (perhaps a good thing since one estimate suggests that working professionals spend an average of 2 hours per week in pointless meetings). However, face to face interaction at the workplace is often necessary for alignment and quick decision-making. Getting this right in the post-Covid world has been tricky for many businesses.
Thankfully, a number of new tools are available that enable teams to communicate and collaborate easily. Perhaps the most popular is Slack– which is effectively like whatsapp for businesses. Slack enables teams to message each other in real time, share documents with each other and even make calls or videocalls.
Aside from communication, many businesses need to manage project plans and tasks. Whilst a number of tools are available for this, our favourite tool is Google Sheets. It’s a free, very simple way for teams to make task lists and monitor progress- without even talking to each other.
Whilst moving to level 3 has meant that 8 million more people will go back to work, the Department of Labour now requires employers to comply with new workplace safety regulations. These include:
- Mandatory health screening every day
- Taking staff temperature every day
- Enforcing social distancing- where staff must be spaced at least 1.5m apart or separated by screens
- Reporting on staff attendance and health screening results
- Support with testing of staff that may be at risk
- Contact tracing of staff that have been in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus
These new regulations have meant that businesses- especially larger ones with big workforces- have had to implement major new processes to ensure compliance.
To manage this effectively and accurately, a number of new digital solutions have emerged (including one of our own to be released soon- sign up to our blog for a sneak preview).
As South Africa returns to work after one of the world’s longest lockdowns, it may be tempting for businesses to resume the same activity as before the pandemic. However, South Africa is only in the early stages of the virus curve and everyone- both individuals and businesses- must take responsibility to minimise the speed and scale of infection. Implementing contactless hiring, remote collaboration and workplace safety will go a long way to help.
Giraffe is a contactless hiring platform that automatically screens candidates so you don’t have to. Giraffe enables South African businesses to recruit medium-skilled staff faster and more affordably than any other recruitment method. Because Giraffe has automated the boring parts of the recruitment process– candidate sourcing and screening– business owners and recruiters can focus on more important tasks like interviewing the best candidates and managing retention. Simply post a job on Giraffe. Let Giraffe automatically screen candidates as they apply. Log in, see which candidates have passed your screening, listen to their voice notes and hire the best ones!