Mind The Talent Gap in a Covid World


As businesses start to hire again and employees trickle back to the office, we were curious about an evolving work culture in a pandemic. 


Not surprisingly, the world is iterating as lockdowns differ from one country to another. So, when companies talk about People, Planet & Profit, this is the time to triple down on People. Culture does not belong to the HR department alone and it is beyond free snacks and a ping-pong table.


We invited Matt Webb, Director at Laslo Fox a boutique recruitment firm to share some actionable tips on re-building culture in baby steps. Over the years, Matt has recruited winning teams because he understands business needs as well as human interests. This is what he has to say: 


People are any company’s greatest assets. With GDP, Confidence and Jobs on the up, why are so many companies struggling to hire talent?


As a manager and leader, understanding and applying the critical lessons of Covid to your team and new joiners, will ultimately make the difference between success and failure. 


Companies should rightly have attractive social media brand veneers. But in rough seas and dangerous waters, it’s the inner strength of your core culture that will ensure you steer safely through or are left floundering on the rocks. 


Here are 5 steps to help you drive sustainable change and put a people-first culture at the heart of your every day: 


  1. Put the individual, the human being, the person first. ‘Everyone’ has had a very tough year and are feeling emotionally drained with low reserves. Refresh personal career roadmaps and support plans to show a pathway to a better future. That will help rebuild reserves, put a spring back in the step and in time, naturally increase productivity. 


  1. Make your values live and breathe. Have a read of your current values (c.page 15 of your company manual?). Are they just dry disconnected words? If so, work as a team to change them so they feel supportive and become a genuine guide. Use them as a compass bearing to make the right decisions, from hiring diverse talent to dealing correctly with challenges and success. 


  1. Create for your team an emotionally safe environment to share ideas and ‘experiment’. Support open and inclusive comms that unify (people leave their line manager, not their company). Factor in hybrid working dynamics (if unchecked this can magnify toxic relationships and bullying or, empower the good). 


  1. Make sure you ask if your team has what they need to do a good job in this new hybrid work world. Have they got the right tools, equipment, and systems in place to work in a productive and sustainable way now that hybrid is the new norm?


  1. Recognise and reward success. If someone has done a good job, let them know and encourage ways in your team for others to do the same. Be creative, invest budget, empower others to be encouraging and appreciative. Small words and little gestures can go a long way. 


So, if you could ask someone on the team “How can I help?” Who would you start with?