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Coronavirus: How the crisis is unlocking a completely new available workforce

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
The coronavirus crisis has instigated a new way of companies realising that there are many lessons to be learned in making the workplace more efficient, digital, and inclusive. (Getty)

The coronavirus pandemic has had an undeniable negative effect on lives, jobs, and the global economy. However, as world leaders point out, this won’t be forever and eventually we will all be transitioning into a new normal.

But this crisis has instigated a new way of companies realising that there are many lessons to be learned in making the workplace more efficient, digital, and inclusive. This, in turn, is also reshaping recruitment and roles and is unlocking a whole new workforce, say executives.

Gathering for a DIAL Global Digital Summit, where Verizon Media is a strategic partner, leaders at the world’s largest organisations discussed how companies can lead and win through inclusion and how organisations can craft better inclusion strategies for a competitive edge.

In the fifth session, entitled “Future-proofing the workplace and shaping the new and better ‘normal’ with people at its core,” executive leaders explained how they’re preparing for the future, however uncertain that may be, and tell us about their perception and challenges ahead in our new world of work.

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LaFawn Davis, vice president diversity, inclusion & belonging, Indeed.com said “the pandemic has changed everything. There are industries that may not even be here after we shake out of [the crisis].”

“During times like these, some companies want to focus on just operational issues and sometimes diversity and inclusion are put aside to focus on later. However, if you didn’t focus on it when you were being fast innovative, then you’re definitely not going to when things are slower [and more comfortable].”

Davis emphasised that now is the time to spend on diversity and unravel processes to break down barriers to entry, retain talent, and grow your workforce — especially those who are already marginalised. She pointed out that at recruitment site, Indeed.com, “the nice thing is that we help people get into jobs and we’re at the front and centre of this.”

She says that the crisis is leading to a new wave of a workforce of tomorrow.

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“We are seeing interest for looking people looking for remote work — which will be the next diversity front. What that means is that it allows a company to hire from anywhere in the world. No longer do they have to always think about someone moving the headquarters or being in an office — this new WFH initiative will expand employee bases across the world.

“What this pandemic has shown companies is that lots of roles they thought couldn’t be done remotely — can be.”