Acknowledging the HR Community in this Extraordinary New Landscape

Joe Nielson

Mar 2020

During this global pandemic, one industry that has not allowed it get the better of them is the HR and recruitment community.

As working from home has temporarily become the new norm, last week I was highly impressed with the HR community for their sure footedness in very unique circumstances. As the lock down began I appreciated that there are many individuals finding themselves in limbo having successfully secured a new job, handed in their notice and look forward to their brand new role. It then quickly became apparent that this may be at risk, would the new firm still engage them, how would they be inducted and can a new firm facilitate them working from home? Well, the answer was unequivocally yes they can! Whether at International companies, Law firms or Patent & Trade Mark practices the response was the same, HR were driving positivity, working tenaciously to maintain business as usual and ensuring all IT and relative on-boarding would be in place and honouring the engagement of new joiners.

Working from home has been the hot topic with law firms over the past 18 months, hot desking, flexible working, agile working – whatever the model each firm has debated the benefit to the Partnership, and indeed how to facilitate it and to whom. Some are way ahead of the game, forward thinking decision makers changing their work model, empowering IT and delivering an agile workforce . . . other firms perhaps a little later to the party. Either way no firm was fully prepared for their entire workforce to be working from home all at the same time. This has really tested IT, HR, Facilities and all aspects of support enabling professionals and support teams to carry on as normal. From what we’ve witnessed so far everyone is doing remarkably well.

Whilst our legendary NHS rightly receive all the recognition for everything they are doing for the country, I felt a small shout out to the HR community was in order, where they are allaying fears of anxious staff, helping orchestrate a completely new company environment and essentially assuring everyone is engaged as best as they can.