Hiring Challenges Faced by Startups Since the Pandemic

One key change the pandemic has brought in is it has facilitated the development of hybrid work cultures. However, organizations are also seeing some negative trends

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Yesterday, we did an article on how the hiring techniques and approach have changed since the pandemic and the new trends in HR. One key change the pandemic has brought in is it has facilitated the development of hybrid work cultures, particularly in startups.


"During the pandemic, remote work proved to offer many advantages. It saved employees' time by reducing commute time, allowing them to work from their native cities while saving on housing rents, and giving them more time to spend with their families and friends. On the other hand, work from the office allows employees to build better relationships, interact more with colleagues, and understand company culture better," said Kaushal Pawar, director, people and culture, Leap Scholar.

Experts feel that hybrid workspaces combine the best of both worlds in order to create an employee experience that is tailored to the needs of the organization and employees.

However, in the last two years, startups have observed some negative trends as well. Here is the gist of the same, as shared by some experts.

Negative HR Trends

HR managers say that from a hiring perspective, one now needs to have at least one backup for every offer made for an open role. "Since we've observed the difficulty in hiring tech talent in a remote environment as candidates have the advantage of giving multiple interviews at the same time at different companies and they end up keeping companies waiting on their decision till the very last moment," said Pratip Mazumdar, partner, Inflexor Ventures. However, this has forced companies to become faster at determining the quality of a candidate and get offers out sooner.

Attrition in tech talent is also a major concern, especially for early-stage startups. "Early-stage startups don't have the treasury that some of the more mature startups are wielding. Founders may do well to hire not just for raw talent, but also for folks with a long-term and growth mindset," added Mazumdar.

Another challenge, which HR managers have been facing even before the pandemic is candidates taking the offer letters and not joining. "The one thing that engineers will do is to sign an offer letter and then shop for three or four more offer letters. People have adapted to this and say it's normal now. I'm not sure about normal, but I think you shouldn't have signed it in the first place. It's probably an issue of ethics. And if it isn't, then a letter of intent should be followed by an offer letter, which is binding because once the person signs the offer letter, the company also makes internal decisions and waits for the person to complete his notice period and join the company. And when a person withdraws a day or two before joining, it is painful and should not be considered normal," said Varun Mayya, founder and CEO, scenes by Avalon, digital content creator.

Further, from the employee's angle, one negative trend that companies are seeing is the impact of the pandemic on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being. "Employees find it increasingly difficult to mingle and socialize with their colleagues when they get back to the office after remote working, especially the new hires. The pandemic posed an ever-increasing challenge to the people and culture (HR) professionals in keeping their employees productive, motivated, engaged, and engaged. Prior to the pandemic, HR professionals' roles were substantially different. Companies are now considering a lot more factors when it comes to ensuring a positive employee experience," said Pawar.

In a recent study on work stress, it was observed that frequent changes in the environment may cause stress among employees and this may lead to the generation of interpersonal conflicts that damage the working patterns of individuals. And, stressed employees may experience depression and become unable to concentrate on their work, thus resulting in decreased performance.

"The general levels of anxiety had increased due to the pandemic and people working in all parts of the world were impacted by it. As we move back to normalcy, we will witness the social interactions and wellness levels of everyone improving," added Anshu Singh, vice president, human resources, Locus.

Further, attrition has become a huge problem and thanks to the pandemic, experts believe, it is here to stay for some time to come. "This is due to lack of EQ in the interactions. There has been a break in developing company culture and relationships have become very transactional. This will take some time to repair and get back on track," said Rema Subramanian, co-founder and managing partner, Ankur Capital.