January 19, 2022

Managing Talent in the Post-Pandemic - Get Ready

Covid-19 vs. talent management. Here we talk about the challenges of the pandemic in terms of human resource management and what actions to take for the future.


This pandemic is accelerating the future of work and changing the rules for HR departments around the world. New Work in the New Normal, so to speak. Learn how to successfully manage talent in the post-pandemic era and in the future in this article.

You are also interested in digital transformation? In our series "Digitalisation 2021" you will discover the effects and opportunities of digital transformation in different departments and areas of a company.

What is talent management?

Talent management is a continuous process of attracting and retaining highly qualified employees, developing their skills and continuously motivating them to improve their performance. In short, the goal is to attract motivated employees who will stay with your company for the long term.

Human resources and recruiting play a big role here, of course. But not the only one. Several other factors are important here, which we will discuss in this article. And finally, a talent management strategy is needed that has to be specifically tailored to your organisation.

Why is talent management critical?

We certainly agree on this point: employees are your company's most important asset. McKinsey also states that your people are directly linked to business performance (Fig 1). Having a well-designed and functioning talent management system is the way to both get and keep the best people.

(Fig 1: McKinsey – Talent Management Survey)

Furthermore, McKinsey (2018) found that three factors stand out for effective talent management.

  • Rapid allocation of talent to strategic or prioritised projects
  • The involvement of the HR department in the employee experience
  • A more strategic minded HR team

(Fig 1: McKinsey – Talent Management Survey)

Talent management has always been important. Now what is changing in the post-pandemic world?

Talent management of the future

Every crisis teaches valuable lessons. In the case of Covid-19, it is preparing for the future of work and how it will affect the management, performance and loyalty of employees. Home office is only the beginning. There are also a number of aspects that go beyond remote work, virtual meetings and a dynamic workforce. Traditional definitions of workplaces have changed forever, giving companies more flexibility and opportunities in recruiting.

But this flexibility, in turn, does not come without its price. Managing a hybrid and possibly even global workforce is undeniably a challenge. It also involves the (new) role of managers, the integration of existing employees and the onboarding of new ones, communication across time zones and, last but not least, the cost effectiveness of implementing such a model profitably.

Yet with all this flexibility, the question of how to attract new talent and, more importantly, how to retain it, is more important than ever. As interviews with companies from all over the world can be held from the comfort of one's living room, the door is opened to staff turnover.

Given that the likelihood of increasing diversity among employees is also growing, there is also a need for a cultural change that promotes diversity and, where appropriate, subculture. Diversity in companies is directly related to their ability to innovate - and this ability is more influential than ever.

Such challenges require new solutions and a human resource management and strategy that can cope with the dynamic changes and therefore respond flexibly. It's about minimising risk and responding to the radical change unleashed by the future of work. It is almost true that human resources is reinventing itself.

Pathways out of the crisis

Employee Experience

There is no two opinions about the immense importance of the Employee Experience (EE). Already in our article "Future proof your organisation with human resource management" we discuss the new interaction between HR and the Employee Experience.

In the wake of working from home, teleworking and remote working, the boundaries between professional and private life are becoming increasingly blurred. And with it, the need for a balanced employee experience is increasing. That means new policies and processes are needed to promote inclusion and engagement.

Because home office goes hand in hand with social isolation. The latest studies also show that "in the long run, loneliness is just as high a health risk as smoking or being overweight".

Leaders must therefore ensure that their employees are not left out. In addition, collaboration is important because outstanding performance is also a result of teamwork. Particularly for new employees, who may initially appear purely digitally, a sense of belonging is extremely important in order to feel part of the organisation.

Learning and training

This pandemic also created extensive staff turnover in many areas through lay-offs, job changes or absences due to illness. Further training and (re)training take a key role in counteracting any knowledge gaps and required skills.

Yet the need for lifelong learning and upgrading one' s skills goes beyond the pandemic. People value when organisations give them the opportunity to do so, because there is something almost nurturing about this gesture. Employees feel that their organisation cares about their advancement and upskilling.

On the other hand, companies benefit from greater resilience to environmental influences or changes in the market and to competitive situations.

Recognition of performance

The pandemic has also changed the way organisations reward and manage performance. Remote workers are increasingly reliant on a digital performance management system to receive feedback. Goals and performance plans themselves have also changed them as a result of the new workplace situation.

An effective performance management system involves the interplay between the goals of the employees and those of their superiors. Both a new transparency and flexibility are needed here. Managers want to be able to trust their staff and in return employees expect a certain level of understanding from the management. The bond of trust must not be torn apart by physical distance.

Therefore, managers also have to be trained to raise their coaching skills to a high level. This also includes the principles of New Leadership and New Work to lead organisations into the future.

Professionalisation of human resource planning and strategy

Once again, the crisis has highlighted the high significance of having skilled staff in place for the success of a company or, in some cases, even the survival of an organisation. According to a McKinsey survey, in the next 12 months (as of November 2020), human resources spending will increase and focus on the areas of workforce planning, workforce strategy and opportunity management.

Workforce planning and strategy is particularly about the following three areas:

Critical roles

Research suggests that often a small group of roles is disproportionately important to the achievement of organisational goals. For each role, identify the core tasks to be done, the qualities required of leaders and whether the role is suited for success.

Qualification pools

You should look at your key skills pools to understand what skills are needed for the future and whether or not you lack the required talents.

Talent systems 

HR managers today have more tools at their disposal than ever before. These help them find the right people for the job. These tools are becoming increasingly critical for HR managers to meet the challenges ahead. Get up to speed and familiarise yourself with these tools. Alternatively, outsource this competence - we at PALTRON will be happy to support you in implementing your HR strategy.


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a deep disruption in both the professional and private world. Charles Darwin's thesis proved true once again: 

"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent species that will survive, but those that adapt most quickly".

Human resource departments around the world were put to the test to cope with the radical challenges of the pandemic. We hope to provide some additional help with this article to face the future of recruitment with confidence.

And if you need additional help, PALTRON can support you in modern HR strategy and state-of-the-art talent management.

Covid-19 vs. talent management. Here we talk about the challenges of the pandemic in terms of human resource management and what actions to take for the future.
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