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How Has COVID-19 Impacted HR?

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Is HR doing it tough through COVID-19, or is it an opportunity for the profession?

Throughout this period, I have been speaking with many HR leaders and candidates across Aotearoa whose jobs have been impacted by the complex implications of the Coronavirus. As workplace changes continue to accelerate and we begin to get a picture of what the new normal might look like, I thought I would share my take on the HR market, the skills in demand and the role HR will play in supporting businesses through the coming months.

The Current State of HR

As yet, HR largely hasn’t been heavily impacted in terms of a high number of roles being disestablished, as COVID-19 has created a huge amount of work for HR. In many organisations, HR has been through and is still going through a period of high workload. Internal Recruitment on the other hand, is seeing significant impacts as hiring activities have slowed or been put on hold.

The next three months will bring more downsizing in SMEs as the wage subsidy ends and larger organisations resize to be fit for purpose. Many businesses are slowly returning to offices, and the new normal is looking to be a hybrid of working from home and in the office, with a strong move towards virtual teams. This is creating a number of challenges for leaders and managers, including managing a team virtually and overseeing training and coaching requirements. 

The forecast is looking fairly stable for HR, with permanent opportunities remaining scarce for the foreseeable future

and requirements being largely project-based, fixed-term and independent contracts.

In terms of the HR skills that are currently sought-after, I am seeing demand in the following areas:

  • Change Management 

  • Health & Safety

  • HR Coordinators & Administrators

  • ER/IR

  • HR Advisors/Managers

The opportunity for HR through this period is to continue making a significant contribution to culture and engagement, change and transformation, assisting with resizing and putting virtual processes in place. HR will also have a vital role to play in providing ongoing support and advice to managers and employees, answering the many questions created by this unprecedented time.


As we navigate through the aftermath of COVID-19, one thing that’s clear is that HR has never been more important. If you need support with HR recruitment during this time, please reach out to me – I manage a deep talent database with immediate availability and can partner with you to find the right HR solution for your needs.

Likewise, if you would like more specific insights on the HR market, feel free to give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you and would be happy to ask any questions you might have.

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