Skip to main content

The New Normal is Fostering Outstanding Innovation

In the first of our series of interviews with HR executives discussing the COVID-19 crises, we sat down (virtually…) with Adam Levy to discuss this topic from his perspective. As a key leader in a global market research company, Levy was able to provide insights on a macro level, as Nielsen is continuously tracking the impact of COVID-19.

Q: Can you describe how you realigned your TA operations in light of COVID 19?

A: We have refocused the team to focus on 1) ramping up workforce planning efforts, 2) focusing on understanding future needs and difficult to fill roles, and 3) building pipelines for those roles. 

As the team is working on new policies ahead of an eventual return to work and reopening of offices, we came to realize that companies cannot rush to get back to normal, because “normal” as we know it will no longer exist. We really need to be thoughtful in terms of what the new normal looks like”. That means being clear on essential vs. non-essential work, managing effective virtual orientation for new associates, and effectively recruiting in virtual format if you’re unable to have face-to-face contact. 

In summary, it is getting to quickly understand what the new normal looks like, and how to get there as efficiently as possible.

Q: How have new work from home practices impacted your operation? Moving forward, do you plan to keep or expand work from home options for employees?

A: Working from home has worked extremely well, in part due to the company’s already flexible work arrangements. I’ve seen the level of innovation and ingenuity really increase since COVID, we have learned that we are able to do things that we never thought that we could, smarter and faster. 

Q: What new technologies have you adopted due to Corona? 

A: Having an already virtual environment in place prior to the COVID-19 lockdown meant that we were already adept at conference technologies, such as Google Hangouts. In times like these, being innovative ahead of a crisis has enabled a seamless transition for a remote workforce. 

Q: Do you think your industry will be impacted positively or negatively from the crisis?

A: I think that every industry will be impacted by COVID, certainly from a financial perspective, and I believe that the long term impacts of COVID from an economic perspective are going to be significant. However, I tend to look at the glass as being half-full, and I do think that items like speed to innovation, ability to re-assess real estate strategies and footprints, and looking closely at essential vs. non-essential work is going to benefit industries across the board. I think that despite the obvious tragedies that come from a pandemic like this - there are going to be silver linings that come out of COVID-19 that are a bit more long-term.

Recovering from this crisis will not be easy. But smart leaders at top companies are focusing on how they can make their teams more efficient, and preparing to accommodate more flexible, virtual work environments. Innovation, along with the right technologies, will be key factors in adjusting to the “new normal” after COVID-19.

Popular posts from this blog

The Limitation of "Boolean" in Talent Sourcing

I did a search on LinkedIn for a “Java Software Engineer” in New York City. I entered that job title as a keyword (under Job Titles) and LinkedIn suggested that my talent pool was 2,059 candidates. Then I added a skill and my talent pool decreased to 1,956 candidates. When I added another skill, my pool increased. This is the nature of Boolean search. Every candidate that has at least one of the requirements is brought up in the search results. If you want the skills to be additive (X and Y), you need to write a compound Boolean search string rather than just adding the skills from the LinkedIn menu. I wanted to reduce my targeted talent pool and added “years of experience” range. The pool tanked. The same happened when I added “education requirements”. It was not clear what I should do at this point. I didn’t know what to change in my search in order to maximize my pool while maintaining the quality of the candidates in my search results. Was it a specific skill or the combin

Why companies can't hire Data Scientists?

There are about 2,500 Data Scientists in Boston. displays 1,643 job listings for Data Scientists in Boston. That means that there are around 1.5 Data Scientist jobs per candidate. But not all Data Scientists in Boston are looking to switch jobs. According to data analyzed by my company, Talenya, only 227 of the 2,500 are likely to be open to new opportunities. That’s more than 7 jobs per candidate! This is what the “the war for talent” looks like and it gets worse. Assuming you’re a small, growing company looking to hire Data Scientists in Boston, you will be competing for talent against giants like Amazon (123 openings), Pfizer (42 openings) and Biogen (35 openings). While the small companies are willing to pay around $120,000 for a Data Scientist with a few years of experience, the big guys are willing to pay $160,000 - $230,000.  If you’re a Data Scientist, which job are you going to take? What can the small companies do to attract Data Scientists? To start

Diversity in the workforce – Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes to the rescue

According to a  study  published by McKinsey & Company, every 1% rise in the rate of diversity is associated with an increase in revenues of between 3% and 9%. We all know how important it is to have diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and not only for financial reasons. Yet in the US, some 97% of companies fail to reflect the demographic composition of the country in their senior leadership and workforce.  Most companies want to increase diversity, but unfortunately, the talent sourcing tools that are available today are highly limited, and even discriminatory. There are several reasons for that:  Limited talent pool  - Traditional talent sourcing tools (like LinkedIn) have a limited reach to talent. Candidates are often active on multiple sites and leave important data, to which single source tools lack access. Diversity specific job sites and resume databases are limited to active job seekers, eliminating passive, qualified, and diverse talent. Discriminatory search techni