words Al Woods
Covid-19 has changed a wide range of common habits worldwide, and the labor market is one of the most affected areas. Not only our way to approach to our daily work has dramatically mutated, but also the way we look for and find a job. On the enterprises’ side, we can note a sort of reciprocity: the way they look for new employees, hire, fire and manage their working relationship is totally different now, compared to their most common habits until late 2019.
The most interesting phenomenon is the wide spread of the practice of remote or smart working. A lot of companies have swiftly changed their internal structure, reducing their employees’ attendance on a common physical workplace to the minimum necessary, while the most part of their workers have settled their new “office” at home.
A solution that was initially supposed to be transitory, but in many cases has become permanent, since it implies a drastic reduction of living expenses: for example, the need to occupy large spaces, paying expensive rents; or a wide utilities’ consumption (electricity, water, phone).
Clearly, this change of perspective has started to be conceived as possible, and even profitable, only when the companies’ owners have realized that their employees’ productivity wouldn’t have to decrease once they’re confined at home. On the contrary, it could even improve, and this is a massive surprise for all of those who put the blame on remote working for decades, claiming that this was the antechamber of an enterprise’s failure.
It may seem obvious, but the IT sector is the one that went through the least number of changes during the last 18 months. Many of the most consolidated formulas already in use in this specific sector have been substantially kept, with just a few slight adjustments. But also with one notable exception: the recruitment of new workforce.
Apparently, the work of an average IT recruitment company has become more intense and more specific at the same time. On one hand, in fact, the enhancement of remote working by many companies has created a request of new IT workers bound to implement the technicians’ teams responsible for the networks’ proper functioning. On the other one, the new recruits’ mansion is focused on a few particular areas: automation, data analysis and – most of all – technical support. The first two are quite easy to decrypt: working on automation means improving the reliability of both the operative and control instruments, especially on an industrial scale; while data analysis is an increasingly demanded work, even before the pandemic era’s start, so in this case it’s just a trend that keeps going with the flow.
For what concerns the technical support, this is a clear consequence of the “emergency state” that many employees had to face, out of the blue, in their working routine. It may seem a contradiction, but working from home implies a series of additional problems that a worker has never had the chance to deal with in his normal office chores. Every small technical issue could appear insurmountable for those who are not used to cope with them; and when they’re home they don’t have the opportunity to take advantage of the company’s technical staff on location.
The new technicians are destined exactly to work on remote with those employees who are not able to solve small (or even big) technical issues on their computer by themselves. Whether it’s a matter of software or hardware, they must take prompt action and sometimes reach the employee directly at his home. It follows that the main requirements for the applicants to this kind of work positions are: a strong technical skill, an ability in interpersonal communication and a problem-solving attitude.