Dhillon School of Business alumnus Chris Broughton (BMgt ’10) has been working in the Human Resources profession for over 10 years and is currently a Chartered Professional in Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources and a certified Professional Investigator.

As a consultant for UpSourced HR, Chris was the perfect person to answer some of our Dhillon students’ questions about how COVID-19 has changed the business landscape and what the future may hold for employers and employees.

How can organizations build more diversity while working virtually?

One of the best ways to improve diversity in the workplace is to start with the hiring practices. By developing strong job descriptions focused on key competencies required for job performance and designing unbiased assessments methods, organizations can improve their diversity within the workplace.

Do you think most companies will rather have employees work from home going forward?

I think that most organizations will continue to employ people in a traditional office environment. That being said, many organizations will adopt a blended work environment and some will employ more remote workers than before. We will see some, but not many, move to a remote working environment full time.

What are the major differences between online and in-person interviews from an HR manager perspective?

Honestly, there aren't a lot of differences between the two. It takes some getting used to but for the most part, the only differences are the lack of physical interaction and the inability to show the candidate the workspace. Anything else can easily be overcome.

If businesses choose to continue working remotely after the pandemic, as some large tech companies have indicated they might, what affect do you think that will have on culture and relationships between employees?

I predict that many of the full-time remote work positions will become more transactional in nature. Employers will need to work hard to improve the culture through various in person events and developing other strategies to increase employee interaction if they want to have a strong culture. Positions that require frequent collaboration will need to establish trust and rapport with other employees which will need to be cultivated by the organization.

What are the employer’s obligations and the risks associated with a COVID-19 outbreak in a workplace?

Organizations are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace. They need to assess for hazards in the workplace and work to control those hazards in the workplace. Organizations that do not take reasonable precautions (engineered, administrative or PPE controls) may be held to account by Occupational Health & Safety for their failure to do so. This may result in administrative penalties or possible criminal charges being laid against individuals in the organization. These are extreme cases where there is a deliberate or severe neglect of duty.