Industry Insights

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How the Coronavirus Pandemic is Impacting Hiring and Job Searching, and What You Can Do

March 16, 2020

With the coronavirus COVID-19 continuing to spread across the US and its impact on industries, schools, work, and other aspects of our lives still developing, we wanted to take a moment to share some of the trends we’re seeing from our vantage point as recruiters.While we recommend looking to institutions like the CDC, WHO, or your local news for the latest updates on the disease’s spread and its health implications, we also understand that many professionals and organizations have been looking for information on how this impacts hiring and job searching so that they can be prepared for any scenario.

How the Coronavirus is Impacting Hiring and Job Searching

1. Cancellation of events, travel suspensions, and many working from home

Seeking to curtail the spread of the virus, many businesses and governments have either cancelled or postponed events with large in-person gatherings of people. Many companies have also suspended travel plans for their employees or asked their employees to work from home if possible.Considerations for employers – If you have more of your team (or your entire team) working remotely, make an effort to keep communication going so that everyone is on the same page. When it comes to hiring, transparency and communication throughout will be key to navigating through potentially new processes (such as online interviews).Considerations for professionals – Stay in touch! Move your networking efforts online, reach out to recruiters and other contacts if you’re job searching, and keep your long-term career goals in sight even as you work to adjust to short-term changes or potential industry disruption.

2. While some companies have frozen hiring, many are pushing ahead

Even though long-term impacts of the coronavirus on hiring plans are yet to be seen, at the moment many companies are still moving ahead with their hiring plans for 2020. This will vary widely by industry, as travel and tourism have slowed down but other industries have been less affected.Considerations for employers – If it makes sense for your team, this could potentially be an opportunity to find candidates with less competition in the field. Keeping an eye to the longer-term, be cognizant of restructuring and layoffs that might make solid talent available on the job market.Considerations for professionals – As recruiters we often advise professionals to always keep your resume updated, but in times of potential disruption it is especially prudent to be prepared. Need tips? You can find all our resume guides for analytics, data science, digital and strategy, marketing research, and data engineers here.

3. Many companies are moving onsite interviews to online-only

We’re seeing numerous companies forego on-site interviews in favor of online meetings, using platforms such as Skype or WebEx. Additionally, some candidates have also been expressing reluctance to travel for interviews.Considerations for employers – Be flexible! If you’re planning to hire, now is the time to make sure your organization is equipped to hire via technology, especially if there end up being additional travel restrictions.Considerations for professionals – Make sure you are adequately prepared for virtual interviews: have a professional Skype ID ready, have examples of your work available at home and a way to share them with potential employers online, and make sure you have the technology available (internet, quiet place at home, webcam if applicable, etc.) to participate in online interviews. You can find more of our tips for successful online interviews here.While we are not seeing a wide scale pull back from hiring or rounds of layoffs just yet, this may change depending on how long the pandemic lasts and we see its ripple effects spread to different industries. Our best advice is to be adaptable and to also be patient as both employers and professionals are likely navigating new territory with the technical challenges that may come along with that. And of course, to stay aware of how these changes may impact your business or career, and take the necessary precautions to stay safe!