As a career strategist at a MassHire career center, I’m asking employers to keep the hiring wheels in motion. Employers, you might have to close your doors, due to the Coronavirus, but this doesn’t mean you can’t stay the course.
Job seekers, I’m talking to you, too. This is not the time to give up. Especially not now. There will be some who will give up; don’t be one of them. Develop a competitive mindset and don’t let other job seekers beat you to the jobs that are available. There are jobs available.
These are certainly tough times. We get this. My clients are stressed enough trying to get their careers on track, so taking 14 days or more off is not what they want. They want to work and need a job “yesterday.”
Employers, don’t wait to fill your positions
Employers, you can interview candidates for open positions even if you have to shut your doors or limit access to the public. If you have open requisitions for positions, fill them. Be creative in the ways you employ your new hires.
Our career center has been instructed by the state to deny access to the public. This is smart. But we’ll continue to work and communicate with our clients via telephone and Zoom. We’re going to make it work.
I’ll offer my customers the option of Zooming and advising via the telephone. This is not ideal, especially in a service industry where that human connection is so important. But, for now, these are the best ways our career advisors and I can service our clients.
Recruiters, you can go about business as usual. You have technology like Zoom/Skype, assessments, the phone, and text—to name a few—to continue interviewing job candidates who are already in the pipeline.
Hiring managers, you can still communicate with recruiters, HR, and most importantly candidates. Consider how job seekers are feeling about this new normal. It doesn’t feel that great for them. Many of them will sink into despondency.
My LinkedIn colleague and good friend, Mark Anthony Dyson, offers some great ideas for technology to use in his article, Increase Your Work-From-Home Efficiency: 9 Handy Tools for Remote Workers, published on Job-Hunt.org. These tools are free or inexpensive. Use them.
Job seekers, more than ever you need to stay the course
I don’t want you to give up your search. Reach out to recruiters at the companies you’ve been communicating with. Also reach out to hiring managers, if possible.
Demonstrate your desire to work. Show employers you’re not giving in to this temporary pandemic. At the same time prepare ahead of time; drive forward networking with new and existing connections. Use Zoom or Skype to conduct virtual meetings.
Continue to update your resumes for potential jobs. Write tailored resumes to each job. Complete your LinkedIn profile, continue building your focused network, and engage on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn at least four times a day, 20 minutes each day.
Reach out to new recruiters and staffing agencies in your industry. If you are engaged with employers, don’t disregard other possibilities. Things going slow? Don’t rely on employers who are dragging their feet.
For my clients who have job offers but haven’t started, consider approaching other employers to begin communications. If you’re asked whether you’re working, you can truthfully tell them you’re not.
Consider volunteering until you land your next gig. Volunteerism has proven to be one of the best ways to conduct a job search. Think about it; you can volunteer 20 hours a week and spend the rest of the time using other methods to job search. If you volunteer in your industry, use it to fill a gap on your resume.
Lastly, get out of your house. Take walks, go on road trips, do your hobbies. In other words, don’t let life stop.
Students, you need to stay on track as well
My daughter is a senior who is supposed to graduate in May. Her senior year has essentially been ruined. You probably have the option of completing courses online. Take advantage of this. Don’t let your studies slide.
And professors, don’t let your students down. I’ve heard of professors who refuse to adopt new technology to teach their courses. Don’t perpetuate the stereotype that older workers cant’ use technology. Accept help. Hire an assistant.
Seniors, your goal is to graduate. You may have been robbed of the last semester of your senior year, but there’s still the possibility of having a party to beat all parties when this disruption as ended. My daughter will.
Career strategists, you’ll play a large role in helping job seekers land
Job seekers need your guidance. They need your expertise as well as your moral support. You know what employers are looking for in resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and interviews. You know how to brand your clients.
If you’re in the public realm, like me, be empathetic and stretch yourself further than before. I’ve found that some of our clients arent’ shy about reaching out, but there are others who don’t know how to ask or think they don’t have the right.
Career coaches and resume writers, you’ll be in high demand. I know how hard you worked in the past. Now your plate will be overloaded, not simply full. Perhaps you’ll have to outsource your resume writing.
Your client base will change. Whereas you had employed clients, your new ones will increasingly be unemployed. The might not be able to afford your high-end services. Consider offering a menu that is more affordable.
Employers, I know the pandemic has changed business as you knew it. There are more fires to put out. Don’t forget the most important fire at hand; hiring an employee to make your life easy.
Job seekers, the search goes on. Don’t give up. Don’t rely on an extension of your unemployment insurance benefits. If you’re newly unemployed, apply for benefits immediately.
Students, make us proud and ace your online classes. I know the future seems scary, but eventually the economy will right itself.
Career strategists, your role is more important than ever. Be prepared for more demand. And be that supply job seekers need. I’m dedicated to helping my clients and taking on more MassHire clients.
Photo, Flickr, Y-Shumin