By Ed Han
We are in a challenging time for hiring on both sides of the hiring desk.
The COVID-19 pandemic and attendant quarantines are reshaping how -- and which -- employers hire.
Quarantines and "social distancing" requirements have also eliminated most face-to-face meetings.
Consequently, what job seekers need to do to find their next opportunities under such circumstances has changed, too.
In many jurisdictions, the state government has issued mandatory quarantine instructions, ending most face-to-face meetings.
The critical thing is finding out who is still hiring. This is only happening at essential businesses: businesses whose function is deemed necessary to maintain minimal societal function. But how to find out who is actually hiring now?
Opportunities exist if you are willing to create a flexible job search that includes developing a great resume, being open-minded about where you work, and dedicating significant time to networking.
You can open doors, create your opportunities, and get a great role despite the current environment.
This is not an easy time for most employers, either. Many businesses and public services have closed, hopefully only temporarily. Others struggle to stay open. Some are doing their best to handle the overwhelming volume of people seeking their help or services.
The job market has changed, but it has not disappeared.
During a pandemic, employers who are still conducting business want to ensure that they are protect both existing as well as future employees. In discussion with many other recruiters, the common theme is this:
Employers are conducting all interviews by phone or video interview. As an informed job seeker, you should brush up on best practices relating to both.
Expect that part of the employer's "onboarding" process (standard orientation for new employees) may be conducted virtually, via GoToMeeting, Skype, etc. In the interests of protecting all employees, whether long-standing or prospective, responsible employers are eliminating, or at least reducing, the need to complete the onboarding process in person.
If an employer is still hiring, they are acutely aware of the concerns you have. This is an indisputable truth: we have all heard the concerns you may have about fingerprinting or drug tests for those employers who require them. If you have concerns, voice them. Any employer worth joining has measures in place to protect everyone involved and will be happy to explain their practices and why they do what they do.
Be safe, and be successful!
Ed Han is a recruiter and wordsmith and social media fanatic. As a veteran of several industries, including publishing, financial services and fashion, Ed helps facilitate a job search group in Princeton NJ and has served as the online community manager for the regional HR networking group Whine & Dine. Connect with Ed on Twitter @ed_han where you will often find that Ed has posted a "LinkedIn tip of the day."