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Recruitment and COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s life in some way or another. Not only that but it has put country’s economies on hold as businesses are not able to operate properly and people are reluctant to spend income is also uncertain at the minute. This means that recruitment is at an all-time low as companies are not wanting to invest in new people and are also unable to due to guidelines such as social distancing. Because of this it is quite a common theme now that some businesses are making staff redundant to reduce their costs or are shutting completely as they cannot afford to stay open. This has meant that many people’s job security is uncertain and many people have been made unemployed due to this pandemic, so here are some ways that you can deal with unemployment and how to put yourself in a good position for when things return to normal.

How to start looking for a new job.

To maximise your chances of finding a job when industries start to resume their normal operations, one strategy would be to create an appealing online profile so that recruiters and companies are able to approach you, while you also actively apply for jobs. An example of this would be LinkedIn. This will help to broaden your horizon and help to advertise yourself to more employers. You can also use this time to update your CV, as you are likely to be competing with people more than ever when things return to normal. You should consider your core skills, experiences, and what sort of roles that you would be suited towards. This is so that your horizons are widened in terms of job finding as specific titles are a niche market anyway, and with the high levels of demand it may be very hard to secure a certain job, so with the expansion of what you look for this will allow you to seek similar roles to what you are looking for, therefore increasing your chances of re-employment. For example, if you work in retail customer service, this could translate to other people-facing roles such as sales.

Upskill or reskill

This may be a question on lots of people’s minds at the minute. Should you learn new skills, or boost the skills you already possess? This can be a difficult decision to make as it may determine the future of your career, however it may be a good decision to update, or boost your skills portfolio during this time. This is because the job market will be extremely competitive when recruitment goes back to normal so you will need to be able to stand out against other candidates. Upskilling means where you take a skill that you already have and enhance it. This is something that you may not only benefit from now, but it will be great for your career in the future, because you are making your skills more desirable to employers and allowing yourself to become more valuable to a company, which can lead to a higher salary and career progression. So, upskilling will be suited to someone who is looking to progress their career.

Reskilling is where you actively go out and learn new skills, which can be done through things like online courses or employee insights. This would be more suited to someone who is looking for a career change. This is because reskilling will allow you to learn new skills that are desirable in other industries, therefore allowing you to switch up your career and go down a different path. So with both upskilling and reskilling, you should use this free time you have now to be productive, and actively go out there and seek to boost or change your career, as job security is very low at the minute, so making yourself more employable will put you in a great position for recruitment In the future.

How companies are recruiting now

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some industries that are thriving during this pandemic. The medical and retail industries have unprecedented demand for workers as the volume of their worker has increased heavily throughout this period so companies like Tesco, and the NHS require lots of new workers. This means that if you are looking for a retail job or a job within the medical industry now might be a better time than ever before as there are plenty of opportunities. However, if you are looking for an office-based role you are likely to be working from home, where you interact across videos calls and email. This is also how a lot of companies are conducting interviews now too, as it allows recruiters to speak to you properly, like a normal interview, and also see your personal attributes, so it is quite an effective interview method. So, making sure you know how to prepare for these, and you know what to expect will put you in a great position if you secure a video interview.

Video interview tips

Video interviews are very similar to the standard face to face interview; however, a lot of people find them a bit easier as the fact you are not actually facing the employer can put the pressure of slightly. However, you still need to give it your best shot and these tips will help you do that and give you the best chance of success.

Dress smartly. This may be obvious but a lot of people forget to dress as if they were attending a normal interview when undertaking a video interview, which can give the employer a negative first impression of you, so remember to dress smartly, like you would in a face to face interview.

Sit in a quiet environment. Making sure you’re in a quiet, calm area when taking your interview is important as being surrounded by loud distractions may put you off and distort the communication between you and the recruiter, so important information may be missed. If you live with a big family, it may be a good idea to tell them about your interview before, so they do not disturb you.

Use your notes. Before taking an interview, it is critical that you prepare well. Make notes on the company you are applying to, label your interests about the roles, pinpoint your strengths and how they fit the role, and make questions to ask the recruiter. These can be used as pointers for the interview and if you get stuck you can always take a quick glance at them, but do not read off of them for everything as recruiters want to see that you can communicate effectively and can use your initiative.

Have questions to ask the employer. It is important to display your interests in the role to the employer. This can be done through asking them questions about the company, role, and what you will be doing. Good questions to ask them can include the likes of: “If I were successful what would my first month consist of”, or “what’s the biggest challenge for a new person coming into this role”.


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