3 Ways Coronavirus Has Changed the Job-Search Process
The coronavirus pandemic has caused upheaval across the globe. As the virus continues to spread with no definitive end in sight, it can be hard to think about the future. If you're a job seeker, it's not impossible to find a job, but for the time being, you might need to change your strategies.
By following the rapid changes taking place, you'll better prepare yourself for both the expected and the unexpected in your job search. Here are three ways the coronavirus has changed the job search process and what you can do to help yourself adapt to these changes.
Job opportunities are shifting
One of the massive impacts of COVID-19 on the job search is the federal, state, and local restrictions associated with health and safety. We've got social distancing recommendations in place, businesses temporarily forced to shutter their doors if they're deemed non-essential, and state governors and city mayors increasingly issuing "shelter-in-place" mandates. All of which are having a significant impact on the economy.
Employers able to continue operations remotely will stay open. However, they may or may not be actively hiring because many businesses are currently at one of two extremes, they're either suddenly booming or forced to grind to a halt. If your employer laid you off or you were already in the midst of a job search when coronavirus arrived in the U.S., you'll want to shift gears now and focus on those industries and/or employers able to continue to actively hire.
Learn how to prepare for a virtual interview
Due to social distancing requirements, the traditional hiring process has been significantly disrupted. Employers are now conducting their in-person interviews via video. This is a huge learning curve for everyone involved because many of the norms we've previously learned about attending interviews won't necessarily apply in the immediate future.
- Before your interview get familiarized with any video software and hardware you'll need.
- Check your internet speed to avoid significant lags during an interview.
- Remember to check camera and audio settings.
- Test different areas of your home to set your laptop up in a place with good lighting.
- Pay extra close attention to your body language and how it might come across on video
- Keep your eyes focused on your camera (not your screen) to ensure you'll make eye contact when interviewing.
This change in the job search process may ultimately become a permanent one once the COVID-19 crisis is over. If companies find success with this interview model, it's likely we'll see virtual interviews become the norm.
Understand negotiations could be trickier
As recent as a few months ago, candidates were in a strong position to negotiate salary and benefits. Going forward, there may be less flexibility because as a recession hits, the recent favorable candidate job market will shift. With many businesses being forced to temporarily close down during the COVID-19 crisis, they have taken a big financial hit. Unfortunately, many won't probably reopen. This, combined with people out of jobs jumping into the active job search pool, will equate to more applicants competing for fewer vacant positions.
Some estimates project tens of millions of jobs will potentially be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. With such a large pool of candidates to choose from, employers are possibly going to go with skilled applicants who aren't commanding the top tier salaries. But if you're realistic and do your research on average industry standards for the position in the region and how these industries have fared through the COVID-19 crisis, you'll be better equipped to negotiate fair compensation for everyone involved.
Despite the uncertainties ahead of us all, you don't want to necessarily suspend your active job search process or put your career goals on the back burner. If anything, use this time to think about where you want to go now and where you'd like to be in the future. And, if an opportunity comes, prepare for the "new normal" as best you can. There may still be some steep learning curves ahead in the job search process once the pandemic is over.