Recruitment is Weird Right Now: a Focus on the Positive

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Recruitment is Weird Right Now: a Focus on the Positive

Unemployment is through the roof, and there are absolutely no jobs available right now. Or, is it: Companies are desperate to hire and cannot get enough qualified applicants?

It’s both. And it’s peculiar. COVID has split the hiring world between high unemployment in some sectors and people scrambling to get enough people in others. It’s weird, but it also opens up opportunities for all sorts of people. 

So, let’s look at the positive side! 

LinkedIn has a “Who’s Hiring Right Now” column that is updated regularly. For instance, at this moment, the top five hiring companies say,

  • Instacart says it’s looking to hire 300,000 contract workers.
  • McDonald’s says it’s hiring about 260,000 people this summer.
  • Amazon says it’s looking to hire 175,000 new workers for its fulfillment centers and delivery network.
  • Albertsons is hiring 50,000 people across their companies for open roles.
  • CVS Health is hiring 50,000 employees to serve in various capacities across its business.

That’s an awful lot of jobs. It also shows that a lot of mass hiring is in the unskilled or entry-level category. But, let’s unpack all of this.

Big Companies Hire in Big Numbers

Startups don’t hire 50,000 to get going, but huge, established grocery store chains do. Small businesses don’t hire 175,000 workers to do their fulfillment. They hire the neighbor or a contingent worker to work 15 hours a week. 

Small businesses employ about half of the workers in the US and Europe. These companies often have small advertising budgets and definitely don’t get listed on LinkedIn’s who’s hiring lists. So while McDonald’s may be hiring 260,000 people, are there 260,000 other jobs in small restaurants too? Possibly. It’s hard to gather those statistics, but restaurants had to terminate a lot of people when everything shut down. Still, now that businesses are reopening, there’s probably a lot of restaurants looking for employees, perhaps they are even trying to rehire former employees.

It’s easy to job search by clicking through the big businesses’ web pages or doing searches on the big job boards. But, if you don’t even know the names of all the smaller companies that hire people with your skills, it’s pretty much impossible unless they advertise on Indeed. If you’re willing to relocate, there are jobs you couldn’t even imagine now.

So, if you’re looking for a job and can’t seem to find one, start looking at industries and not job postings. Start by networking, and look specifically for smaller businesses. Yes, there are a lot of jobs in big companies, but there are probably just as many in small companies, and you won’t be competing against everyone who monitors LinkedIn.

Entry Level Jobs Are Good Jobs

It looks like most of the jobs on LinkedIn’s list are entry-level or unskilled labor jobs. Don’t fear: the advantage of an entry-level position is that no one expects you to stay there forever. A big company can offer stability, a path for promotions, and excellent benefits. That’s something!

A smaller company cannot necessarily offer that, but they offer a paycheck and training. Remember, work experience is always a good thing. Perform well, and you’ll move up – whether it’s in this company or another one. It’s always okay to move on when something better comes your way.

It’s Time for Innovation

This virus taught the world that we weren’t prepared for everything the way we thought we were. Who would have predicted that plexiglass would be the growing industry with orders coming out of their ears? It’s crazy how much plexiglass has become a part of our daily lives. Frankly, as a former fast-food cashier, I think, viruses aside, having a barrier between customers and employees is brilliant.

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It’s not just big slabs of plastic between people; it’s also a chance for innovation. I visited the ophthalmologist last month, and he clearly had a custom piece of plexiglass that fit over his equipment. That’s innovation and design right there.

Who would have thought mask-making would become big business? There’s a dry cleaner down the street who pivoted and now sells adorable hand made masks. I suspect that with everyone working at home, not so many people needed suits cleaned, and instead of giving up, they found a new market.

Education has flipped around and landed on its head. When schools shut, in Switzerland, where I live, my teen’s school was entirely online by the first Tuesday. Now, that schools are starting up again, some are going back to brick and mortar, others are staying online, and some are doing a mix.

But, it’s not just the schools, it’s also parents. Some parents are forming “pods,” where they hire a teacher to teach a small group of children. Others are hiring “zutors” (a horrible word that should never exist, meaning a combination of Zoom and tutors) to teach their kids online rather than sending them back to a traditional school. 

All of these create new and different jobs. If you didn’t want to be a teacher because you hate classroom management, then working for five families with a total of 7 kids in the group may be ideal for you. It’s about change. It’s about looking for opportunities wherever they may be. It’s about the status quo not being the limit anymore.

If You’re Hiring

If your business needs new people and you can’t seem to find anyone, it may be time to lower your standards. This doesn’t mean that you hire horrible people with no skills. It means you hire people who could do a good enough job with the right training and support. Stop making job postings with 40 different skills and, instead, put down the top five skills that you absolutely need. You can train people for everything else.

In the below video, I talk about why it’s time we start looking for people who could do a good job working for an okay company (instead of searching for ninjas or unicorns).

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If You’re Job Hunting

Expand your horizons. Sure, you’ve always done X, but have you thought about doing Y? COVID has changed the number of jobs available in almost all industries, but where there’s a drop in one, there’s often a rise in another. Be willing to look outside your current industry – skills transfer. Knowledge doesn’t go away. Give it a shot.

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