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What We’re Seeing as the Business World Adapts to Coronavirus

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We’re now fully immersed in a new work and business landscape sparked by COVID-19. Some companies and professionals have adapted remarkably well. Others, not so much. But most are, on some level, still working to find their footing and keep moving forward. 

 

Their efforts have been multi-faceted and varied – this is a lot more complicated than just transitioning to remote work. Throughout the process, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the ways people and companies are adapting, largely through conversations with our partners and the talented professionals we work with as a recruiting company. 

This is a challenge, to be sure, but the main conclusion we’ve reached is that there’s more positivity out there than many people realize.

Here are a few of the patterns and changes we’ve observed so far. We’ll be updating this post regularly as the coronavirus response plays out. In the meantime: Stay calm! This is a challenge, to be sure, but the main conclusion we’ve reached is that there’s more positivity out there than many people realize.

Job hunting is becoming a more human-centric process.

This entire experience has made us all a bit more vulnerable. This has become evident in the recruiting and hiring process. People are not only more open to recruiter outreach, they’re sharing more of their personalities and taking a more social tone in job interviews. Many are even opening up about their anxieties around the whole thing. Whether this is a result of people feeling isolated, stressed, or both, it can help applicants and prospective employers connect and better determine culture fit.

On the job market? Things aren’t as bad as you think.

People on the job market are, understandably, nervous. The professionals in our network are largely assuming hiring has dried up, and are looking to us for guidance. LinkedIn feeds are flooded with posts about a presumed industry-wide hiring freeze. 

 

The good news is that this isn’t entirely true. Yes, the job market is constricting. But modern technology has made working from home easier than ever. As a result, lots of companies are still hiring. Some are hiring at an even faster rate than they were before the pandemic. So let us state clearly: Things are hard, but don’t panic! There are still opportunities for those looking to advance their careers, or who have been laid off.

Your interview might have been put on hold. But it might not be permanent.

All across the country, there are people who were interviewing for a role when the outbreak became a pandemic, causing the interview process to freeze. Many of these people undoubtedly assume the role has been pulled – and the truth is that, in some cases, this reading is correct. But not always. In many cases, it’s just a temporary pause as companies devote all their resources to stabilizing their business and adapting. There’s a good chance the role will stay open and that you’ll hear from the company again in a few weeks to continue the process. It bears repeating: Don’t panic!

Pausing your interview process? Keep your candidates warm through regular communication.

An interview pause creates considerations for hiring companies as well. If you expect the pause to be temporary, it’s essential to make your interviewees aware of that. The last thing you want is for a great candidate to assume you’ve pulled the role and take an offer from a competitor, leaving you kicking yourself. Keep a regular communication cadence. Ping your candidates every couple of days to keep them updated on when you expect you’ll be able to continue the interview process.

The talent market is full of laid-off professionals. That’s not a bad thing.

Don’t assume that the talent flooding the market is low-quality – even if they’re people who have been laid off. Some of them, yes, are bottom-performers who have been cut. But some are great reps whose company shut down, or who were subject to forced layoffs that had nothing to do with merit. These people are nothing to fear. To the contrary, they might be just what you need to help your company succeed in uncertain times.

In health tech, food delivery, or media? This is your time.

We’ve been in close communication with our VC partners, who tell us that about 20% of their portfolio is not only weathering the storm, but actually excelling during this time. Not surprisingly, this 20% consists largely of companies in the health technology, food delivery, and media sectors. For these industries, the current public health challenge and reduced mobility have created enormous demand.

Once the dust settles, rebuilding your team could be your biggest, most intensive task.

The companies and industries who make it through this are going to need recruiting support more than ever to navigate a transformed talent landscape and grow their teams. Specific challenges will include volume hiring, finding the right candidates in a bigger-than-ever candidate market, and more.