COVID-19

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the workforce. Here is a collection of blogs that discuss how the Coronavirus is impacting the workplace and information on how to make the best of this situation. We also share job search tips to help you navigate the job market during the viral outbreak. At Johnson Service Group, we work hard, we work together and we work for you.

Job Market Outlook For The Second Half Of 2020

So far, the 2020 job market has been a wild roller coaster ride. It kicked off as one of the strongest job markets in our nation’s history. Sustained job creation, healthy earnings gains, and record-low unemployment rates had both employers and candidates feeling stable and optimistic. However, after just two months, we experienced a complete shock as the Coronavirus Pandemic led our economy to a screeching halt. Now, as states start to open back up, companies resume normal business activities, and as infection rates continue to decline, we begin to wonder about the future. Here are some of the trends you’ll see in the job market throughout the second half of 2020.

Hiring Steady Or Increasing In These Industries

As gloomy as the job market may seem, there are a few bright spots. Tech companies that have been able to transition to working remotely have largely remained unaffected. Some that focus on further enabling online connections such as Microsoft and Zoom have experienced considerable boosts in revenue. Online retailers and delivery companies have watched their business boom hand-in-hand as more consumers get more comfortable ordering online.

Additionally, industries that have been on the front lines of the pandemic have been hiring to keep up with demand. Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and supermarket chains have been scrambling to staff their workforce. Businesses that provide entertainment such as video streaming, online games, and traditional games and puzzles have been thriving as people spend more time at home.

Networking Will Be More Important Than Ever

You’ve probably heard that landing a job is “all about who you know.” And that statement will ring true now more than ever! Even prior to the pandemic, it had been estimated that as many as 70% of open positions are never even posted to job boards. One of the most lucrative forms of networking is via your alumni network.

Take Colby College, a small liberal arts college in Maine, for example. Amidst the rocky labor market, they implemented a “Pay It Northward” program, a promise to all 500 graduates to use the alumni network to find them jobs. After only ten days, the graduates had received over 500 offers, about half of them for full-time positions.

An Increase In Remote Work

As most companies throughout the nation scrambled to shift to working from home in March, the stigma and uneasiness about lack of control started to melt away. Now, many are extending remote work orders or offering it as a permanent option. Employees and Managers alike are reaping benefits from working from home. A report from USA Today found that 54% of workers are more productive than working in the office. Additionally, as many as 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future.

Lasting Impacts To These Industries

Some industries, such as travel and tourism and traditional retail, will likely feel the effects of this pandemic for years to come. Even as states slowly start to open up, people remain cautious. With unemployment currently hovering around 20%, many have been forced to change their spending habits. This trend will probably last well beyond the lingering threat of the virus as, unfortunately, millions of people have felt the effects of living off of little to no savings.

Economists aren’t optimistic about a fast-approaching recovery. “There’s just been too much damage to come back that quickly. People will self-regulate. Just because your governor says you can go out, doesn’t mean you will do it,” said Ethan Harris, Head of Global Economics Research at Bank of America.

If you need help navigating this unpredictable job market, whether you’re a candidate or a client, we’re here. At Johnson Service Group – we work hard, we work together, we work for you. Contact us today to get started!

Is Now The Time For A Career Change?

Is Now The Time For A Career Change?

Recent events may have rocked your career. Maybe you were laid off or furloughed, or a global pandemic put things into perspective, and you realized you just aren’t happy where you are now. Could now be the time for a career change? Even though the job market may be rocky, it could actually be a great time to switch things up. Here are just a few things you can do to get started.

Invest time in passion projects

If you’re unsure about your next step, spend some quality time just doing the things you love. Even if you don’t plan on launching a knitting career, it’s a great way to clear your mind and spark your creative side. On the other hand, you just may discover that your passion for puzzles inspires you to pivot towards a career in engineering.

Make a list

This needs to be more than the usual pros and cons list. Think about your future career. What are your must-haves for a career change? Work-life balance, a competitive salary, opportunities for advancement? Then, dream even bigger! If you could design your dream job from scratch, what would it entail? Rooftop goat yoga, ice cream Fridays, being your own boss? Don’t be afraid to get creative and silly with it! An exercise like this can help you realize what is really most important to you and help guide your decision making during the hiring process.

Browse the job boards

When you’re looking for a fresh start and career change, the world is your oyster. New job titles are gracing the internet every day, some of which you may never have heard of before! Search your area’s job listings, then expand your search to virtual positions. After all, job postings for remote positions were up 42% in March! Check out anything and everything that sounds interesting or different; you never know what you may find.

Ramp up your networking

It can feel incredibly vulnerable to post your career aspirations on social media, but it is also one of the best ways to expose yourself to new opportunities. Did you know that as many as 70% of open positions are never even posted? Instead, they’re filled via networking! Let your contacts know that you are looking for a new job and a total career makeover. And bonus, you’ll usually get a great reference or two out of it as well!

As you prep to make a major career change, keep yourself up to date with all things related to job searching via our Job Search Tips & Tricks Newsletter!

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

As many states start to ease back into a semi-normal routine, many workers throughout the country are returning to the office. After over two months of working from home, this may be quite a shell-shock. Not to mention, so many things have changed! As you begin to establish your new normal, be sure to take these three things into consideration.

Be Flexible

In a post-pandemic world, flexibility is going to be key. Companies and employees alike are trying to navigate totally uncharted waters. Your workplace has been working around the clock to implement safe and sanitary procedures. Please have patience and practice being flexible! It will take some time to get used to foregoing handshakes, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing everything constantly.

Take Time To Check In With Your Coworkers & Partners

It has been a whirlwind couple of months. As you step foot back in the office, take the time to check in with everyone. This is an excellent opportunity to spark meaningful conversations that go beyond the current weather. Ask people how they spent their time working from home – did they binge-watch anything great? Catch up on a fantastic book? How was balancing homeschooling with work? It won’t do any good to jump straight to business. Your coworkers and business contacts will appreciate the chance to socialize and catch up!

Give Yourself Some Grace

It can be tempting just to jump right back into your old way of working. However, don’t forget that things are very different now. It may take a little while to get back into the swing of things (and that’s okay!). Ask for support from your team or leaders if you need it. Most importantly, if you feel sick or rundown at any point, STAY HOME.

Heading back into the office is probably stirring up a large variety of emotions. Be sure to check in with yourself and take advantage of the resources at hand both at your workplace and online!

attract job seekers during COVID-19

How to Attract Job Seekers During COVID-19

Jobless claims in the United States jumped yet again today. On Thursday, the BLS reported another 2.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, bringing the total number of unemployed to 39 million. Yet employers that are hiring are struggling to attract the right candidates. This rift is perplexing with so many people out of work. Some workers that are laid off are enjoying their newfound free time, some are making even more money on unemployment than when they were working, and others are just difficult to find. If you are one of the many employers that need talent, here is how your team can attract job seekers during COVID-19.

Share your benefits and perks

With an extra $600 per month on unemployment, thousands of workers are making more than they were while employed. So, how do you attract those people that are making extra money each week while enjoying a little free time? Your organization should make your company’s benefits and perks transparent. In your job descriptions, layout the benefits you offer, as well as the perks your team gets to have. Offer occasional remote work or have an outstanding 401(k) program? Share that early (and often) in your recruitment efforts! These perks are challenging to come by for many job seekers, so sharing your benefits will be your secret weapon.

Share a glimpse of your culture

Another excellent way to attract top-notch job seekers is to share a glimpse of your company culture. Culture is huge right now, and job seekers want to work for an employer that aligns with their values and beliefs. When you write your job descriptions, add a section that briefly discusses what it’s like to be part of your team. Include links to videos, social media posts, or sections of your website that illustrate your culture.

If your new employees will be working remotely at first or even temporarily, ensure you make them feel welcome from their first day. It can be challenging to build a strong culture remotely. If you are looking for ways to create a positive employee experience for your remote team, here are a few things you can implement to help you attract and retain your staff.

Referral programs

Do you offer a referral program? If you have a teammate that refers a candidate to an open position of yours, reward their efforts! If that referral leads to a hire, give that employee a nice thank you and a small token of your appreciation. Whether it’s a gift card or even a cash bonus, creating a referral program is a great way to attract qualified candidates, even during a global pandemic. If you have a program, ensure your entire staff knows about it so they are incentivized to send over great resumes!

Work with a recruiting firm

These are just a few things your team can do to attract job seekers during COVID-19. But if your team is still struggling to attract candidates during the pandemic, don’t give up hope. Work with a recruiting firm, like Johnson Service Group, that can help you source the right candidates for your team. We have a pipeline of excellent candidates that are ready to get back to work now.

quarantine skills

How to Show Off Your Quarantine Skills

Millions of workers across the globe are taking their extra downtime to acquire new skill sets. If you have been unfortunately laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic, now is an excellent time to hone some new skills. Taking advantage of this time to improve your job search toolkit will make yourself more marketable and hopefully help get you more interview requests. But how do you display these newfound skills you just acquired? Here is how you can successfully show off your new quarantine skills.

Add them to your resume

If you spend hours working on securing a new skill or two during quarantine, you definitely want to add them to your resume. To do this, add a skills section to your resume. We recommend creating a section in your resume to display your skills. You don’t have to go into detail here; just make a nice list of all the relevant skills for the position you wish to apply for. Also, if you receive a certificate for a new skill or course you complete, be sure to add that certification, too! Letting hiring managers know you have achieved these skills is a great way to get a leg up on the competition.

Add them to your LinkedIn profile

After those new skills and courses have found a new home on your resume, it’s time to add them to your LinkedIn profile. Adding all your crucial skill sets, certifications, and accomplishments to your profile is absolutely critical, especially if you’re actively searching for a new job. LinkedIn has specific areas on your profile to add your skills, licenses, certifications, and accomplishments. It’s essential to put these new quarantine skills and achievements in the right area so recruiters can easily find you when running searches on LinkedIn Recruiter. If you display these accomplishments correctly, you are on your way to partnering with a recruiter that can help you find a new opportunity, even during these challenging times.

Here is a brief video tutorial on how to appropriately display LinkedIn skills on your profile.

Let your network know

Now that your resume and LinkedIn are freshly updated with those quarantine skills, share the news with your network! Make a nice little post and share the news with your LinkedIn connections. You will likely get a lot of engagement, words of encouragement, and support, which is nice to hear during these difficult times. Also, you never know who ends up seeing a post sharing your new skills. It may just lead you to a new connection that helps you land an exciting opportunity!

How To Improve Your Soft Skills During Quarantine

How To Improve Your Soft Skills During Quarantine

If you are like so many other professionals throughout North America, you probably have found yourself with some extra time on your hands lately. As such, it is the perfect opportunity to beef up your resume and add some in-demand soft skills to your repertoire. Today we’re covering the five most in-demand soft skills in 2020 and how you can develop and nurture them during this time of growth.

Creativity

When all of this is over, you can almost be certain that employers will ask how you spent your free time during quarantine. Make sure you have a great answer! Get in touch with your creative side, whether or not it’s “professional” or not is up to you! Consider taking a course in Photoshop, or engineer a creative marble course with your kids. Expressing your creativity will tap into previously uncovered soft skills and widen your horizon.

Persuasion

You may already be working on this skill more than you think. Have you convinced yourself to resist the temptation of the “Are you still watching?” prompt on Netflix? Have you argued with your kid about finishing their online schoolwork? There you have it; you’re an expert in persuasion. Professionally, consider creating a plan for yourself and what you want out of your career during this time. That way, in the future, you’ll have a clear guide of your desired direction and the steps it will take to get there.

Collaboration

Believe it or not, isolation is a great time to work on your social skills. Take this opportunity to expand your virtual professional network. Post frequently on social media sites, follow companies you admire, and craft custom connection requests to leaders and peers in your industry. With stay at home orders in place throughout the world, people are craving connection and will be more willing to collaborate than ever before.

Adaptability

Of all the soft skills, adaptability is arguably the most important. And COVID-19 wielded unbelievable power in forcing the whole world to adapt at once. Almost every single person throughout the globe has been affected. Whether you were laid off, forced to work from home, or suddenly found yourself overhauling your day-to-day procedures to ensure the utmost safety, you most certainly showed adaptability during this time.

Emotional Intelligence

There has truly never been a better time to work on your emotional intelligence. Empathy is a necessary skill in today’s climate, so look around you for opportunities to act with compassion and respect. If you take a step back from almost any obstacle you witness or face, you’ll be able to better assess the big picture.

Soft skills are an important part of your resume and what you bring to the table as an employee. If you are lacking in any of these five areas, take this time filled with so much unknown as an opportunity for growth.

working from home

Will You Be Working from Home Permanently?

Working from home has become the new norm for millions of Americans over the last couple of months, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, even as states begin to reopen, some companies are extending their work from home (WFH) policies throughout the summer. Others are pushing them out until 2021. For example, Google and Facebook have both extended their work from home policies until this fall. Some companies, like Twitter, are making WFH a permanent option. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, just announced that he is allowing his employees to work remotely permanently, even after the pandemic is over. So, will you be working from home permanently? Or, are you counting down the seconds until you can head back to the office?

The work from stigma is fizzling out

Many employers that were once against working from home have turned over a new leaf. With millions forced to work remotely because of stay at home orders imposed by our states’ governors, most employers did not have a choice. As a result, companies are changing their tune on letting their employees work remotely. This shift will have a significant, lasting impression on the modern-day workforce for years to come. Employers that once refused to let their team operate remotely are now hiring new employees for remote positions. In fact, job postings for remote positions were up 42% on LinkedIn in March. This trend will likely increase, even after we overcome this virus.

The benefits of working from home

Millions of Americans are getting the privilege of WFH for the very first time. And the majority of them are enjoying it. A recent study from ZDNet found that 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future. Furthermore, working from home has improved the productivity and communication of many workers. A report from USA Today found that 54% of workers are more productive than when working in the office. This result is due to the time saved from commuting, as well as fewer distractions and meetings.

With a positive impact on our workforce, don’t be surprised if more employers begin to offer remote work in the future.

Looking for ways to stay productive while working remotely?

Working remotely is definitely an adjustment for many of us. And although there are tons of good things coming to fruition because of this newfound productivity working from home, others are struggling to make this transition. If you need a little help boosting your WFH productivity, check out our blog on how to effectively work from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

How To Prove Your Value During Tough Economic Times

How To Prove Your Value During Tough Economic Times

With unemployment claims topping 33 million in the United States alone, there’s no doubt that we are weathering some challenging economic times. If you are fortunate enough to be still employed, but you’re concerned about job security, this article is for you. Here are four steps you can take now to prove your value and increase your job security starting today.

Demonstrate Flexibility

The number one value-added skill you can have during uncertain times is flexibility. Being adaptable day by day will allow you to fulfill needs wherever and whenever they arise. As a result, long-term projects that you had been planning may need to be put on the back-burner. Weekly meetings may need to be virtual if you’re practicing social distancing. Some business practices may need to be streamlined with a slim workforce. Show that you can go with the flow by being flexible in all areas of your job.

Brainstorm New Ideas

Difficult circumstances are an excellent breeding ground for innovation. Think outside the box and voice your ideas whenever possible. Even if it doesn’t concern your job or even department, everyone appreciates an outsider’s perspective. Collaboration will continue to be how we weather challenging times.

Add Relevant Skills

A foolproof way to ensure job security is by increasing your value as an employee. One great way to do this is by acquiring some new skills in your downtime. Take your lunch hour to listen to industry-related podcasts, or complete an online course on helpful software. Even just do a few extra Google searches to improve your proficiency in the programs you already use!

Go Above And Beyond

Now is not the time for “that’s not in my job description.” (Not that there ever was a good time to say that!) Just like you, your employer and your coworkers are facing new challenges daily. Take this opportunity to step up and help someone who is struggling to complete a project or a task that has gone uncompleted for a while.

While you certainly are a valuable team member all the time, difficult circumstances may require you to shine a little brighter and prove your value to ensure job security. Keep doing everything you’re great at, and be on the lookout for opportunities to excel.

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has changed the hiring landscape. The effects of this pandemic will be felt throughout organizations for years to come, and it will permanently change how we do business. One thing you can start changing now is how you interview. By making a few adjustments, you’ll be able to continue hiring talented candidates during uncertain times. Try incorporating these three things into your interview process while hiring for your next role to get ahead of your competition!

Be Open To Long-Distance Hiring

Gone are the days of flying candidates across the country to interview for a position. We do not know how long the effects of the Coronavirus will last. Even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed, it will be good practice to limit exposure as much as possible. In order to hire top talent before your competition, we are coaching our clients on how to hire virtually. Over the phone or via a video conference, you can still get a thorough understanding of whether someone will be a good fit for the position or not. It all comes down to asking the right questions.

Stop Grilling Candidates About Employment Gaps

With unemployment claims now reaching over 33 million, there will be just as many gaps on resumes. It’s time we stop judging candidates on resume gaps or presumed “job hopping.” Instead, focus on the value they can add to your team. To ensure that they are in it for the long haul, be sure to ask questions about why they want this position, and where they see themselves in the future. (It’s okay to press for more in-depth, realistic answers to these questions to make an accurate assessment!)

Be Upfront About PTO & Benefits

In the past, it was considered in poor taste for candidates to ask about PTO and benefits during an interview. However, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these policies have become more than just “work perks.” Moving forward, candidates will want to ensure that they can take adequate time to heal and recover or care for family members. They will also be comparing company benefits such as healthcare, 401k matching, and wellness initiatives. It will work to your advantage to explain your benefits package during the interview. As a result, candidates can make an informed decision about the next step in their career.

For more articles on the Coronavirus and how it is affecting the job market, head here.

Should You Accept Any Job

Plan B: Should You Accept Any Job?

Due to several states indefinitely extending their stay at home orders, another 3.84 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, according to the Department of Labor. That brings the total of unemployed workers to over 30 million in just six weeks. As a result, many Americans that are out of work are considering pursuing a side gig or temporary job with an essential employer. However, numerous workers contemplating this career shift are skeptical because they are worried about explaining it to a new employer down the road. And on the other foot, some workers are feeling obligated to accept an “odd job” because they are worried about having an employment gap on their resume. Here’s a brief overview discussing if you should accept any job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers are less concerned with unemployment woes

Back twenty or thirty years ago, having an employment gap was a red flag to employers. If you were out of work for a few months, it drew concerns with hiring managers. Fast forward to today, employers are less worried if you have a gap in your work history, to an extent. We are all in this together. If you are out of work for a few months because of COVID-19, that is perfectly acceptable, and most employers will understand as they, too, were impacted by the virus. As long as you can explain your employment gap in an interview, you will be fine. If the question arises, keep your answer positive and honest. If you were laid off due to the coronavirus and decide to take a few months to hone a skill and think about a new career path, that’s great!

Don’t fail to pursue a temp job out of fear

Many Americans are paranoid about pursing a temp job at a grocery or hardware store during this time because they are concerned about explaining this shift in their career to a future employer. That’s just nonsense! Don’t let an old stigma prevent you from what’s doing what’s right for you and your family. If you need the money or want to lend a helping hand during this pandemic, pat yourself on the back. You should put yourself above what a prospective employer thinks. If you need a job to pay the bills, accepting a “plan b” job is 100% appropriate, given the global pandemic we are all going through. Again, we are all in this together. So, almost every employer will understand your decision to take on a new role temporarily to provide for your family.

If an employer is not cool with you doing what’s best for you, you probably don’t want to work for them anyway. And on a positive note, accepting a job out of your comfort zone to pay the bills will be a testament to your character. It illustrates resiliency, adaptability, and a solid work ethic. So, don’t be afraid to accept any job during this pandemic.

We can help during these difficult times

So, should you accept any job? That answer is completely up to you and your current situation. There is still a lot of uncertainty right now. Some states are beginning to open back up, but others are extending their closure indefinitely. If you are curious about pursuing a new role during these challenging times, check out our job board. We have hundreds of job opportunities with employers that will be grateful for your service!