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5 COVID Questions To Ask At Your Next Interview

5 COVID Questions To Ask At Your Next Interview

It’s important that you show up to any interview with a few great questions at the ready. However, in today’s day and age, those questions may look a little bit different. There’s no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic is on everybody’s mind. And that doesn’t change just because you’re looking for a new job! If COVID-19 policies and procedures are a priority for you (and they should be), it is perfectly acceptable to ask COVID-related questions during your interview. As always, read the room to gauge which questions would be most appropriate. Here are five possible COVID questions you can ask at your next interview.

How has COVID-19 impacted your company?

No matter what industry they are in, their company’s size, or the role you’re interviewing for, the company has most certainly been impacted by COVID-19. Work may have slowed or stopped altogether, they may have shifted to remote work, or the company may have even implemented layoffs and furloughs. What you’re looking for in the interviewer’s answer here is transparency. You should not expect them to have handled it perfectly; that is unrealistic. However, if they are transparent about the struggles they experienced, that’s a good sign that they’ll be transparent with employees!

Will I be expected to come into the office, or are you offering remote work?

Hopefully, this was covered earlier in the interview. However, if it wasn’t, it’s essential to address it! Additionally, you can gain further clarification into their remote work policies. Is it temporary? How much flexibility do they offer? Are employees expected to secure additional childcare when working from home?

What are your COVID-19 procedures?

This is a great lead-in question to discuss COVID-19 safety measures. If the company requires employees to work in-office, are they following social distancing guidelines, providing hand sanitizer, and adhering to mask requirements? Additionally, you’ll want to understand their procedures if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19. Do they require all employees to quarantine? Is it possible to complete your work while quarantined? The interviewer’s answers to this challenging question will give you a glimpse into how much they prioritize their staff’s health.

How has COVID-19 affected your vacation and sick leave policies?

Prior to the pandemic, it was utterly taboo to ask about paid time off during the interview. However, things have changed in the past year! COVID-19 has forced many companies to rethink their traditional vacation and sick leave policies. With a minimum self-isolation period of 10 days after exposure, you could burn through traditional PTO very quickly if they haven’t made accommodations. Just be sure to frame the question as above rather than the greedy “how many vacation days would I get?”

What have you done to support employees working from home?

Lastly, if the company is allowing employees to work from home, please ask more about it! Starting a new job isn’t easy, and it’s intimidating if you’re in a traditional office setting, not to mention working from home during a global pandemic without having met anyone in person! You will want to hear that they have established a remote onboarding program, prioritize employee development, and make significant efforts to decrease isolation through various communication software.

As we mentioned above, it’s impossible to expect picture-perfect answers to these challenging COVID questions. Instead, look for transparency, organization, and active actions. And remember, it’s okay for you to prioritize your health and safety during an interview! If you want to feel extra prepared for your Coronavirus-era interview, explore our candidate resources for more tips and tricks!

2021 May Be the Biggest Year for Job Growth

2021 May Be the Biggest Year for Job Growth

Last year was challenging, to say the least. Over 22 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the coronavirus crises, and as of December 2020, there are still 10.7 million unemployed Americans. However, with several COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, 2021 is poised for a massive year for job growth and may even be the biggest year for job growth ever recorded.

Largest job growth since 1939

Job market experts and economists project a colossal year for job gains – bigger than any other on records dating back to 1939. According to economic forecasting from Oxford Economics, job growth will climb to 5.8 million in 2021. Economists at the University of Michigan’s economists are predicting gains to reach 5.3 million. Both projections for 2021 will put job gains well above the 4.3 million created in 1946, the start of the post-WWII economic boom.

Hiring is expected to start slowly this year; however, it will pick up steam as vaccines become more accessible and people can resume activities currently under lockdown. So, where will this growth be generated?

What industries will soar?

Throughout the pandemic, some industries are struggling while others are flourishing. Last year, leisure and hospitality, retail, restaurants and bars, and professional and business activities were hit the hardest. In December, employment in construction, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, and wholesale trade grew despite a cumulative loss of 140,000 jobs. These industries will continue to experience job growth well beyond the virus.

Other industries that are ripe for a strong year of job growth are information technology services. In December, tech companies added more than 20,000 jobs. Furthermore, job postings for core IT positions grew to nearly 207,000 jobs. This trend will continue throughout the year as more Americans continue to work from home permanently.

Consumer habits have shifted during the pandemic, and many of these new routines are here to stay. Ecommerce has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and as a result, transportation and warehousing are surging. For example, Amazon has officially taken over Boeing as Washington state’s largest employer. With this boom in online shopping, employment in couriers and messengers has increased by 222,000 since February 2020. This trend will continue to climb in 2021.

Need help finding talent this year?

If you are one of the many companies preparing your hiring strategy for the new year, JSG is here to help. The market will be competitive, and you may need to seek the aid of a hiring professional. So, partner with JSG today to find the workers your company needs to keep pushing forward.

3 Things Recruiters Will Look for in 2021

3 Things Recruiters Will Look for in 2021

Most companies don’t completely shift their hiring strategies or processes throughout the year. However, the pandemic has forced many employers to rethink how they hire talent. As we (hopefully) near an end to this misery, some of these changes will permanently affect how employers hire. Here are three things recruiters will look for in 2021.

Your COVID-19 story

The virus impacted everyone differently. Some people were fortunate enough to shift to remote working while others sadly were furloughed or laid off. Regardless of your circumstances, recruiters will be looking for how you used this time. So, if you were out of work, how did you use your “free” time? Did you take some online courses or earn a new certification to improve your professional development? Did you spend some much-needed time with your family and reflect on your career goals? Or have you been working from home since last March? Regardless of your situation, recruiters will want to hear how you used this time.

You can share this in a cover letter, a resume summary, or even have it prepared during an interview question. Either way, be prepared to answer this question in 2021.

Time management proficiency

Solid time management is always something recruiters want to see in a prospective candidate. But with the possibility of working remotely, demonstrating that you can manage your time will be crucial. There will likely be questions in your interviews that relate to your time management skills. If you are working in the office or on-site, it’s easy for your manager to check-in to ensure you’re on track. However, when you are remote, you will have a lot more leeway on how you manage your time, and recruiters want to know that you are capable of finishing your daily tasks and projects promptly.

Even if you are physically working at your employer’s location, you might be working with a remote teammate in another time zone. Being capable of working with others across different time zones is something recruiters will be looking for closely.

Transferrable skills

Finally, recruiters will be looking for transferrable skills. Before the pandemic hit, recruiters were looking for candidates with the right skill sets and core competencies. Fast forward to today, and there are millions of Americans out of work. As a result, people are in the process of a career transformation and may not have all of the job-specific skills that a recruiter would typically require. But do you have similar skill sets that can transfer to this new position? That’s what recruiters are looking for right now. You can teach a good candidate any job-specific skills if they have the right background and comparable skills. Transferrable skills are the way of the future for hiring the best talent on the market.

Ready to make your career move?

So, these are just three of the skills recruiters will look for in 2021. If you are ready to transition into a new position, now is the perfect time to partner with a recruiter. We have hundreds of job opportunities across North America with fantastic clients looking to hire immediately. If you are ready to soar to new career heights, visit our job board!

jobs with the most demand

Jobs with the Most Demand in November

Another month down, another group of jobs in high demand. Once again, LinkedIn revealed the jobs that are in the fastest-growing demand this month. Although some jobs from the previous month continue to top the list, we see a new job with outrageous demand. Here is a closer look at the jobs with the most demand in November.

COVID-19 impacts tax season

There are two things guaranteed in life, and one of them is taxes. According to LinkedIn’s job posting data, job openings for Tax Specialists skyrocketed 579%. That is no surprise, as this year’s tax filing deadline was pushed back again to October 15th. Previously, the deadline was postponed from April to July, so we saw a similar spike this past summer. Taxes will be challenging for both companies and the American people, so Tax Specialists will be a hot commodity for months to come.

The holidays spur seasonal hiring

Retail positions remain in high demand as brick and mortar and online retailers ramp up their hiring efforts for the holidays. Retail Associates (+426%), Customer Representatives (+406%), and Merchandisers (+191%) were some of the jobs with the fastest-growing demand. This trend will likely continue into next month as holiday shopping picks up. With even more people relying on Ecommerce for their holiday shopping, there is a massive surge in Fulfillment Specialists (+184%) and Drivers (+155%).

Are more people traveling?

A new job cracked the top ten list: Automotive Technicians. In October, the demand for Automotive Techs jumped +177%, the eighth fastest-growing job in the month. This is likely due to more people traveling, a sign that people are feeling a little more optimistic about the pandemic. And while fewer people are commuting for traditional office jobs, food delivery companies experience a massive spike in business. Last month, Food Delivery Drivers were the sixth-most in-demand job. Thus, as more people utilize these services, vehicles will need maintenance. It will be interesting to watch this trend as more states impose stricter lockdown measures with rising coronavirus cases.

Need help sourcing for these roles?

So, these are the jobs with the fastest-growing demand in November. If you are searching for a new career path, consider exploring one of these roles. And if you are an employer that needs some assistance sourcing some talent for one of these positions (or any other role), reach out to us today. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

job market turned a new corner

Has the Job Market Turned A New Corner?

Is the job market turning over a new leaf? According to the Labor Department, more Americans voluntarily left their jobs in September than any other month since the pandemic. Despite the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketing, job openings are increasing, and the number of layoffs is declining. So, has the job market turned a new corner? Let’s take a closer look.

3 million voluntary quits

The US Department of Labor reported this week that the number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs increased to 3.0 million in September. That is the most voluntary quits in the last 7+ months. Additionally, the number of available jobs rose to 6.44 million, and layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.3 million (down 0.9%).

So, in what industries are people quitting their jobs? Increases in voluntary quits were noticeable in the accommodation and food services industry, construction, and professional and business services. The confidence with workers in these industries is also reflected in the latest Jobs Report, showing that these industries have the most significant employment rebounds.

A pandemic-low unemployment rate

The unemployment rate also hit a pandemic-era low last month of 6.9%, down 1% from September. The number of job gains also well surpassed economists’ predictions with the addition of 638,000 nonfarm payrolls. “The rebound continues to have strong momentum, more than people were thinking,” said John Briggs, head of strategy at NatWest Markets. “Private payrolls blowout, the participation rate went up 0.3… People are coming back into the economy, and [the unemployment rate] still went down a full percentage point.” The combination of more job openings and lower unemployment levels is a prominent indicator that the labor market is rebounding.

An unexpected startup boom

Moreover, in a surprising turn of events is a boom in American startups. Business applications crashed when the virus first hit, but the third quarter of 2020 produced the highest number of applications on record. So, as unemployment levels reached an all-time high, thousands of Americans put on their entrepreneurship hats. The largest area for new business formation is online retail, which is interesting because the coronavirus has crushed traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

However, will this spark in startup formations fill our country’s significant unemployment void? As of now, it looks like the job market is turning a new corner. Time will tell, but this boom of optimism is really refreshing as we quickly approach the end of the year.

October 2020 Jobs Report

October 2020 Jobs Report: 638,000 Jobs Added

According to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added 638,000 jobs last month, much than economists projected. This is the sixth month in a row of job gains as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. The unemployment rate also dropped to 6.9%, a whole percentage point lower than September’s rate. The positive results of this month’s report are primarily thanks to the decline in the number of temporary layoffs and a boost in seasonal hiring. Here is an overview of the October 2020 Jobs Report.

October 2020 Jobs Report Overview

U.S. employers are on a six-month streak of adding nonfarm payrolls. And with a massive decline in government workers due to the conclusion of the 2020 census, the Labor Department would have reported over 900,000 nonfarm payroll gains. “The 638,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls in October is stronger than it looks as it included a 147,000 drop in temporary Census employment and, alongside the big fall in the unemployment rate, it suggests that the labor market recovery still has plenty of momentum,” Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics.

This month’s gains are a shock to many economists as the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to surpass daily records. On November 5th, the U.S. reported almost 117,000 new coronavirus cases. And although we have made significant strides in our country’s recovery, there are still 11.1 million unemployed persons (down 1.5 million from last month).

Workers are returning on-site

A noticeable shift in the October Jobs Report was the number of remote workers returning on-site. 21.2% of employees last month worked remotely because of the virus. That is slightly down from September’s rate of 22.7%. This trend will be interesting to watch going forward as the number of positive cases continues to climb. Regardless of this slight decline, millions of people are still working remotely, and hiring managers will have to continue to change their processes to attract them.

Job gains by industry

Last month, U.S. employers added 638,000 nonfarm payrolls. Noticeable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+271,000), professional and business services (+208,000), retail trade (+104,000), construction (+84,000), healthcare and social assistance (+79,000), transportation and warehousing (+63,000), manufacturing (+38,000), financial activities (+31,000), and other services (+47,000). Employment in government fell by 268,000, mostly due to the loss of 147,000 2020 Census workers.

Revision from the previous jobs report

The Labor Department reported that total nonfarm payroll employment gains have increased in previous months. In August, payrolls were revised up by 4,000, from +1,489,000 to +1,493,000, and in September, payrolls were revised up by 11,000, from +661,000 to +672,000. With revisions over the last two months combined, employment was 15,000 more than previously reported.

Find the talent you need before year’s end

We have less than two months left of 2020 (thankfully); it’s time to start thinking about your hiring needs going into the new year. There are millions of talented workers on the market, and you don’t want to wait to scoop them up, or you will miss out. If your hiring team needs assistance navigating this challenging, ever-changing labor market, reach out to us today. We are here to help you start the new year off on the right foot.

post-pandemic workplace

Must-Have Skills in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

As we inch closer to a new year, many job seekers speculate how the workplace will change in the post-pandemic era. With a shift in working environments and job demands will come a new need for specific skill sets. Some of these soft skills were already on the rise before the crises, but three skills will outshine the rest as we move forward. Here are the must-have skills in the post-pandemic workplace.

Self-motivation and direction

With millions of Americans working remotely now (with many making this a permanent transition), managing your motivation and self-direction will be crucial to career success. While working remotely, employees will have to be more self-sufficient with their time management and daily tasks. You may not have the luxury of your manager right around the corner in your office to keep you in check; you must be in control of your career by ensuring your work is done efficiently and within time constraints.

Essentially, workers will have much more independence. This will be a more significant challenge for more entry-level workers and young professionals just starting their careers. Honing self-motivation and direction will be a must-have skill in the post-pandemic workplace.

Communication management

Communication has and always will be an essential soft skill for workers to refine. But with many of us working from home for the foreseeable future, clear communication will be even more critical. It’s much easier to communicate with co-workers and teammates when you are all in the same office. If you have a quick question, you can walk down the hall and receive an immediate answer. However, we may not have that luxury in our current (and future) workplace.

Instead, we will have to adopt more tools and processes to communicate with each other actively. That can be easier said than done with dozens of different tools. For example, you may be chatting with your boss on Microsoft Teams but need to refer to an email or notes on a Google Doc as you work. If you want to continue to be a valuable employee, you must facilitate clear communication management in the post-pandemic workplace.

Adaptability

Adaptability is vital to any successful career in the post-pandemic workplace. Tomorrow may look different than today, and this year will look different than the next. It’s essential that employees can roll with the punches and adapt as needed.

Adaptability comes into play in all facets of work – how we communicate, the tools we utilize, processes, and so much more. Adaptability is about being able to function when you are a little uncomfortable. Taking on new roles as needed or stepping in to solve a problem will set up apart from your co-workers and other candidates when you are searching for new opportunities.

workforce confidence

The Cities With The Highest (and Lowest) Workforce Confidence

The coronavirus has hit cities in waves. Some are thriving, while others are seeing a spike in cases, and as a result, a higher unemployment rate. Over the last eight long months, workers’ confidence in their finances, job stability, and long-term career prospects have fluctuated. LinkedIn’s most recent Workforce Confidence Index surveyed over 33,000 people across the country and examined their confidence in their current and future career outlooks. Here are the cities with the highest (and lowest) workforce confidence.

 The ten most confident cities

The workforce confidence for some cities is strong, with Colorado Springs, CO, Provo, UT, and Tampa, FL leading the way. Many of these top ten cities are in the Sunbelt, which is currently benefiting from steady population growth. These markets are emerging as logistics hubs with new construction, creating thousands of jobs, and attracting both employers and job seekers to these areas. An interesting note is that none of the cities in the top ten are major metro markets, such as New York City, Seattle, or LA.

Here are the top 10 most confident cities, according to LinkedIn:

workforce confidence

The ten least confident cities

On the other side of the coin, workforce confidence in larger, more industrial cities in the Midwest and Westside are feeling much less confident in their career outlooks. Tucson, AZ, Milwaukee, WI, and Las Vegas are cities with notable lower confidence ratings. These are all cities that are lagging behind the rest of the country’s recovery rates.

An intriguing note is that the least confident cities all have unemployment rates above the national average. For example, Nevada’s unemployment rate is 12.4%, which is no surprise given the tourism business generated by Las Vegas.

Here is a list of the least confident cities:

  • Tucson, AZ
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Portland, OR
  • Austin, TX
  • Orlando, FL
  • Sacramento, CA

Some states have a better environment for the pandemic

Naturally, some states were better suited to the social and economic changes that were brought on by the pandemic. One of these is a new trend in outdoor seating for bars and restaurants. Restaurants, pubs, and eateries can have a larger capacity, and therefore, more business with outside seating accommodations. This trend has forced many restaurants to shift their space to allow more outdoor seating. However, with cold weather well on its way, it will be harder for some cities to continue this trend. As a result, this will make it harder for some of these local businesses to survive.

In the end, this list will fluctuate as some cities and states overcome the obstacles caused by the pandemic better than others. It will be interesting to see how these cities adjust in the fourth quarter and into the new year.

pandemic proof

Four Industries That Are Pandemic Proof

Economists, politicians, and everyone in between have discussed how the country is entering a two-track recovery process. Some industries are really struggling to survive throughout the pandemic, while others are flourishing with the social and economic changes. Some industries are even on a hiring spree and are, quite frankly, booming during the coronavirus crisis. Here are four industries that are currently labeled pandemic proof.

IT Industry

IT companies of all kinds are experiencing rapid growth as they try to keep up with the demand of millions of remote workers. Companies like Zoom and Microsoft are thriving right now as they work hard to keep everyone connected virtually. Other IT companies are hard at work, ensuring their customers’ safety and protection of their information. More and more cyber-attacks are occurring as employers battle with employees on less-than-secure home internet networks. Plus, it was easier for tech employees to shift to a remote work environment than other employers.

Ecommerce

The Ecommerce giants have experienced record-breaking growth throughout this challenging year. As consumer spending habits shift to more online-heavy shopping routines, companies like Walmart, Target, and Amazon are booming. If you can buy it online, many consumers are switching to a “safer” online shopping experience to avoid the virus. Thus, warehousing and distribution centers are starting their seasonal hiring surges early to keep up with this swelling demand.

The Mortgage and Finance Industries

Mortgage and finance companies desperately need fresh talent as they struggle to serve a massive influx of new customers. With our current economic turmoil and record-low mortgage rates, financial institutions and other mortgage companies are on a hiring binge. For example, according to Chip Cutter, A Wall Street Journal Report, Fidelity Investments’ hiring is already up 40% on the year, and they need another 4,000 finance professionals. Other companies are in the same boat as customers look to prepare for a messy tax season, make changes to their retirement plans, and refinance their homes. This trend will likely spill over well into next year, illustrating how pandemic proof these two industries are.

Entrepreneurship is also on the rise

For years, enrollment in graduate programs for business was declining. However, a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center claims graduate enrollment for the Fall semester of 2020 is up 3.9%. Additionally, about 1.5 million new businesses filed with the IRS in the third quarter this year – that’s up 82% from the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. So, while there are many different startups and business ventures that can be formed, it is encouraging to see a revitalization in entrepreneurship.

4 COVID-19 Hiring Trends

4 COVID-19 Hiring Trends

There’s no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about our day-to-day lives over the past year. So, it should not come as a surprise that COVID-19 has significantly impacted hiring trends. If you’re trying to land a job or hire a new team member in 2020, you must understand these four COVID-19 hiring trends.

Remote Hiring Process

Following months of mandatory stay-at-home orders, companies have had to pivot to remote working scenarios. In fact, many have extended their remote work policies through the summer of 2021. As a result, they have also moved their hiring process online.

As a candidate, this means you need to be prepared for a hiring process that will be entirely online. Brush up on your video interview skills, refresh your LinkedIn, and make sure your technology is up to par.

Increase In Remote Positions

Now that hiring managers are more comfortable with having a remote team, they are also changing some positions to be fully remote. If you have wanted a remote position, now is your time to shine! LinkedIn data shows that remote job listings have increased by 2.8x since March 2020.

As a candidate, this means you need to show off your remote working skills. Just because more companies are hiring for more remote candidates doesn’t mean they will hire just anyone. They will be looking for candidates with remote work experience and advanced remote working skills.

Faster Hiring Processes

One of the benefits of COVID-19 hiring trends and entirely remote hiring processes is that they tend to go much faster! It is much easier to schedule remote interviews. Additionally, there are a lot of incredible candidates on the market right now, so hiring managers are more likely to move quickly to secure the talent they need.

As a candidate, this means you must be ready to move! If you have scheduling issues or don’t make a hiring process your priority, there’s a good chance you could lose out on the position to someone more accommodating.

Increase In Temporary Hiring

Because of how COVID-19 has affected the economy, some companies are wary of bringing on permanent employees. This is why temporary contract workers are a perfect fit for 2020. Hiring managers can hire talented candidates on a temporary basis, and maybe even convert them to permanent employees down the road.

As a candidate, this means you’re more marketable if you’re flexible. By sharing that you’re open to contract positions, it makes you more valuable. Be sure to list any previous contract or temporary positions along with any applicable skills.

Have you seen an increase in these COVID-19 Hiring Trends? Whether you’re a candidate looking for a position, or a company interested in bringing on talent, contact us today!