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Navigating an In-Person Interview During the Pandemic

Navigating an In-Person Interview During the Pandemic

If you are searching for a new job right now, it’s safe to expect a video interview. With everything going on in the world, it is safer and more convenient for all parties to do a virtual interview. However, in-person interviews are still happening in some roles, and depending on where you live, there may be looser restrictions. So, if you get an invitation for a face-to-face interview, here are a few tips for navigating an in-person interview during the pandemic.

Bring a mask (regardless of vaccination status)

First of all, you must bring a mask. Regardless of your vaccination status, it’s imperative that you bring a face covering (and wear it properly). Each state, county, or even city has its own safety protocols, but some companies have more rigorous policies to keep their staff and customers safe. Even if your interviewer is not wearing a mask, it’s still best to leave yours on as a precaution.

Please be sure to bring a neutral face covering. We have all seen lots of creative and interesting masks during the pandemic, but you must bring a professional-looking face covering. Don’t bring one that will distract from your meeting or that is not appropriate for the workplace. Your best bet is to just bring a disposable mask to avoid any negative attention.

Goodbye handshakes

For centuries, the handshake was a staple to meeting new people, greeting acquaintances, and ultimately, introducing yourself during a job interview. But with COVID-19, a handshake is inappropriate at this time. Thankfully, there are many other ways to greet your interviewer or say hello. A simple wave and a smile will do the trick. Even if you are wearing a mask, the hiring team will be able to recognize your facial expressions through your eyes and other non-verbal cues. When someone is talking to you, nod your head to show that you are actively listening. Also, when it’s your turn to speak, make good eye contact with your interviewers to illustrate your engagement.

Prepare yourself to answer quarantine questions

During your job interview, you will be asked the typical interview questions, such as, “Can you walk me through your resume?” But with the pandemic still hanging around, you will likely be asked a few new questions. Interviewers may inquire about your remote work experience, the communication tools you are familiar with, and some of your transferrable skills, especially if you have a gap in your resume. Many job seekers are currently looking for a career shift, and thus, it may not appear that you have all the qualifications for this job. It’s up to you to bridge the gap for your interviewers and show them how your previous experiences and skills make you an asset to their team.

So, if you have an in-person interview during the pandemic, these are three things you must prepare for to make it to the next level. If you are looking for more interview advice, take a look at our blog! We have tons of helpful tips, tricks, and walkthroughs to help you nail your interview!

Try Asking Candidates These 3 Personal Interview Questions

Try Asking Candidates These 3 Personal Interview Questions

 Trying to get the complete picture of someone in a quick hour-long interview can be extremely difficult. Many hiring managers spend most of this time assessing a candidate’s qualifications and work history. So much so that after you’ve left the interview, you might find yourself feeling like you actually know nothing about the candidate at all. This can be especially true with virtual interviews. When interviewing over video chat, you can miss out on some of the natural rapport and back-and-forth conversation that comes so freely in person. If you want to get to know candidates a little better, try asking these three personal interview questions during your next hiring session. Not necessarily to get a specific answer, but to lighten the mood, break down barriers, and get a glimpse into your candidate’s personality.

What Have You Binged Watched Lately? 

During COVID-19 lockdowns, many of us invested copious amounts of time bonding with Netflix. Most candidates will have an answer at the ready. It’s important to note that there is NO right or wrong answer to this question (and let your candidate know that!). At best, it’s an opportunity for you to bond over something you’ve both watched; and at worst, it will help your candidate feel more comfortable in the interview to talk about something they enjoy.

Do You Listen to Podcasts? Which Ones Are Your Favorite? 

Podcasts have been growing in popularity during recent years. In 2021, 57% of Americans have listened to a podcast. As a result, there is a podcast on just about every single topic on the planet. Again, there is no right or wrong answer here! If a candidate doesn’t listen to podcasts, take the opportunity to share one of your favorites. If they do, take note of which ones they like and why they enjoy them. Is it a silly topic used as a way to unwind after work? Maybe something personal development-related that gets them inspired? Or is it relevant to their passions like sports? No matter what, this personal interview question is a great way to open doors to further conversation.

What’s An Accomplishment You’re Especially Proud Of? (Work-Related Or Not) 

When you ask this question, many people’s first instinct is to jump to a professional accomplishment. However, we encourage you to push beyond that. Work-life balance is of the utmost importance to modern candidates, and they undoubtedly have personal achievements they are proud of. Maybe they learned a new hobby, take on home renovations in their free time, or just worked really hard to get where they are. Hearing these personal accomplishments will give you great insights into who this candidate is and what is most important to them!

Need more personal interview question inspiration?

Are you looking for more personal interview questions to ask your applicants? Explore our hiring resources here!

How To Job Search While Currently Employed

How To Job Search While Currently Employed

As the economy recovers, employees are leaving their current positions in droves. Throughout the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, many clung to less-than-ideal jobs for the sake of stability. Now, they are ready to take the next step in their career! If you find yourself in this position, you may be wondering how to do this successfully in a market that is still full of unknowns. Don’t worry; we’re breaking down all our best tips to job search while currently employed so you can land that next position. 

Be Respectful of Your Current Employer 

One of the most important things to keep in mind as you search for a new job is to be respectful to your current position. Don’t spend time at work looking for new jobs or working on your application materials. When the time comes for interviews, try to schedule before or after work if you can. If that’s not possible, be sure to block that time off on your calendar as an appointment. There is no need to disclose more information, but you do need to be transparent about your time away. 

Worker Smarter, Not Harder 

As you job search while still fulfilling your current position’s duties, your time will be limited. This is why it is essential to work smarter, not harder! First, sign up for job alerts that match your expertise on sites like IndeedLinkedIn, and Johnson Service Group. Then, spend a few evenings or a weekend getting your job materials updated. You will still need to customize your resume and cover letter for each position, but having good solid templates will save you a lot of time in the long run. 

Know Your Must-Haves 

Time is of the essence during a job search, which is why you must utilize it to your advantage. You don’t want to waste your time pursuing jobs that won’t be the right fit. So, before you jump into a job search while currently employed, make a list of your must-haves. These should be non-negotiable items that you will not sacrifice in your next position. Think of things like remote work options, flexible schedules, matching 401k, and opportunities for advancement. It’s nice to distinguish these from the “nice-to-have” perks that you’re willing to forfeit.

It’s part of your career journey

Despite what societal expectations may say, it is okay to search for a new job while you’re employed. In fact, it’s an essential part of designing your career to be exactly the way you want it. However, these guidelines will help you do it the right way! If you’re interested in more job search and interview tips, take the time to explore our candidate resources.

Here’s What Candidates Expect Post-COVID-19

Here’s What Candidates Expect Post-COVID-19

In 2020, life as we know it was completely turned upside down. Everything we knew about our careers, hiring, and job searching changed on a dime. Now that things are finally stabilizing, we realize how much we’ve been permanently affected. The job market is picking back up and becoming increasingly competitive for highly qualified candidates. And these candidates come with some lofty post-COVID-19 expectations. Here’s how the Coronavirus has shifted candidate perspectives and changed their priorities.

Job Flexibility

Job flexibility is the number one thing candidates will be looking for in a post-COVID-19 workforce. In fact, according to a Workforce Confidence survey from LinkedIn, 50% of respondents say that flexibility of hours or location has become more important to them. This change is notable because as recently as 2017, flexibility wasn’t even on the candidate’s radar. The shift in 2020 showed workers and managers alike that work flexibility could be an asset rather than an obstacle. Because although people are working longer, more productive hours, they are simultaneously reporting higher happiness and productivity levels.

Work-Life Balance  

Tying in with job flexibility is a work-life balance. Generally, a more flexible work schedule and environment have allowed for a better work-life balance, so it makes sense that 45% of people will be prioritizing this in their job search. Over the past year, people have discovered the freedom of balancing their family and home life with work. We have proved that it is possible and that it contributes to a more productive workforce overall. However, this is not new information. A 2009 survey found that people who are happy with their work-life benefits work 21% harder and are 33% more likely to plan to stay at that organization. Therefore, in the post-Covid-19 job market, most employees expect this work-life balance to continue in the form of a hybrid work schedule.

Health Coverage  

It’s no surprise that a global pandemic has made people reconsider their medical benefits. Now, 41% of respondents list health coverage as important to them, whereas a few years ago, it didn’t even break the top five priorities of workers. Moving forward, companies can attract top candidates by offering competitive health coverage that puts employees’ needs first.

Pay  

One priority that stands the test of time is pay. Most recently, 36% of people cited pay as an essential job factor. A fair and competitive wage will always be crucial and should be a primary consideration for hiring managers. Even in a candidate-saturated market, it’s a guaranteed way to build a solid, loyal workforce.

Workforce Culture  

Workforce culture has been on the rise of candidate priorities over the last few years. However, due to recent diversity initiatives and the prioritization of an inclusive workforce, it has changed a lot recently. 36% of survey respondents listed it as necessary, but what does that mean? Where “culture fit” used to be cited in reference to excluding candidates, it has now pivoted to be inclusive. Candidates are looking for companies that prioritize building a diverse team that values all opinions and backgrounds. Additionally, companies that go above and beyond to bolster marginalized communities and professionals will garner the attention they deserve.

These post-Covid-19 perspectives are permanent

There is no arguing that the pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Priorities for companies and candidates are shifting, but for the better. As we work to establish our “new normal,” the workforce will look different as we continue experimenting and learning.

Are you interested in more workforce insights and hiring advice? Get a peek into our client resources here.

In-Demand Jobs This Summer

The Most In-Demand Jobs This Summer

Last weekend was the official start to summer, and as the weather continues to heat up, so does the labor market. According to LinkedIn, financial advisory roles as we as in-person services are scorching hot as the economy gets closer to its pre-covid state. Here are the most in-demand jobs this summer and how your team can attract these candidates.

People are seeking advice from financial professionals

There is a massive surge in demand for financial professionals in the post-pandemic job market. The pandemic has brought significant financial hardships for many workers. People lost their jobs, were furloughed or had to voluntarily quit their jobs to be home with their families or pursue other opportunities. On the other hand, many workers who stayed employed throughout the pandemic are seeking advice from financial advisors with growing concerns regarding their retirement plans, college expenses, and other investments. In fact, financial advisors are currently the job with the fastest-growing demand (+249%).

In-person positions are on the rise

As our economy opens back up, in-person positions are some of the most in-demand jobs this summer. Retail sales specialists (+170%), store associates (+167%), customer assistants (+152%), and bank tellers (+78%) are all in huge demand. Therefore, in-person business returns, demand for these roles will keep climbing this summer.

Other jobs in high demand this summer

Nurses have been in great demand since the beginning of the pandemic, and there appears to be no end in sight. As non-emergency services return to hospitals and the population continues to age, the demand for nurses will be here for some time. Additionally, engineering and web development professionals are in great need as companies shift their digital presence to accommodate consumers’ online shopping habits better. Also, drivers are a hot commodity this summer as workers return to their offices and truck drivers work hard to transport goods as production levels increase across the board.

How to attract these candidates

If you are an employer looking to attract one of these candidates, you will have stiff competition. Job seekers in these roles (and in many others) are beginning to have options again. As we continue to heal from the aftermath of COVID-19, employers will struggle to attract talent. Hiring managers must act fast to secure the candidates they need, or their competition will snatch up the best applicants. Thus, you must have an efficient hiring process and make competitive job offers to attract the candidates your team needs.

If your hiring team is struggling to do this, you are not alone. If you need assistance navigating this challenging hiring market, reach out to us today. Our recruiting team at JSG is here to help you secure the talent you need to keep operations running smoothly. So, let’s have a conversation and see how a professional recruiting firm can reduce aid your search. Our team can reduce your time to fill rates and help you find the right candidates for your job openings.

How to Reduce Your Job Search Anxiety

How to Reduce Your Job Search Anxiety

Looking for a new job is undoubtedly a stressful endeavor. Add a pandemic with a candidate-saturated market to the mix, and your job search just became a whole lot more challenging. This past year has been a whirlwind for those looking for employment. If you lost your job or were furloughed because of the Coronavirus, this can make you feel anxious. However, during this step in your job hunt, it’s essential to take care of your mental and physical health. Here’s how to reduce your job search anxiety while successfully finding your next opportunity.

Don’t treat your job search like a job

Many job seekers make the fatal error of treating their job search like a full-time job. While there are benefits to having structure and routines to your search, spending 10+ hours a day scouring job boards isn’t beneficial. Creating a schedule is essential to find your next opportunity, but don’t overwork yourself if you are serious about reducing your search stress. Instead of spending all your time finding a new job, work smarter. Sign up for notifications at your favorite job boards, so you don’t feel the urge to refresh them every five minutes. The more time you spend actively reading these job feeds, the more anxious you will feel.

Pro tip: our Talent Network allows you to set up custom job alerts every time a new position meets your qualifications, career goals, and location. Sign up today!

Ask for help when you need it

Another way you can reduce your job search anxiety is ask for help. We understand, looking for a new job, especially while unemployed, puts you in a vulnerable position. But more people than you might think have been in this position before and will understand your situation. If you feel the anxiety starting to take over your job search, reach out to your professional and personal networks. Turn to your family and close friends to ask for advice. Whether that’s just discussing how you are feeling, reviewing your resume, or helping you practice answering common interview questions, your support network is a great place to turn.

Also, start engaging with your professional network to get support from those in your industry or alumni from your school. These are trying times, and your network would be more than happy to help you through this journey. Plus, your professional connections may have some insight on an upcoming job opportunity and can put in a good recommendation for you. Unfortunately, they may not be able to help you if they don’t even know you are searching for a new position.

Don’t get hung up on hearing back right away

Moreover, too many job seekers get hung up on not hearing back after submitting a job application. To mitigate your job search anxiety, you must set realistic expectations. Even if you are the best applicant in the pool, you cannot expect to receive a response instantly. Sitting by your computer or checking your phone every few minutes will only exacerbate your anxiety. Instead, you have to adopt the mentality of “on to the next one.” Realistically, you have no idea when (or if) that employer will reach back out to you. So, instead of dwelling on a single application, move onto the next one. Don’t let one company leave you waiting on the sidelines – the labor market is too competitive for you to wait around for a response.

Ask interviewers for feedback

Another part of the job search process that can fuel your anxiety is job rejection. Most of us have been in this position before – you apply for a job, have a couple of interviews, you get really excited about the opportunity and think it’s an excellent fit, and then you suddenly get that rejection email. It’s a total reality check and can really throw you off. You may be there scratching your head and asking yourself, “what did I do wrong?”

To improve your interviewing skills and application materials, you must request feedback about your performance after a job rejection. How are you supposed to improve if you don’t know where you went wrong? Most interviewers will happily give some feedback to help propel your job search in the future.

If you want to know how to request feedback after job rejection, read our quick guide (with examples) here!

Partner with a professional recruiter

If you are looking to reduce your job search anxiety further, it may be time to work with a recruiting firm. Professional recruiters can help take a lot of the stress away from a job search. As a recruiter, it’s their job to help you find an opportunity that fits your background, skill sets, and career goals. Plus, the top-tier recruiting firms in the industry, like JSG, have exclusive job opportunities that you won’t find on any job board. If this sounds like a solid fit for you, reach out to us today. We have recruiters across North America that are ready to get you back to work.

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.