How to Navigate Awkward Holiday Job Conversations

We all have a relative or two that don’t know how to read a room. Whether it’s asking questions about your dating life, politics, or work, many of us are preparing to deal with uncomfortable questions from our relatives. After all, this may be the first time seeing some of your friends or family members since the pandemic! So, if you are dreading seeing that provoking relative over the coming weeks, here’s how to navigate awkward holiday job conversations.

Prepare your answer ahead of time

Thousands of people throughout the country are still struggling to find work after the pandemic ruptured the labor market. Thus, this can be a sensitive subject for some, especially if you are struggling to land a new job. But like a job interview, it can be helpful to prepare answers to tricky questions ahead of time. If you are anxious about awkward holiday job conversations, prepare your responses before your family gatherings. Think about how you want to answer these questions beforehand and rehearse them so you can keep your responses short and sweet. Preparing an answer to these uncomfortable questions can make you feel a little less apprehensive about this time of the year.

Share where you are going vs. where you’re at

Another easy way to navigate awkward holiday job conversations is to focus on where you’re going instead of where you are currently at. Rather than focusing on the negative (unemployment, no offers, bad interviews, terrible hiring process, etc.), share where you are going. Don’t center these conversations about all the negative aspects of your job search and discuss where you want to be. For example, describe to your relative the type of job or company you are looking to join. Talk about your career goals and what you’d like to achieve. Essentially, emphasize the positive, the end-goal rather than the negative parts of your job search.

Don’t stop searching!

In the past, the holidays have been a time when hiring slows down for many employers as people take time off. However, not this year! With 10.4 million job openings and a record-breaking quit rate, hiring won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Thus, this time of year is your chance to take advantage of all the job seekers taking this time off or slowing down their searches. With fewer people actively looking because of this busy time of year, you will have less competition to beat out to land a new job. The best way to avoid awkward holiday job conversations is to keep your head up high and don’t slow down.

If you are still looking for your next career move, check out our job board! We have hundreds of job opportunities across North America, with employers looking for top talent like you.

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!

What Are Job Seekers Looking for in 2021 & Beyond?

Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer are (shockingly) just around the corner. As the last quarter of the year creeps upon us, many Americans are turning their attention beyond last-minute summer activities. According to the Pulse of the American Worker Survey: Special Report, 26% of all workers plan to look for a new job opportunity this year. This is encouraging for many employers looking to add new talent to their teams before the end of the year; however, to attract these job seekers during the Great Resignation, you must understand what they are looking for in a new role.

Remote work is no longer a benefit

The pandemic has made it clear that the majority of workers value remote work in some capacity. In fact, 87% of workers would like to work from home at least one day a week after the pandemic wanes. In other words, remote work is no longer a benefit, it’s a necessity for many workers. If your company is not supporting this demand, your candidate pool may fizzle out quickly.

Working from home still gets a bad rap by many employers. Some hiring managers believe that their workers are not as productive working from home or that it’s hard to collaborate. And this is likely true in some circumstances, but most employers ironed out these concerns over the last 18+ months. But with 1 in 3 workers not wanting to work for an employer that requires them to be onsite full-time, it may be time to rethink your post-pandemic workplace.

Why do workers want remote work?

Therefore, it’s clear that workers value remote work and will be looking for new opportunities that offer more flexibility. So, as an employer, it’s imperative to understand why workers care so much about it. According to the same survey, workers desire remote work for numerous reasons, including saving money, saving time (by not commuting), more time with family, better sleep, and improved health and stress levels. These are all great reasons why your team should be supporting remote work in some capacity.

Job seekers want a caring culture

Another aspect job seekers in today’s market are concerned with is healthy company culture. This desire is nothing new to employers, and many companies have been working diligently to foster a more inclusive culture in recent years. However, cultivating a caring culture can be a little more challenging with a hybrid workforce. Currently, 45% of workers still feel disconnected from their employer while working from home. According to respondents of this survey, culture in a remote environment can be improved by:

  • Companies offering remote-work resources
  • Updating company policies to reflect current times
  • More communication from the leadership team

These are three essential changes your team can make to develop a better company culture, even as some teammates continue to work remotely.

Are you looking for more hiring resources?

Those are the key things job seekers are looking for in new job opportunities. If you are looking for more ways to offer a better working experience and attract new talent, review our Client Resources!

How to Combat Ageism During the Pandemic

Recently, conversations around ageism have surfaced as we continue to learn how the pandemic affects generations differently. The last year-and-a-half has been challenging for most workers as we all navigate this unforeseen job market. Some people are thriving while working remotely, while others are anxious to get back to the office. And others are taking a different approach. According to The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, more than 2 million people retired than what was expected (from March 2020-2021). Although some of these early retirements were voluntary, many were due to older workers struggling to find new opportunities.

In fact, 63% of unemployed people aged 45 or older have been out of work for longer than a year. That’s compared with 52% of job seekers ages 35 to 44 and 36% of those ages 18 to 34. So, what can you do to combat ageism during the pandemic? Here are a few tips to help you secure a new job during these challenging times and overcome age-related stereotypes.

Overcoming ageism stereotypes and perceptions

Every generation has certain stereotypes; however, Baby Boomers, roughly aged 57-75 years old, have two bitter (and often inaccurate) stereotypes.

  • Older workers are technologically inept
  • They are unwilling to learn and won’t get along well with younger workers

Of course, these are just stereotypes and don’t apply to most older workers. However, you can leverage your application materials to help combat these ageism stereotypes.

Beef up your resume

If you are an older job seeker, you can overcome these stereotypes by beefing up your resume. First of all, you can add a skills section to your resume to showcase all the technologies you know how to use. In the pandemic-era job market, employers are placing a significant emphasis on technologies that we embraced while working from home. Also, if you have any certifications that prove your knowledge of particular technologies or tools, make sure you add those to your resume, too. If you don’t have any certifications, there are plenty of inexpensive or free courses you can take online to beef up your resume.

Make yourself more discoverable

Secondly, it’s essential to make yourself more discoverable online so hiring professionals can easily find you. The best platform to accomplish this is LinkedIn! Job seekers in younger generations have the advantage of learning about new roles because they are more likely to be active on LinkedIn. Sure, most of you have a LinkedIn profile, but that’s not good enough. If you just make one and let it sit there, you cannot expect recruiters to find you and reach out to you about potential opportunities. Just like your resume, you have to regularly update your profile to reflect your latest skills, experiences, and certifications.

Additionally, LinkedIn has some great features to help you let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities. Turning on LinkedIn’s “open to work” feature will trigger that you are open to learning about new jobs and encourage hiring professionals to reach out to you.

If you want to take your LinkedIn to the next level, here’s how to craft a perfect LinkedIn summary to snag a new job.

Partner with a recruiter

If you feel that you are struggling to combat ageism during the pandemic, try reaching out to a recruiter. Recruiters can be your job search’s best weapon. We take the time to understand your background and skills to match you with opportunities that fit your career goals. If you are interested in learning more about how a professional recruiting firm can take your job search to the next level, reach out to us today! At JSG, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

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.

Is Job-Hopping Making A Return?

With summer quickly approaching, employers are beginning to ramp up their hiring efforts. Last month, the U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs with a reported unemployment rate of 6.1%. As the virus continues to get further in the rearview mirror, employed job seekers are gaining more confidence in their job prospects. As a result, job-hopping is back, and this is how you can jump on board.

How confident are job seekers with job-hopping?

Over the last year and a half, there has been a lot of uncertainty. Millions of people were without work, while those lucky to hold onto their jobs shared an uneasy feeling. Thus, most Americans were “sheltering in job.” In other words, their focus was on holding a position with a steady paycheck and stability to get through these challenging times. However, with things finally returning to normal, workers are gaining confidence in exploring other opportunities.

According to LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence Index, 48% of full-time employed job seekers feel more confident in increasing their income. Additionally, with optimism regarding the increased availability of jobs, there is a renewed faith in job-hopping to accelerate one’s career. The survey reveals that 42% of employed job seekers are more confident with taking their careers to the next level. With the economy opening back up, this trend will continue to accelerate through the rest of the year. So, with more Americans confident with their job prospects, how can you find a new opportunity in this competitive market?

Finding a remote job

Some people are chomping at the bits to get back to the office. Others have found that working from home is more accommodating for their lifestyles, families, and job happiness. The result is job seekers searching for new remote opportunities. Since this may be your first time searching for a remote job, you may be scratching your head and wondering where to start. Lucky for you, we have a brief guide on how to secure a remote job after the pandemic. From updating your resume to hacking the job boards, we cover it all so you can focus on finding a new remote job.

Working with a professional recruiter

If you are actively searching for a job but still employed, you probably don’t have the energy and time you would ideally like to invest in your job hunt. After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is scour the job boards and read through dozens of job descriptions. If this sounds like your current situation, it might be a good fit to partner with a recruiter. Professional recruiting firms take much of the leg work out of the job search by presenting you with opportunities that match your career goals and experience. If you are currently looking at job-hopping to advance your career but need some assistance, JSG is here to help.

Our recruiting team is here to help you find your next career opportunity. So, if you are searching for a new position, reach out to us today! We have exciting opportunities across North America with employers in dire need of top talent like you. Let’s work together to make this career advancement a reality.

How to Secure A Remote Job After the Pandemic

The last 15+ months have drastically impacted us all. From social distancing to working remotely, the pandemic has had a lasting effect. As we (finally) return to somewhat normal with the economy opening back up, many people are starting to transition back to the office. However, with all the changes in our lives, working on-site may no longer work for some of us. If you are on the hunt for a job that better accommodates you and your family’s needs, here is how you can secure a remote job.

Use the right job search keywords

Lucky for job seekers, there are more remote job opportunities than ever before. According to FlexJobs, remote jobs have grown 44% over the last five years, and Covid-19 has only exacerbated this evolution. So, securing a remote job post-pandemic will not be challenging if you are using the correct job search terms. When searching for jobs on your go-to job board, using the right keywords will yield the best results.

Search phrases like “work from home,” “remote work,” “online,” and “telecommute,” along with your desired job title. For example, if you are looking for a customer service position, you can search “Remote Customer Service Representative.” Using the right search terms will filter out positions that are not remote to provide an overall better job search experience.

Also, you can select filters on specific job boards to only show remote jobs. LinkedIn, for example, has a filter labeled “remote” to weed out other job types.

Showcase your work from home skills

Once you have your job search down, the next step to securing a remote job is to showcase your work from home skills. Before you submit your application, you must tweak your resume to reflect your remote skills and experience. Employers will be looking for candidates with particular skill sets valuable for remote positions, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, teamwork software like Slack, and other technologies. If you have experience using these platforms, make sure you have them listed on your resume. Listing these in-demand skills on your resume will help you get through an ATS and land on a hiring manager’s desk.

Utilize remote job sites

When searching for a job, it can be overwhelming to select the right job board for you. There are dozens of mainstream job boards and hundreds of specialty, niche job sites to choose from. Lucky for you, there are a handful of excellent job boards that are entirely dedicated to sharing remote job opportunities. Some of the best out there are FlexJobsWe Work RemotelyVirtual Vocations, and These job sites only share remote positions and are trusted by some of the biggest brands out there. If you are serious about securing a remote job, utilize one of these.

Have you checked out our job board?

So, these are just a few simple ways to secure a remote job post-pandemic. If you are still looking for a new opportunity, take a moment to review our job board. At JSG, we have hundreds of jobs across North America with clients looking for talented job seekers like you. We have both on-site and remote opportunities, so be sure to check them out!

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.

Areas Prospering in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

It’s been just over a year since the pandemic flipped the job market (and our lives) upside down. Some industries navigated these challenging times better than others, and some are still on the road to recovery. However, as of March 2021, a dozen different industries are hiring above pre-COVID levels, according to LinkedIn. Here are the areas prospering during the post-pandemic job market and locations where job creation is blossoming.

Industries with the largest year-over-year hiring growth

Hiring in the U.S. was up 15.2% last month from March 2020, a strong indication that we are well on the path to recovery. In the March 2021 Jobs Report, the BLS reported that the U.S. economy added an impressive 916,000 jobs last month as the unemployment rate fell to 6%. This growth is excellent news as we are only a million jobs below pre-pandemic hiring levels.

Here are the industries with the most significant year-over-year hiring growth:

  • Healthcare +20.1%
  • Wellness & Fitness +29.5%
  • Transportation & Logistics +28.4%
  • Consumer Goods +19.9%
  • Education +18.4%
  • Software & IT Services +16.4%
  • Recreational & Travel +26.2%

Locations on a hiring spree

Last month, there were only two metro areas at or above pre-COVID hiring levels. The month before that, there were zero metro areas. However, as of this month, seven different metro areas are at or above their pre-pandemic hiring levels, according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Report. These cities include Atlanta (3.3%), Austin (6.0%), Boston (0.5%), Denver (1.5%), Miami (1.7%), Nashville (1.3%), Phoenix (1.4%).

Those are just some of the significant metro areas that LinkedIn regularly tracks for hiring figures. But which states have a strong job market? Several notable states have more confidence in job availability than the number of active job seekers. These states are South Carolina, Idaho, New Hampshire, Alabama, and Iowa. The five states above all have more jobs available than people actively searching for new roles.

States with more competitive job markets

As some states have a surplus of job opportunities instead of active job seekers, other states are much more competitive. The states with the most challenging job markets (based on the same metrics above) are Maryland, Washington, New York, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.

As a result of these more competitive job markets, people are starting to flock to states and metro markets with more opportunities (and fewer restrictions). Austin, Nashville, Tampa-St Petersburg, Charlotte, and Denver have the highest population gain, according to LinkedIn. So, even as we near the light at the end of the tunnel, workers are still migrating to chase better opportunities, more favorable work-life balances, and fewer COVID restrictions.

Need help navigating the post-pandemic job market?

We are so close to overcoming this virus that flipped our world upside down. Whether you are ready to get back to work or looking to make a career transition, we are here to help. JSG has hundreds of opportunities across North America with clients looking to hire great candidates like you. If you need help tackling the post-pandemic job market, reach out today. Or, if you are more passively searching for a new role, take a look at our job board!

How to Vet Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

The unemployment rate has slowly been ticking downward as employers continue to rebound from the pandemic. Some industries are thriving, while others are preparing to ramp up their hiring efforts for the spring. But with a job market flooded with job seekers and workers looking to enter into pandemic-proof career paths, hiring managers have a ton of resumes to sift through. Ideally, these new additions to your team will stick around for the long haul and make a significant impact on your team. Thus, assessing a candidate’s fit is essential. If you are struggling to pin down the best talent this year, here is how to vet candidates in the post-pandemic job market.

Use a skills test

With an influx of job applications, utilizing skill assessments will help you identify candidates that will excel in the position. Although hard skills aren’t everything, your hiring team needs to know if a candidate can perform the basic functions of the job. These tests are not new, but they are an excellent method of highlighting each of your open positions’ best applicants. Skill assessments will help you weed out the least suitable candidates and streamline your hiring process. These tests are also helpful at discouraging the applicants that are spamming their resume in the post-pandemic job market.

Culture compatibility is crucial

Identifying candidates with the right skill sets is imperative, but culture compatibility is crucial for long-term success. You can teach almost any employee hard skills, new processes, and other details important for a particular role. However, you cannot train a new employee to fit your team dynamic. Behavioral interview questions can help your hiring team identify the candidates with the energy, passion, and work ethic that will make them successful. These questions will penetrate the surface-level assumptions you can make when initially interviewing candidates; they will also help you look beyond a candidate’s skills. These exercises are even more critical if you have a hybrid workforce with employees working both on-site and remotely.

Partner with a recruiting firm

Hiring suitable candidates for your team is no simple feat, and vetting candidates in the post-pandemic job market is even more challenging. Analyzing a candidate’s hard skills and culture compatibility will be essential moving forward. Although, performing these exercises can be time-consuming and difficult. If you need these job openings filled immediately, consider partnering with an external recruiting firm. The best recruiters will thoroughly vet candidates for their aptitude and fit before their resume even reaches your desk. At JSG, we meticulously vet each of our candidates to ensure they will mesh well with your team and make an immediate impact on your organization. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to navigate the post-pandemic job market.