COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Post-Pandemic Resume

The Post-Pandemic Resume

With millions of unemployed Americans, many people are diligently working on your resume to prepare for their next career move. This is a stressful situation, and with so many Americans unemployed, competition is going to be tough. Lucky for you, we have a few pointers to help you craft the perfect post-pandemic resume.

Don’t include that you were laid off

If you were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t say so on your resume. If you do, it ruins the flow of a good resume. Although you are trying to be upfront and honest, there is no need to include that information on there. Instead, you can share this information in your cover letter that you submit with your job application.

So, instead of mentioning your layoff on your resume, write down the time frame you worked for that position. For example, have the time frame be something like “February 2017 – March 2020.” It’s unnecessary to create a bullet that says something like, “I was laid off in March 2020 because of mandatory company layoffs due to the Coronavirus.” This is taking the attention away from all of your accomplishments, skillsets, and experience! It’s great that you want to be transparent, but you can explain your current employment situation in a cover letter and again during an interview )if it comes up).

Display those quarantine skills

If you are currently out of work, you probably have acquired a few skills to your toolbelt. Many furloughed or unemployed workers are acquiring new skills to make good use of their time and make themselves more marketable. Whether you took a course online, taught yourself a new skill, or earned a new certification, it’s crucial to add these hard-earned skills to your resume. Our best advice is to make a skills section towards the bottom of your resume and put all your skills in a nice, organized list. You can do the same with any achievements or awards you have earned, too! This format makes it easy for a hiring manager and an ATS system to skim through your resume.

Tailor your resume

Instead of just slapping your latest work experience on your resume, ensure you are tailoring your resume to each job. This is time well spent if you want to get a leg up on the competition. Plus, it will guarantee you more success when you start applying. Carefully go through each job description and highlight the essential things needed. Then, do your best to mirror those critical points in your resume before you submit it. Obviously, don’t exaggerate the truth or flat out lie about your experience. However, if it’s on the job description and you meet those requirements, you must add those to your post-pandemic resume if you want an interview.

If you’re ready to put that new resume to the test, check out our job opportunities. We will work with you to pair your skills and background with a job that meets your career goals. Take a look, and let’s work together!

How To Support Your Team During A Pandemic

How To Support Your Team During A Pandemic

We have been facing the most unusual circumstances for over four months now. Companies and employees alike have fallen into some sort of “pandemic rhythm,” allowing them to survive. However, as we look towards the future, there’s no certainty to how long this will last. Companies are desperately trying to adapt to a long-term strategy for continuing to do business while also accommodating unknown obstacles. The best place to start? Taking care of your employees. Here are three strategies you must implement in order to maintain a happy and healthy team during a global pandemic.

Be available

Working from home can be incredibly isolating. Making yourself available to your team will give them a sense of comfort and support. And this is more than sending an email letting people know they can contact you. Therefore, go out of your way to check in with your employees frequently. Have conversations about their productivity, challenges they’re facing, and perhaps most importantly, how they are coping. Everyone is struggling with different battles right now, and a supportive hand goes a long way.

Be flexible

Your employees’ worlds have been turned totally upside down. Many are juggling working from home while also homeschooling and parenting full time, for instance. Appointments and vacations have been scheduled and rescheduled multiple times. As a result, flexibility will go miles and miles in building respect with your team during a pandemic. Over half of people who are telecommuting said they are experiencing burnout and overwork. Allowing flexibility will take one more concern off of their overloaded pandemic plates.

Be proactive

A lot of employees are navigating uncharted waters, unsure of how policies and procedures may have changed due to the extenuating circumstances, which means it’s up to you to proactively explain and encourage them. For example, with many employees working from home and travel plans put on hold, fewer people are requesting time off for vacations. This can lead to various problems, including team burnouts and employees stockpiling PTO. A proactive approach encouraging employees to step away from their desk will help to quell balance sheet problems and lead to a happier and healthier remote team.

What’s the one leadership skill all of these things have in common? Listening. Take the time to listen to your team members and accommodate their feedback while addressing their concerns. Use these tactics to support your team during a pandemic or any other challenging time. Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our Client Resources.

employment gap

How to Explain An Employment Gap

As of this Thursday, another 1.55 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. That brings the current total to over 44 million workers that are unfortunately going through a rough employment patch. As a result, numerous workers are now going to have a gap in their employment history and resume. This circumstance can bring up a challenging interview question as these workers search for their next opportunities. If you are in this situation, this is how you can successfully answer any question that may come up regarding an employment gap.

Be straightforward and honest

The best thing you can do when this question arises is to be honest and upfront about your situation. If you were laid off because of the Coronavirus, don’t be ashamed. A significant chunk of American workers is in the same boat as you. And if you were laid off or fired for a completely different reason, you should still be honest. Your interviewers will likely check your references and with your last employer if you make it to the finish line of the hiring process. If you are caught in a lie, it won’t look good, and you may even have your candidacy pulled.

Whatever your reason, keep your answer positive.

Share what you have done with your free time

Speaking of positive, if you have been out of work and need to explain your employment gap, share the good things that you were able to accomplish in the meantime. If you completed a course to improve your knowledge on a subject or earned a certification, share that! It shows that your lapse in employment didn’t stop you from bettering yourself and enhancing your career.

Another way to approach your answer is to share your self-reflection. Did you take this time to reflect on your career and decide where you would like to be? That’s a great answer, too! There is nothing wrong with taking this hardship and using it to pivot your career in another direction.

Keep it short and sweet

Regardless of your situation or answer, less is more. Don’t get caught up in the details, especially if you were fired. Attack the question straight on and express what you learned because of the situation. That’s it. Too many candidates find themselves oversharing and getting lost in the details. Keep your answer honest, straightforward, and concise to master this awkward interview question!

contract staffing

Why Contract Staffing Works in the Post-Pandemic Era

As our country begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are starting to retool their staff (or at least preparing to do so shortly). This dilemma can be overwhelming for hiring managers as many need employees now but are fearful of what the future has in store for us. Insert contract staffing. Utilizing contractors might be the safest and most cost-effective solution in the post-pandemic era. Here is why contract staffing will be your best tool in the second half of 2020.

Contract staffing offers flexibility

Contract staffing is a great way to get the help you need now without worrying too much about your staffing bandwidth in the future. The latest Jobs Report from the Department of Labor shared some positive signs that the worst of the Coronavirus is behind us. However, it was recently confirmed that February 2020 was the official start of a recession. How long this recession will last is unknown, but economists speculate it will take at least a couple of years to recover.

You get to choose the terms of your contract assignments. They can be as short as a couple of months or be long-term contracts of up to a year. So, your team is in the driver seat and can pick contract lengths that work for your company. And if you don’t need your contractors anymore, you can terminate the contract assignment much easier than laying off a full-time employee.

A more fiscally responsible solution

Utilizing contractors will help your bottom line during these economic difficulties. Hiring contract workers reduce fixed costs, such as benefits, and allows your company to only pay for the hours each contractor works. Using temporary workers will allow you to be more flexible as your team weathers this economic hardship.

Contractors streamline your hiring process

Hiring contractors is a great way to streamline your hiring process. If you need workers immediately to keep production on track, the turnaround time is much faster. Under normal economic and social conditions, it takes roughly 42 days to fill a permanent position. However, hiring contractors is much more efficient, especially if you are working with a recruiting firm. At Johnson Search Group, we do all the hard work on your behalf. We conduct reference checks, facilitate the background checks, and ensure onboarding is smooth throughout the process.

We can build a contract staffing solution with you

If you’re ready to build your contract staffing solution today, reach out to our recruiting team. We will work hard to find the talent that fits your needs and environment. Let’s have a conversation today and build a relationship that lasts well beyond the global pandemic.

second half of 2020

What Will the Second Half of 2020 Look Like?

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the labor market. In the first two months of 2020, the year started where 2019 left off – a red hot job market and record low unemployment rate. Fast forward to today, and there are now over 40 million U.S. jobless claims in the first week of June. Despite this horrendous downfall, things are starting to look up. States are opening back up, virus numbers are declining, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3% as people are finally returning to work. So, now that we are over the hill, what will the rest of the year entail regarding the labor market? Here is what the second half of 2020 will look like for our workforce.

Where are the jobs at?

Employers across the country are still hiring during the pandemic. And as things continue to simmer down as far as COVID-19 cases go, more employers will restart their hiring efforts. Some industries are actually doing well, and even going on hiring spurts right now. For example, hardware stores have been going through a growth spurt over the last couple of months. Have you tried to go to Home Depot or Lowes lately? If you haven’t, there is usually a line to get it inside. Ace Hardware will be hiring roughly 30,000 workers over the upcoming weeks. This is just one of many industries that experienced a boost in hiring thanks to the pandemic.

As more states open back up, these numbers will continue to grow. According to the Business Insider, only seven states are in a partial lockdown, with Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico the only U.S. territories with a complete lockdown. That means the vast majority of the country is either completely reopened or working hard to get to that point.

And if you are in one of the few states still in a lockdown period, don’t panic. You can always secure a remote position from a company located elsewhere. At the peak of the outbreak, 62% of Americans were working from home. And this trend will not be going away, even after we overcome this crisis. Many employers, such as Twitter, are allowing workers to work from home permanently. As a result, this will open the door for new work opportunities in the second half of 2020.

The key thing to remember is that companies are still hiring; however, you may have to work a little harder to find them.

The skills that employers need most right now

If you’re one of the millions of Americans looking for new employment opportunities in the second half of 2020, there are a handful of skills you will want to demonstrate to hiring managers.

Adaptability and flexibility

These skills have and always will be crucial. Now more than ever, employers need workers capable of adapting to new environments, workloads, and pretty much everything else around them. We are in unchartered waters, and depending on the industry you work in, every day may be a little different. Try and use examples in an interview to convey this to employers or use specific points on your resume that illustrate your ability to be flexible in the most challenging environments.

Creative and innovative

Employers want to see that you are not afraid to think outside the box. These are tough times, and a little innovation goes a long way. There are dozens of examples of employees showing innovation during these challenging times. One excellent example is automakers shifting their efforts from making vehicles to respiratory equipment. You can find a creative way to solve a problem, save the company money, or improve efficiency; these are things hiring managers will want to see.

Problem-solving

Day to day tasks may be more difficult now with social distancing in the workplace or while part of your team is working remotely. Simple activities may need new solutions to make them more efficient in the post-pandemic workplace. Make sure you are illustrating to your prospective employers your accomplishments and clearly define what issues they resolved.

Recruiters will be your best friends

Whether you’re a hiring manager struggling to find talented workers or a job seeker looking for their next opportunity, partnering with a recruiter will be a must. Hiring managers won’t have to sift through hundreds of resumes and hire the workers they need, fast. And as a job seeker, you can rest assured that you have a professional in your back pocket, walking you through every step of the hiring process. At Johnson Search Group, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you. Reach out to us today!

rural healthcare

Rural Healthcare is Making a Comeback from COVID-19

Over the past three months, I have had many conversations with the rural healthcare facilities I partner with in Washington state about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted them. Lately, my searches for critical need positions have certainly looked different during this crisis; many of my clients have expressed that they don’t want to hire clients poached from other hospitals, given the circumstances. This mindset is very respectable, and thankfully, my team and I can source fantastic job seekers in the healthcare industry without stealing them from other hospitals that are also in need of staff members.

Some good stories amongst the negative

These past three months have been filled with wonderful phone conversations and lots of touching stories. Hearing these stories of communities coming together to support their local hospitals has made my heart happy. There have been parades, small businesses making masks and shields for their hospitals, financial support from the communities, and a sense of comradery. This is especially true for rural healthcare, which has taken quite the hit this year. There is so much light during these uncertain times, and this is what keeps us pushing forward.

Rural healthcare is taking a hit

Of course, there were the hard stories, the scary stories regarding rural health. Many of my clients had to furlough great employees, lay off staff members, take a low census, and freeze all elective surgeries. Nurses were begging to work; coders are without outpatient or inpatient work; it was a standstill. I often heard the Tom Petty song playing in my head, “The Waiting.” Everyone was merely scared and did not know what to expect with this pandemic. Therefore, many stayed away from the safest place of all, our hospitals.

We are slowly making a comeback

However, things are starting to turnaround for our rural healthcare facilities. All 50 states have eased their “stay at home” orders, and 26 states have officially reopened. These past two weeks have been so positive; patients are no longer scared to walk the hallways, and elective surgeries can proceed again. In my personal experience, the hospital is the safest place you can be. Perhaps we are no longer as fearful as we were three months ago when the pandemic was spreading like wildfire. Rural healthcare is finally making a comeback.

We can help your healthcare facility

As we start to move into this new normalcy, your rural healthcare facility may need help retooling their staff. My team and I at Johnson Search Group can help source the best talent on the market that fits into your budget and organization’s culture. The candidates we present to our clients are thoroughly vetted to fit both your team and your community. I deliver resumes that are backed with positive people with a want and need to serve, not just your hospital but also your communities. Let’s have a conversation about the needs of your organization and community. We are all in this together.

Post-Coronavirus Workplace

The Post-Coronavirus Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every one of us. Some of us are working from home, while others are unfortunately laid off for the time being. Interviews will probably never be the same, and some employers are permanently implementing new policies to offer a more agile working environment. As a result of all of these changes, our place of work will look much different, at least for the time being. Here are just three ways the post-Coronavirus workplace will change.

Exercise more caution

Every single one of us will (or should) be more cautious going forward. If you don’t feel well, work from home, if possible. If you can’t work from home, take a sick day. If COVID-19 has taught us anything over the last couple of months, our health and the health of those around us is imperative. Even if it’s just a head cold, most people will take the precaution and stay home.

Regularly cleaning will be a must. It might even be part of your new daily or weekly routine to disinfect your tools and workstation. It may seem like overkill to some, but it’s better than the alternative. Some people may stop shaking hands as a greeting or congregating in a small breakroom for a cup of coffee. Some of these new routines will relax over time, but the workplace may look like this upon your return.

A leaner workforce

As of today, May 28, nearly 42 American workers have applied for unemployment benefits as the number of layoffs continues to grow (although at a slower rate). However, some teams may not build back up as they were before COVID-19. Many employers are doing fine with their new, smaller teams. Sometimes, less is more. So, as a job seeker, that means the market might be more competitive for the foreseeable future. As a result, you’ll have to be on you’re A-game and know how to navigate this environment! If you’re in that position, check out one of our recent blogs that offers helpful job search tips and tricks.

Flexible working conditions

Flexibility will be a huge change for many employers. Work from home will likely be a new perk that many employers were utterly against before COVID-19. Managers and executives alike are realizing that their workforce can be just as (if not more) productive. This shift will likely lead to better benefits, such as working from home for new parents or for when a child is sick. Millions of us are still working from home and successfully balancing our work and home lives. Therefore, your employer maybe a little more open-minded in the new post-Coronavirus workplace.

Since we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, employers will likely show more flexibility for certain situations. For example, a new report shows that many parents are reluctant to return to the office because they have kids that are home alone finishing the school year online. And with some states or counties still forcing daycares to remain shut, some parents don’t have a choice to stay home with their families. Therefore, employers across the nation will be more understanding of situations like this and allow work from home days when needed.

job search must-knows during the pandemic

Job Search Must-Knows During The Pandemic

If you’re currently searching for a new job because you have been laid off or simply want to jump to the next step in your career, the job market right now is looking murky. Many employers are still hiring, but how you manage your job search may be a little different right now. Here are the job search must-knows during the pandemic and a few tips on how to secure your new opportunity.

Prepare for a video interview

If you’re actively searching for a new job during the pandemic, you must prepare for the possibility of a video interview. Even as states are beginning to open back up, video interviews are becoming the new norm. They are easier to schedule, allow for more flexibility for both parties, and are safer during the Coronavirus outbreak.

But just because your interviewers are becoming virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare the same way! Do your due diligence on the company and have a good understanding of the job description. Write down some questions to ask your interviewers and dress for success. The only thing that changes is ensuring you have the right space and technology for your video interview. Here is a guide we created to help you ace any video interview.

Don’t forget to do a practice call beforehand! Technology is great when it works.

Don’t be afraid to follow up

We are still in unchartered territory. Companies are busy trying to shuffle their budgets, adjust their second-quarter goals, and address their staffing needs. All of which may be facilitated remotely. In other words, some companies are still trying to shift their processes, and communication might fall off sometimes. If you had an interview and haven’t heard back in a while, don’t be afraid to ask for an update. Send a brief follow-up email to the hiring manager or HR professional you interviewed with and give them a soft nudge.

Here is a template email you can use from career expert Professor Heather Austin:

Partner with a recruiter

If you really want to make a splash in your job search during the COVID-19 pandemic, partner with a recruiter. Working with a recruiting firm that specializes in your industry can dramatically boost your job search results. At Johnson Search Group, we are hard at work to help pair our clients with the best candidates on the market. Reach out to us today, and we can help you navigate this tricky job market.

Executive Confidence Grows In Job Security & Remote Work

Executive Confidence Grows In Job Security & Remote Work

After two months of altering our working states to accommodate the impending threat of the Coronavirus, sentiments are slowly starting to shift. By March 27, an estimated 16 million U.S. workers began working remotely as we practiced social distancing. That number has undoubtedly climbed even higher since. And with unemployment hitting a colossal rate of 14.7% in April, job security was far from guaranteed. However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel according to the latest Workforce Report from LinkedIn. Let’s take a look.

Viewpoint On Remote Work

As COVID-19 started sweeping the nation, millions of workers across the country found their work lives completely overturned. Many leaders who were hesitant to allow working from home were suddenly mandated to evolve. And while it may have been uncomfortable and chaotic at first, things are actually starting to settle in. In fact, 55% of respondents to the survey now think their industry can be effective when people are working remotely.

And it’s not just employees who are adapting his mindset. “The crisis has shown that we can work in different ways,” Mondelez chief executive Dirk Van de Put told The Wall Street Journal this week. “Maybe we don’t need all the offices that we currently have around the world.” Google Executives announced work from home policies through the end of 2020, while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced a permanent work from home option just this week.

Outlook From Senior Leadership

Upon the initial stay at home orders, many companies made swift and necessary moves to streamline. This, unfortunately, resulted in millions of layoffs or furloughs and left many Senior Leaders feeling downtrodden and questioning their job security.

However, the latest edition of the Workforce Report reflected a promising light for Senior Leadership. Overall confidence from this group saw a marked increase driven by higher scores in job security and financial outlook. This is most likely due to states slowly starting to reopen and developing plans for the new normal.

Head over to our blog for more up to date news on COVID-19 and how it’s affecting the job market!

Avoid WFH Burnout

How to Avoid WFH Burnout in During the Pandemic

Millions across North America have been working from home (WFH) since the middle of March. As a result, many are beginning to feel the burnout of WFH. The combination of longer workdays, more family-related responsibilities, and isolation is starting to take its toll. A recent survey by Glint revealed that responses discussing burnout doubled from March to April (from 2.7% to 5.4%). As stay at home orders linger, this feeling will continue to increase, impacting our productivity, mental health, and overall attitude towards our work.

For most of us that are lucky enough to work from home, the division between work and home is looking a little blurry. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed while working remotely, here is how to avoid WFH burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Separation between work and home

One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the unclear division between home and work. It’s easy to feel obligated to continue working when you’re at home. With more effective communication, thanks to the soaring adoption of video technologies, it’s easy to overwork yourself. In fact, the average remote employee works an extra 1.4 more days per month than when working in the office. When WFH, you never really feel like you are ‘off’ of work, and therefore, continue to check those emails.

To mitigate this, create a physical divide between your work life and your home life. Try and set up a home office or workstation where all you do is work. It will help you eliminate distractions and be more productive. When you’re through with your work, try and leave the area for the day. Physically separating yourself from work will help avoid the WFH burnout.

Don’t forget to take breaks and get up from your computer. It can be easy to sit down and not get up for a few hours. If you struggle with this, set a timer or calendar reminder to get up every hour for a couple of minutes and stretch. You will feel a little refreshed if you take small breaks throughout the day.

Maintain a routine

Try and create a routine while working from home, just like you would if you were at the office. Wake up at the same time every day, shower, get ready, eat some breakfast, take a lunch break, etc. Creating a routine will help work, well, feel like work! Maintaining a routine will prevent you from feeling burnt out because it will feel like it’s a typical working day. It will also help you maintain a stricter work schedule, so you don’t overwork yourself. Whatever your routine looks like, stick with it, and it will help create further separation for your work life and your home life.

Block out some ‘me time’

It’s critical to take some personal time during these uncertain circumstances. Most of us have a lot of additional stressors and anxiety right now – finances, feeling contained, balancing work and family responsibilities, and possibly even acting as a teacher for your kids who’re finishing up the school year online. That’s a lot to take on, and it can be challenging to have some “me time.” Block out some personal time each day, even if it’s just an hour, to relax and decompress from all your responsibilities. Turn your phone off, read a book, go for a walk, watch some Netflix, or whatever it is you need to do to unwind.

If you are really feeling overwhelmed, consider taking a day off work. 31% of employees have taken a day off from work for their mental health. If you can do this, you will come back feeling refreshed and able to concentrate on your job better.