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.

hiring process

The 2020 Hiring Process Revolution

This year has forced many, if not all, employers to think outside of the box with their hiring efforts. Over the past six months, I have been extremely impressed with companies rapidly adjusting their interviewing practices to adhere to social distancing and safety protocols. As a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial industry, I have witnessed my clients create creative new interviewing and onboarding tactics to fill their critical positions. Some companies are more resistant to change than others, but I think the following hiring process innovations will forever change how companies operate.

Phone interviews are no longer an initial screening

While the phone interview has always been an initial screening of candidates, they have become a much more integral part of the hiring process. Phone interviews are essential to determine if the candidate has the skill set needed to be efficient in the role. Gone are the days when a hiring manager or HR professional calls you up to ask you a few basic questions. Phone interviews are now typically the first round of interviews and should be taken as seriously as an in-person interview. Here are a few pointers on how to prepare for these interviews.

Many of my clients that traditionally do onsite interviews at the mining facility or job site have now switched over to phone interviews. My clients and I are even working together to make job offers to candidates over the phone instead of flying them in to tour the facilities. However, for some of the more technical or collaborative team-focused positions, the video or Skype interview can give you a better understanding of the candidate and how they may fit in with the team.

Video interviewing is the new norm

Video interviews have skyrocketed this year. Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and even Face Time interviews have become a mainstay in the hiring process. I have found these tools excellent for employers that want to see how a candidate interacts with the team. I still believe the face to face interview is ideal for both candidates and employers, but when circumstances make these interviews difficult, I found these video interviews to be the next best thing.

Onsite interviews during the pandemic

Nothing compares to the good old fashion in-person interview. But getting into the facility has proven more difficult due to health and safety concerns. If you have an onsite interview, you can almost guarantee someone will check your temperature at the door. Also, you will be asked a series of health questions to ensure you are feeling well. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear your mask! When going to a facility to interview, my advice is to follow the company’s safety guidelines. Resistance to safety guidelines can most certainly affect the company’s decision to hire you no matter your qualifications.

Need help navigating this hiring process revolution?

My biggest take away from this year regarding interviews is that clients are still hiring. While processes may have changed, companies are actively interviewing and onboarding qualified candidates. If your company is currently struggling to find candidates to fill your roles, reach out to me. We can work together to streamline your hiring process and get the talent you need today. Or, if you are a job seeker, I have dozens of opportunities that might be a great fit for you!

boost your resume

How To Boost Your Resume And Lend A Helping Hand

As the country continues to recover from the pandemic’s economic toll, initial jobless claims are (once again) beginning to decline. On Thursday, August 27th, jobless claims tallied to 1.006 million, over 100,000 fewer claims than the week prior. However, there are still 14.5 million total claims as of the week ending August 15th. As a result, job seekers are looking for productive activities that utilize their talents and beef up their resumes to better stand out in the sea of applicants. If this sounds like your current situation, here are three things you can do to offer a helping hand, improve your career trajectory, and boost your resume.

Volunteer your time

Volunteering is on the rise during the pandemic. Since millions of Americans have more free time right now, people are putting their time to good use by volunteering. According to LinkedIn, U.S. members have been adding over 110,000 volunteering experiences and activities per month throughout the year. That’s 2.5x the monthly amount recorded in 2017. Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time and help out an organization in need. Here are the top 10 volunteering organizations in 2020:

Volunteering Organizations LinkedIn

Most of these organizations are recognizable to you. If you are thinking about volunteering, think about donating your time to some local organizations that may be struggling right now. That could be a local food bank, community center, or animal shelter. You can even offer your professional services to aid them, such as web design or social media assistance, for example, to put your skills to work and aid an organization in need. Either way, volunteering is an excellent resume booster and fulfilling activity!

Earn free certifications

Many bloggers and companies are suggesting to enroll in some online courses or earn certifications to advance your marketability and skillsets. We have actually been suggesting this for months! Earning a certificate is a great way to hone a talent, acquire a new skill, and make you a more valuable employee. Plus, there are tons of free options out there for pretty much every profession. Here are a few examples:

  • The Google Skill Shop offers free courses and certifications to help you master Google products such as AdWords or Analytics
  • SEMrush offers free SEO and content marketing courses to give your business an online boost
  • The Codecademy has a free option that gives you access to basic coding classes to teach you HTML, CSS, and other programming skills
  • LinkedIn Learning offers courses and podcasts to help you learn new business, tech, and creative skills from industry experts

Work as a freelancer

Another activity you can do to give your resume a boost is freelance work. There are dozens of websites like fivver and UpWork, where you can post your services and expertise. Whether you’re a marketing professional, blogger, graphic designer, engineer, or IT professional, you can use these sites to be hired for your talents. The cool part? You may have the opportunity to work with some of the biggest companies out there! Dozens of organizations utilize talent from these freelancing sites to tap the best talent on the market.

These are just a few things you can do to boost your resume if you are currently out of work. They are a great use of your time, will make you feel valued, and give you some confidence to get through this rough patch. You got this!

The Expensive Cost Of Vacancy In Healthcare

The Expensive Cost Of Vacancy In Healthcare

Here at Johnson Search Group, we understand that times are different for healthcare organizations. Stress is high, and according to recent studies, some healthcare workers are experiencing high levels of insomnia, and many are sleeping restlessly due to bad dreams. Basically, we are all on overdrive. This tends to be more problematic for healthcare professionals than others as it may affect your patient care, working relationships, and even bleed over to your personal life. Additionally, have you considered how the cost of vacancy is even more elevated during this period of uncertainty?

How Cost Of Vacancy Comes Into Play

On top of everything else, when positions are left unfilled, it puts a strain on the entire department, and everyone must pick up the slack. It’s hard for anyone to smile when they are exhausted to the core, let alone make sound decisions

And now you start to see how the cost of vacancy can be so taxing. Let’s say you have a position with a salary of $50,000 per year, which is critical to your organization’s functionality. The daily cost of not filling that position is $681.82, which means if left unfilled for 34 days, it will cost you $23,000. Then, pair that with overworked staff and, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Want to know more about how we calculate cost of vacancy and what yours is for any given position? Contact us today and we’ll give you a custom cost of vacancy and help you build a strategy to mitigate it.

How We Can Help

Last week I was tasked with filling two critical positions for my client, an EVS Manager, and an Accountant. Not only was I able to find qualified candidates, but also candidates that would be a great culture fit. The best part? My client was able to hire these incredible candidates within a week of issuing the requisition. 

There are incredibly talented people all over the United States, whose situations change daily. Your recruiter can find them for you. We have built the networks, we foster the relationships, and we know exactly what you’re looking for. Let us fill that position, drive down your cost of vacancy, and help your patients, all while helping your staff.

We have extended our service fee deadline for clients in need, and we have no problem doing so if you are as serious about the process as we are here at Johnson Search Group. We have not just your organization in mind while finding you top talent; your staff, your communities, your patient care, and your health are top of mind as well. So, let us work together to fill the vacancies that are costing your team more than money can buy.

Let’s Get Started

Call me today, Stephanie Brown at 205-588-8075, because I understand the needs of your organization. I only bring candidates that are a strong culture fit and qualified, so they make work more enjoyable during these hard times (for you and your patients!). Together let’s work towards the best patient care and self-care we can.

Take Vacation Time During the Pandemic

Why You Should Take Vacation Time During the Pandemic

Have you taken any vacation time or PTO during the pandemic? If your answer is no, then you are not alone. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of employees believe it is almost impossible to take time off because they have too much work. Another study found that workers utilize less than 25% of the vacation time that they have earned on average. And these shocking statistics are under normal circumstances. Of course, during the pandemic, it can be even more discouraging to take time off. There are millions of people unemployed, revenue is down for many companies, and you might feel awkward requesting time off if you are working from home. However, taking a few days off right now might be more beneficial for your productivity than ever before. Here are a couple of reasons why you should take vacation time during the pandemic.

You may be overworked

Many of you are probably working longer hours during the pandemic. If you are working from home, the days are possibly blurring together; it’s easy to respond to an email or answer a call “after hours” when your computer or phone is at arm’s length. According to the National Bureau of Economy Research, the average workday is 48.5 minutes longer than usual. The survey also found that the number of meetings increased by 13%, and people sent 1.4 more emails per day to their colleagues. If this extra workload has been going on since mid-March, you can start to feel the burnout.

These new work patterns are causing many people to become overworked during the pandemic. As a result, it’s essential to take time off when you can. If you’re on the verge of burnout, your work will start to suffer, and so will your mental health. It’s in yours, your company’s, and your customers’ best interest to take time off to rest and recharge.

It isn’t easy to take time off right now

It is really easy to convince yourself not to take vacation time during the pandemic. You might feel guilty asking to take a few days off. If your company is struggling and has looming layoffs (or already had some), it can be discouraging to take time off that you need. Plus, there isn’t much to do right now for a vacation. Many places are closed down or have restrictions, air travel might feel too dangerous, and you may just be tight on funds right now. These are are all concerns, but they should not stop you from taking time off to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

Have a conversation with your manager. Express how you feel and how some time off will make you a more productive employee in the long run. You might be surprised how that conversation will help your manager better understand what you’re going through and how it might positively impact your work-life balance. Even if you are just staying home, it’s essential to take vacation time during the pandemic to take a step back from work and return with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation!

Jobs with the Most Demand in July

The Jobs with the Most Demand in July

Despite surging COVID-19 cases across the country, hiring is picking back up for many employers. Last month, the Labor Department reported +4.8 million job gains and a steep decline in the unemployment rate. However, many people are asking where these job gains are coming from. According to a recent LinkedIn report, many of these job gains are deriving from essential workers. Openings for some of the most critical roles more than doubled from June to July. Here is a brief breakdown of the jobs with the most demand in July.

The need for essential workers is surging

So, what is an essential worker? An essential worker is those who must be physically present at their job to keep society running smoothly. Demand for these hardworking individuals has been steadily increasing over the last few weeks as more employers begin to slowly re-open.

According to LinkedIn, below are the jobs with the fastest growing demand based on month-over-month increases in job posts:

  1. Driver
  2. Software Architect
  3. Cook
  4. Nurse
  5. Customer Service Specialist
  6. Home Health Nurse
  7. Site Reliability Engineer 
  8. Stock Clerk
  9. General Manager
  10. Architect 

Globally, retail and travel/recreational industries saw the most significant boost in job posts. LinkedIn reports that these sectors experienced declines in previous months, so this is an excellent indication of the global recovery from the pandemic.

Jobs with the Most Demand in July

Moreover, the following list is the top ten jobs that are the most in-demand this month:

  1. Salesperson
  2. Registered Nurse
  3. Food Delivery Driver
  4. Store Associate
  5. Software Engineer
  6. Driver
  7. Project Manager
  8. Store Clerk
  9. Certified Nursing Assistant
  10. Licensed Practical Nurse

Some of these jobs were in high demand pre-pandemic; however, the need for some has skyrocketed because of COVID-19. Some of these roles are obvious. The healthcare sector has been one of the largest growing industries for several years now, and the Coronavirus has only boosted this rush. RNs, nursing assistants, and nurse practitioners have been on the rise for years and are one of our recruiting specialties.

Food delivery drivers and personal shoppers, for example, are seeing a massive spike as thousands of people try to limit their exposure. Instacart, probably the most popular personal shopping company, just rose another $100 million in fundraising to expand its services.

These are just a few of the roles that are seeing explosive demand this month. If you are searching for a new job and need a little help, look no further. We have dozens of jobs available with employers across the nation. Partner with a JSG recruiter today to start the next phase of your career.

The Ultimate Guide To Virtual Networking

The Ultimate Guide To Virtual Networking

Over the past few months, much of our professional world has moved to online. And while this may seem temporary, we have a feeling that many companies and groups will look to continue hosting virtual events to reduce risks and costs. With that being said, we need to get comfortable with the concept of virtual networking. Whether your goal is to find a new position, connect with people of influence, or even just create a mastermind group for support, here are a few things you can do to start building a community online.

Find Your Platform

There are a ton of different professional groups out there, and they all serve different needs. Consider your ultimate goal. Are you looking to advance your career or add new skills to your toolbelt? Try joining a virtual conference in your industry. If you’re looking to build a community of like-minded professionals, head over to Facebook groups! Once considered only for oversharing about your personal life, Facebook has become a platform that can really bring people together.

Get Used To Being Uncomfortable

Yep, we said it. This could get uncomfortable. You may have an awkward “pick your brain” session over Zoom with someone you don’t know! But the simple act of putting yourself out there could significantly advance your career. Sending cold messages to people in your field that you admire is intimidating. But just imagine the knowledge you can gain and the connections you can build by pushing the limits of your comfort zone.

Think Outside The Box

One of the best things about networking virtually is that the sky is the limit. Don’t ground yourself by networking strictly within your local area or even solely in your industry. Research global networking events to expand your reach. Look into groups that cover areas you’re interested in (even if you have no experience!) Most of the time; people will be happy to share beginner tips, answer questions, and expose you to a whole new industry or skillset.

Just because we are social-distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t be connected. Once you’ve honed your networking skills, check out the rest of our candidate resources.

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.