COVID Impacts on Business, Work, and Hiring

COVID Impacts on Business, Work, and Hiring.

The Payroll Protection Act (for small businesses) and stimulus for entire industries like airlines, healthcare, the travel, and more industries will continue to impact employment metrics.  Despite the US seeing 4.8 million jobs added in the last reporting period, the pandemic impacted departments in many industries – customer service, airlines (flight attendants and pilots), catering, maintenance (ranging from mechanical to janitorial), as well as administrative support and management.  Companies are gearing up to provide federally required 60-day WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act; 1988) notices as sales and revenue stagnate or dropping in the future.  Companies more severely affected are in states where the governors’ mandated quarantine is a return to Stage 2 protocol after COVID numbers (cases) rose again during the Stage 3 period reopening – despite the lower number of deaths.

Remote call centers (India, Ireland) closed during the quarantine and affected US businesses who relied on the lower-overhead-cost, international, customer-services centers.  US-based businesses scrambled to hire more ‘in-USA’ customer service staff to take on the increased calls.  Banks adjusted to limited, appointment-only, lobby hours, and increased online and telephone services.  Hairdressers visited their clients’ homes. Wedding officiants had ‘guest-less’ weddings (just the bride and groom) in a ‘socially-distanced’ setting.  Medical practices shifted to ‘drive-by’ testing or home visits (one new model sends medical practitioners to your home). Car dealerships bring vehicles to potential buyer’s homes to test drive. 

Companies are re-examining job descriptions and using the economic slowdown to restructure requirements for job capabilities.  Telework may be offered to staff with the capability to access company servers to perform daily tasks from home.  Since teleworkers are off-site, there is a need for increased efficiency in communications methods, including the capability for virtual meetings for work updates or Scrum (IT; Agile) interactions.  In some industries, having reliable transportation is vital if the company is moving to ‘delivery of services’ to a client’s location versus the client coming to a sales location. 

What does this mean for job seekers?  Emphasize the ability to work independently (non-supervised work) while being a member of a team on resumes (and cover letters). Stress technology capabilities via the Internet of Things (IOT). The job seeker should note they have the ‘equipment’ (high-speed Internet access, up-to-date computer, headphones, and/or speakers), and the ability to troubleshoot tech issues from home.  If the job seeker redesigned their job description to meet the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in continued work capabilities for themselves (or co-workers), that would be an ‘attention-getting bullet’ on the resume. 

If a worker is using personal (or work-issued) equipment they should have the latest version of the software (MS Office, proprietary software, access to the ‘cloud’).  The job seeker should invest in upgrading software – and hardware – to enable their capability to perform their current or a future job.  For instance, a basic level of Zoom meeting software is free, while the paid version for more attendees and the ability to record sessions costs less than 10 bucks a month. 

Job seekers can emphasize volunteer activities during the pandemic.  Did you volunteer to help churches, schools, or organizations? Did you make face masks? Did you assist in delivering food?  Did you teach school-age children during the school shutdowns, either via social-distancing or virtual teaching?  This showcases the diversity of technology knowledge, business skills, and an aptitude for productivity regardless of the negative situation.

Companies are realizing savings in overhead office expenses by moving staff off-site. The businesses may decide to continue to use this model after the quarantine is lifted and the pandemic is under control.  The indirect effect of the virus – businesses are exploring options to curtail costs of in-house staff and increase teleworkers who can perform effectively off-site.  This money-saving model will continue far past the end of the quarantine and pandemic. 

The lesson learned – enable your skills and capabilities by being technically savvy for performing work from home, efficiently, effectively, and productively – to increase your value to your current or future employer.  Ensure those rich capabilities are noted on your resume.

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., owner of D. Boyer Consulting – provides resume writing, social media management, and editing / publishing / print-on-demand consulting in Hampton Roads, VA. Reach her at Dawn.Boyer@me.com or visit her website at www.dboyerconsulting.com.

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COVID Impacts on Business, Work, and Hiring

COVID Impacts on Business, Work, and Hiring.

The Payroll Protection Act (for small businesses) and stimulus for entire industries like airlines, healthcare, the travel, and more industries will continue to impact employment metrics.  Despite the US seeing 4.8 million jobs added in the last reporting period, the pandemic impacted departments in many industries – customer service, airlines (flight attendants and pilots), catering, maintenance (ranging from mechanical to janitorial), as well as administrative support and management.  Companies are gearing up to provide federally required 60-day WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act; 1988) notices as sales and revenue stagnate or dropping in the future.  Companies more severely affected are in states where the governors’ mandated quarantine is a return to Stage 2 protocol after COVID numbers (cases) rose again during the Stage 3 period reopening – despite the lower number of deaths.

Remote call centers (India, Ireland) closed during the quarantine and affected US businesses who relied on the lower-overhead-cost, international, customer-services centers.  US-based businesses scrambled to hire more ‘in-USA’ customer service staff to take on the increased calls.  Banks adjusted to limited, appointment-only, lobby hours, and increased online and telephone services.  Hairdressers visited their clients’ homes. Wedding officiants had ‘guest-less’ weddings (just the bride and groom) in a ‘socially-distanced’ setting.  Medical practices shifted to ‘drive-by’ testing or home visits (one new model sends medical practitioners to your home). Car dealerships bring vehicles to potential buyer’s homes to test drive. 

Companies are re-examining job descriptions and using the economic slowdown to restructure requirements for job capabilities.  Telework may be offered to staff with the capability to access company servers to perform daily tasks from home.  Since teleworkers are off-site, there is a need for increased efficiency in communications methods, including the capability for virtual meetings for work updates or Scrum (IT; Agile) interactions.  In some industries, having reliable transportation is vital if the company is moving to ‘delivery of services’ to a client’s location versus the client coming to a sales location. 

What does this mean for job seekers?  Emphasize the ability to work independently (non-supervised work) while being a member of a team on resumes (and cover letters). Stress technology capabilities via the Internet of Things (IOT). The job seeker should note they have the ‘equipment’ (high-speed Internet access, up-to-date computer, headphones, and/or speakers), and the ability to troubleshoot tech issues from home.  If the job seeker redesigned their job description to meet the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in continued work capabilities for themselves (or co-workers), that would be an ‘attention-getting bullet’ on the resume. 

If a worker is using personal (or work-issued) equipment they should have the latest version of the software (MS Office, proprietary software, access to the ‘cloud’).  The job seeker should invest in upgrading software – and hardware – to enable their capability to perform their current or a future job.  For instance, a basic level of Zoom meeting software is free, while the paid version for more attendees and the ability to record sessions costs less than 10 bucks a month. 

Job seekers can emphasize volunteer activities during the pandemic.  Did you volunteer to help churches, schools, or organizations? Did you make face masks? Did you assist in delivering food?  Did you teach school-age children during the school shutdowns, either via social-distancing or virtual teaching?  This showcases the diversity of technology knowledge, business skills, and an aptitude for productivity regardless of the negative situation.

Companies are realizing savings in overhead office expenses by moving staff off-site. The businesses may decide to continue to use this model after the quarantine is lifted and the pandemic is under control.  The indirect effect of the virus – businesses are exploring options to curtail costs of in-house staff and increase teleworkers who can perform effectively off-site.  This money-saving model will continue far past the end of the quarantine and pandemic. 

The lesson learned – enable your skills and capabilities by being technically savvy for performing work from home, efficiently, effectively, and productively – to increase your value to your current or future employer.  Ensure those rich capabilities are noted on your resume.

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., owner of D. Boyer Consulting – provides resume writing, social media management, and editing / publishing / print-on-demand consulting in Hampton Roads, VA. Reach her at Dawn.Boyer@me.com or visit her website at www.dboyerconsulting.com.

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