A lot about our lives has changed over the course of the last year, and those changes aren’t limited to whether or not we wear masks when going to the grocery store or shake hands when meeting new people. Some of these changes - including how we look for new jobs and what we focus on in our job hunts - are positioned to continue long after the pandemic is over.
We’ve compiled a quick list of four of the key ways the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the search for hourly jobs. Have things to add? Tag us on Facebook or Twitter - we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Not that long ago, it was normal to walk into a business and ask for a job application. Yes, most companies also had online applications and some even tried to recruit through social media (we remember the 2017 campaign where McDonald’s recruited new workers through Snapchat). But the pen-and-paper job application and in-person job interview were still norms before the pandemic.
Now, every part of the hiring process is done online, from searching for the job through your onboarding paperwork. Even with apps like Bluecrew, pre-pandemic we held in-person group interviews to meet workers and answer questions. Now, the app does everything, so you can download your app, answer a quick set of interview questions and do some safety training, and accept a job without leaving your couch.
We have a hard time imagining that the world will go back to the pre-COVID normal. Now that companies know they can hire great workers without having to hold time-consuming in-person interviews, why would they go back? And for workers, job searching has never been easier - you can do it at any time and from anywhere.
What matters most to you about a job? Is it the pay, the location, the hours? And is that different from what it was a year ago?
On the Bluecrew app, workers can accept the jobs they’re most interested in working and decline the rest - there’s never a penalty for declining a job you don’t want to take. However, we typically ask workers what it is about the job that they’re not interested in so we can help companies understand what they can do to make their jobs more appealing. Historically, location has been the #1 reason that jobs are turned down on our platform, but does that hold true during COVID?
Location may not be the deal-breaker now that it once was. With companies shifting to have many employees work from home, commutes may not be as long as they were before. And priorities have also shifted. As children have been out of school or doing distance learning, parents have had more restrictions on their schedules and when they can and can’t work. Similarly, the federal government has been providing stimulus and extra unemployment funding, both of which have changed people’s expectations for hourly wages.
Some of the changes to the hiring market are definitely not here to stay. The hospitality industry largely shut down due to COVID-19, with restrictions on entertainment activities, indoor dining, and low rates of travel. But many of those businesses and industries are likely to hire back staff (many have already started, looking at the growing hospitality employment numbers each month) as they re-open.
On the other hand, frontline jobs in warehousing and eCommerce have been booming - they’re among the top job opportunities on the rise for 2021. The heavy focus on delivery and online ordering has created huge opportunities for warehousing and logistics jobs and made it easy for people with backgrounds in other industries to try something new.
At Bluecrew, we’ve seen big needs from a lot of the fulfillment centers and third-party logistics companies on our platform. At the same time, many people who worked as rideshare drivers, cooks, and servers pre-pandemic have taken opportunities to take on these different roles for the first time (we’ve heard it can work out well to try something new).
“How has your business adapted to help your workers during the pandemic?”
We think this question will continue to be important to job seekers searching for positions as we move into the post-COVID world. Why? Because the steps companies have taken to protect and support workers during this pandemic go a long way to show how those companies treat their workforce.
We recently did a survey to better understand how the pandemic impacted workers and how it changed their outlook on their jobs. One of the most striking results was how closely each person’s impression of their employer (positive or negative) aligned with how they thought their employer had handled the pandemic. People who thought their company did well intended to stay longer, had a more positive outlook, and were more likely to have been offered additional benefits or resources during the pandemic.
Looking to the future, understanding how a company treated their employees during these difficult times will be an easy way to see how well they support their employees.
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