The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken the world by storm. All aspects of our lives have changed and one such aspect that has been severely impacted is our working lives. Most people are working from home, many are anxious about the security of their roles, and sadly, there are a number who are already unemployed. Some are considering whether they will have a job next week and those who are already unemployed are wondering if there is any hope of obtaining employment in the foreseeable future.
It is a very challenging time and for some sectors, it has had, and will continue to have significant long-term consequences. However, our message to job seekers, is that it is not all bad and it is not an impossible situation.
Some industries are busier than ever and people resources are needed to keep up with demand. New Zealand’s number one online employment marketplace SEEK is still advertising vacant roles albeit at a reduced number – but the news is that some organisations are still hiring. Nursing, aged care, health, social work, agriculture, supermarkets, IT and telecommunications/technology are industries where the demand is still high. In speaking with our clients in the primary sector and technology space, we have heard that although the lockdown has driven change in some aspects of their work, it is business as (near to) usual for the most part
With New Zealand transitioning to different alert levels, this will no doubt increase movement (although cautiously) in many more industries as businesses start to open again – there are predictions of approximately 500,000 more people going back to work at alert level 3. Construction workers, trades people, educators, retail and hospitality businesses that can operate in a contactless way, will be back at work. The Government has committed funding for major infrastructure projects which will aid in New Zealand's rebuild and recovery. All of these factors will stimulate growth, increasing the demand for labour and more vacancies will inevitably begin to appear.
Aside from the industries that are still hiring, there are practical factors about the lockdown period that might increase opportunity. Entire workforces have been sent home to work, and for many of us, this is not looking to change in the coming weeks. This massive adjustment in working logistics, processes and demands may mean that unfortunately, this new way of working just might not suit everyone. For one reason or another, some may bow out, opening up gaps for others. The people who will shine at this time are those who are reliable, creative, open minded and with positive communication skills. When some are withdrawing from this new normal, opportunities will appear for those who demonstrate and present with these sought-after attributes.
Additionally, employers are reconsidering their organisational structures and processes right now. Circumstances have seen significant time and resources committed to workforce planning. Questions have been raised as a result of this. Are we working as efficiently as we could be? Do we really need a senior person in this role when we could hire two people at a mid-level salary to cover those responsibilities? Does this new process resulting from the lockdown require extra resources to ensure its smooth running? All of these predicaments, changes, situations, might just create an opening for new hires.
Furthermore, there are many organisations out there looking towards the future and what hiring needs will be required “once this is all over”. There is no doubt that this will end and as long as our country continues on the current trajectory, the outlook is at least positive. Alert level 2 will bring significantly more movement, less restriction and therefore business normality. Those organisations which are forward thinking and dynamic, will already be anticipating this and will be positioning themselves in order to push go on recruitment processes as soon as feasible. Potentially, there will be a significant and enhanced talent pool out there and agile, opportunistic and progressive organisations will be wanting to secure themselves the best slice of that pie.
So, when the question is posed; should I even bother to apply now, the answer is a definite yes. That advice comes with a caveat however. You will almost certainly need to alter your approach in order to optimise your efforts and increase your chances of success in this changed world.
Keep an eye out for a future blog from Decipher Group that will support you through this and provide advice on what this new approach might look like.
The Decipher Team
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