By Janice Burch, Executive Coach, Co-Owner at Pro Resume Center, LLC

Posted 3/15/20

UPDATED 3/17/20 & 3/20/20 – With thoughts from our network about what they are seeing in the hiring world

UPDATED 3/19/20 – With the overarching thoughts & feedback from our network – after many conversations

Updated 3/30/20 – with additional thoughts from our network

Updated 4/10/20 – with additional overarching thoughts/feedback from our network

Updated 5/1/20 – common trends we are seeing

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These are challenging and frightening times.

As cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) escalate in the US, we have seen how quickly it can spread through other countries. Today, businesses are in full-on defense and offense mode – considering temporary closures, distancing measures, shorter work weeks, and more.

For many, remote work will be the norm for the next couple months as we ride out the coronavirus and businesses do everything possible to adhere to health expert advice and state and federal agency mandates to protect employees, and limit the spread.

Some industries will see demand for workers increase (healthcare, telehealth, IT companies serving the system needs of the healthcare industry, medical device manufacturers making products hospitals need more of in the coming weeks, communicators managing crisis communications with employees, patients and clients). Still, others will take a hit as corporate leaders try to get a handle on how to minimize debt, manage with a skeleton crew and keep the doors ready to re-open in the future.

Time will soon flush out how employers are managing this situation. Please know that my team and I are working around the clock to gather information from employers for our clients to help you best manage your job search plan – and provide current, real-world feedback from what trends we are seeing.

History has demonstrated over and over that this country, our people and our businesses win at overcoming adversity; we know how to prevail even in the most challenging of times. This situation may last a few weeks, a few months or longer, but we encourage clients to stay strong and to not be derailed from their ultimate goals.

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On the PERSONAL Side: Decisions will need to be made on a personal level regarding your spending and saving in order to protect your ability to pay your bills and care for your family.

But hold on tight – the fog will clear. It always does.

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On the PROFESSIONAL Side: When the fog lifts and doors open again – which they will – you will be far better off being prepared, than not. When companies start posting positions again, it will happen quickly to scale up to consumer and client demands as everyone gets back to the business of making their products and serving their clients.

Do you know who will get hired at that point?

  • Candidates who remain competitive and consistent in their approach, and have the right materials and talking points ready to push them to the top of the list.
  • If you wait to update your professional brand (resume, LinkedIn profile, Career Bio, etc), then you will likely be hundreds of candidates deep into the applicant pool by the time you complete the process, rather than one of the first.

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My professional advice is to take advantage of this downtime to get your materials and talking points ready for that next role, whether it’s an internal promotion or external search.

  • You will be weeks if not months ahead of the others if you are ready to apply when the sky clears.

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We wish everyone — clients past, present and prospective — good health, and hope that this virus is extremely limited in its impact to you, your loved ones, community, employment and financial security.

Janice Burch
Senior Partner – Executive Career Coach
Pro Resume Center, LLC
Executive Career Coach & Branding Expert
CONNECT WITH ME on LinkedIn here

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UPDATE 3/19/20 – Thoughts & feedback from our network

Updated 4/10/20

Updated 5/1/20

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Since the coronavirus has hit the country harder – we have been working diligently to keep in contact with our recruiter & hiring manager network – as well as continuing to foster new partnerships.

This week in my phone, email and chat conversations with our network – here have been the over-arching thoughts & feedback received:

  • Everyone needs to do what is necessary to protect themselves, their family and loved ones – as well as their financial stability
    • If that looks like cutting out these sort of expenses – everyone completely understands (us included)
  • But don't panic – opportunities are still out there, RIGHT NOW – and many companies NEED applicants.
    • These opportunities are more than just the obvious healthcare and IT industries – many industries are still actively searching for applicants
  • Strong managers & leaders will still be in high demand
  • There has been an increase in requests for remote work
  • The most common thing said by most people I spoke with…
    • Use this time to get ready – when things return to normal – it's likely the applicant market is going to flood with everyone who has been waiting
  • Update 4/10/20 – There has obviously been a significant increase in the unemployed across the country – with many more to come
    • However, there are still many open opportunities – but you need to stand out
    • The most common thing we are hearing right now – beyond the above…
      • Only the strongest materials, and candidates who look the most qualified in their resume/LinkedIn – are going to make it past their initial filters, and then through to the next round of reviews
      • Because the candidate pool is deep – you need to be READY if you're going to reach out to a company, or recruiter (not only strong materials – but ready to speak to why you're the best candidate)
  • Update 5/1/20 – A very common approach that we are seeing from many companies right now – are unlisted job openings
    • Because of the nature of the current market – while recruiters and executive placement companies are still the gatekeepers for a lot of opportunities – – many open jobs in the US right now, are unlisted.
    • The way to find these opportunities – is with proactive outreach, which means:
      • Staying in contact and communication with your personal & professional network – people you know in other companies
      • Also, reaching out directly to the companies you would like to work for – – with your resume & customized cover letter/outreach letter
    • Even before COVID-19, this was a very common approach that many companies already utilized – – with some markets in the US having ~50% of open jobs not listed anywhere, BEFORE this started. Now, that number is likely much higher – relative to the LISTED jobs online.
    • This is a crazy time, with a lot of uncertainties – don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

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We hope that this virus has been extremely limited in its impact on you, and your loved ones – as well as your financial and job security.

~Barry Breit
Managing Partner – Director of Operations
Pro Resume Center, LLC

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Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions:

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customerservice@proresumecenter.com
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Thoughts from Our Network

www.DSAsearch.com (IT Executive Search)
www.ITStaff.com (IT Contract Staffing)

I'm finalizing contracts right now, and beginning new contract-to hire searchs for high-end IT professionals. So far it's good still, but time will tell. In the IT industry we're talking about jobs that could be worked remotely without impacting business for the most part. That said though, if the businesses are not getting revenue, then I'd expect a slow-down in spending on labor to compensate.

As many long-term headhunters have been saying though, they've seen downturns before and there's going to be fall-out, but the good professionals are still going to be in demand.

Mark Norris, Managing Partner

Sent 3/20/20 morning – Now that there has been the full week since the coronavirus really starting hitting harder – things are starting to settle into place. Companies have had time to make immediate changes to protect their employees – as well as begin preparing for the short and long term needs of additional staffing. There is a lot of need for highly qualified candidates, because many companies are preparing for once the virus runs it course.

Jean, Minneapolis Recruiter

We have definitely seen a slow-down in the need from our clients because of all of the restrictions and closing happening. We often joke in the office though about how during the March/April rush, we receive so many resumes that we could never put in front of our clients. I just hope people use this time at home to update their resumes, because we expect it to get VERY busy once things go back to “normal”.

Tim, Milwaukee Recruiter

It's been a very weird week – with some surprising outcomes. Yes, I am finding some of our client requests put on hold – but many have also requested we keep pooling candidates, so when they need them they are ready. The biggest thing I am seeing, the nature of the requests are changing because of the industry we serve.

Beth, Healthcare Industry Recruiter

Sent 3/20/20 morning – Now that there has been the full week since the coronavirus really starting hitting harder – things are starting to settle into place. Companies have had time to make immediate changes to protect their employees – as well as begin preparing for the short and long term needs of additional staffing. There is a lot of need for highly qualified candidates, because many companies are preparing for once the virus runs it course.

Jean, Minneapolis Recruiter

We have definitely seen a slow-down in the need from our clients because of all of the restrictions and closing happening. We often joke in the office though about how during the March/April rush, we receive so many resumes that we could never put in front of our clients. I just hope people use this time at home to update their resumes, because we expect it to get VERY busy once things go back to “normal”.

Tim, Milwaukee Recruiter

It's been a very weird week – with some surprising outcomes. Yes, I am finding some of our client requests put on hold – but many have also requested we keep pooling candidates, so when they need them they are ready. The biggest thing I am seeing, the nature of the requests are changing because of the industry we serve.

Beth, Healthcare Industry Recruiter

www.DSAsearch.com (IT Executive Search)
www.ITStaff.com (IT Contract Staffing)

I'm finalizing contracts right now, and beginning new contract-to hire searchs for high-end IT professionals. So far it's good still, but time will tell. In the IT industry we're talking about jobs that could be worked remotely without impacting business for the most part. That said though, if the businesses are not getting revenue, then I'd expect a slow-down in spending on labor to compensate.

As many long-term headhunters have been saying though, they've seen downturns before and there's going to be fall-out, but the good professionals are still going to be in demand.

Mark Norris, Managing Partner