During this time of crisis, when millions of Americans expect to lose their jobs, experts at Lucas Group, a premier executive recruiting firm, shed light on this situation. Are companies still hiring?
Aram Lulla, General Manager of Human Resources, says it really depends. Some businesses are moving forward with hiring initiatives as if there were no changes, some companies are putting positions on hold. Some have pushed start dates back from March to April, or even May. Many companies have cancelled roles altogether. However, this does not mean that job seekers should feel discouraged.
Industries like travel, tourism, aviation and the service industry have obviously been hit hard. But there is still a sense of optimism in the air. The healthcare market is still going strong, according to Lulla. There is a high demand for talent in this industry – and the technology that goes along with it, such as technology platforms for virtual interaction. For example, the CDC is now using Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot to create a COVID-19 assessment chatbot to screen Americans who may be unsure whether to seek medical care. David Armendariz, General Manager of Information Technology, corroborates that sentiment. He has seen spikes in segments of technology hiring. For example, his team has worked with at teledoc company where patients can receive a second medical opinion. He notes, that in IT, there are a number of clients that are seeing growth during this challenging time because their product is designed to do work remotely. Tech companies such as telecommunications, virtual technology and software-as-a-service like Zoom are seeing a surge in hiring.
Charlie Wilgus, General Manager of Supply Chain & Operations, says that it “feels more like a pause than a complete shutdown.” He is seeing a surge in logistics and distribution. While the manufacturing industry may be hit as a whole, reshoring manufacturing will see a huge boost. Wilgus also predicts a rise in activity when these current social distancing regulations are lifted. Oil prices will remain low so people will get out and do more and pump money into the economy. He notes that consumers are still ordering takeout , buying groceries and doing online shopping, so the economy will likely not take a large of a hit as the Recession of 2008.
WHEN WILL THE ECONOMY TURN AROUND?
The economy was strong before COVID-19, and our industry leaders at Lucas Group are confident that the market will bounce back once the current situation is under control. According to Armendariz, the supply of open jobs has been higher than the demand by active job seekers. While this is shifting daily, once markets stabilize, we could see this trend remain intact. Zawikowski believes that there will be an initial snapback in the economy then a slower turnaround, like the stock market. He believes that while it may take months to get back to normal, since the economy was strong before, we will come out on the other side.
Tom McGee, General Manager of Sales & Marketing notes that, once employees are back in the office, it will be business as usual. This will not be a 10-year situation, rather a matter of months. He is encouraging recruiters to continue to stay in touch with companies as they adjust to daily change and keep strengthening relationships with job seekers who may be reevaluating their needs during this time of reflection.
For job seekers, partnering with a recruiter is a good idea. Recruiters are on top of what is going on in their specific industries. They are reacting to shifts in business operations within their areas of expertise as they are happening and can advise job seekers on next steps during this time of uncertainty. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for candidates to establish or maintain their relationship with their recruiter. More information about what job seekers can do during this time is coming soon.