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28 July 2020
Unsplash © Dylan Nolte

Tips for finding a new role in a job loss apocalypse

According to Eurostat data, April saw the jobless rate across Europe increase to 6.6%. While some were furloughed, others were made redundant in two-minute Zoom calls. As the furlough scheme comes to an end in October, a huge number of unemployed people will be looking for new roles in what could be a very challenging time for job hunting. Here are some tips to give you a boost you if you are looking for a job post-COVID.

Major UK-headquartered firms have already or are planning to cut jobs in the coming weeks and not always in the most ethical way. Add to this the context of uncertainty and recession and workers may fear for their current roles.

Alternative research from Tipalti showed that big companies such as Uber, Wayfair and Tesla, are generating the biggest losses per employee, losing thousands of dollars in profit per employee.

In the UK, BBC, John Lewis, British Airways, Boots, Easyjet and BP, for example, are cutting a combined total of 40,000 jobs in the face of the devastating effects of the recession, meaning that there will be about 40,000 more unemployed on the job market.

The tricky question is, how many more companies will contribute to this job loss disaster? And how long will it take for job seekers to find a new position?

Let’s take a look at what redundancy means in the UK. According to the government website, “redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job. It happens when employers need to reduce their workforce”.

If you’ve experienced this or are experiencing this right now, keep in mind that you might be eligible for things like:

  • redundancy pay
  • a notice period
  • a consultation with your employer
  • the option to move into a different job
  • time off to find a new job

If you’re given time to look for another job, then it is important to maximise your chances of finding a new role as soon as needed. We compiled a selection of tips that should help you towards achieving this.

Network and build relationships with your current contacts

Assess your existing network: whether it’s your LinkedIn connections, former colleagues, your family, friends, acquaintances, etc. and drop them an email or message to let them know about your plans, your job target and value to employers. Try also to meet people who could hire or refer you, via an introduction or by giving them a call. It’s also time to ask for letters of reference if you haven’t done so previously. To build a real relationship with your new contacts, keep in touch so they’ll want to help you, and be empathetic due to the current context.

Don’t forget to keep yourself organised

Anyone could possibly help you in your search at some point, and to keep track of your exchanges, an efficient way is to keep track of your interactions and meetings in a spreadsheet, or even paper if you’re more of a notetaker. By doing so, you make sure that you don’t miss or lose any opportunities.

Schedule meetings of introduction

Now it’s time to schedule meetings with the people who could potentially hire or refer you. Here’s a to-do-list to follow carefully prior to conducting these meetings:

  • Thank them for taking the time to meet you, introduce yourself again and remind them why you’re meeting
  • Give your 30-second pitch, which should explain your value to an employer and show what makes you different
  • Ask questions to understand their business and how you might be able to help them or their team
  • If they’re not ready to hire any time soon, use the opportunity to ask for feedback on your CV, your pitch or anything else that could help you further in your job search. You can also use the meeting to grow your network by asking if there are other people you should be talking to.

Do your research and watch growing sectors

To prepare for any career change, learn from people in your sector or expertise areas by taking online classes, getting involved with charities, or freelancing to gain experience. Additionally, keep an eye on companies or sectors that are recruiting, especially in times of post-COVID, i.e. the healthcare sector.

Flexibility is the key

Full-time, freelance, contract… be open to how you want to be paid so you’re not shutting doors to yourself and show that you’re willing to quickly adapt to any potential employer.

Are you still employed but fear for your position?

Don’t forget to:

  • Collect email addresses and information of key people you want to keep in touch with at your current company and ensure that any personal files you have at work are backed up
  • Start building your professional network, internally and externally to your company
  • Update your CV, cover letter, portfolio and your profiles on as many professional networks as possible to maximise your visibility and exposure
  • Anticipate any potential negotiations you can make if you were to be made redundant.

And for recruiters?

We also compiled a few tips for recruiters to maximise their chances to find the perfect candidate to join their teams.

Write a clear job description

In your job description, lay out the key skills and experiences required to do the job in question to speed up your hiring process by eliminating more applicants at the first stage. The more specific the description, the better the job advert will be at attracting the right candidates for the role.

Organise pre-interview assessments

Give candidates online assessments or screenings to increase the efficiency of your hiring process by making sure that only the very best applicants are invited to interview.

Don’t be afraid to use technology

Online communications can greatly support your recruitment. Text messaging, email, social media, and video calls are all great ways to communicate with candidates in an easy and efficient manner. Rather than relying on face-to-face meetings, use technology to communicate to gain quicker responses from applicants.

Try to hire internally first

Notify existing employees of a newly available position to create a great candidate pool from the outset of the hiring process. This can reduce the overall time spent searching for applicants.

Set goals

One way of speeding up hiring is to establish time-focused goals for each stage of the application process. Create a realistic time frame for assessing the applicants and review this periodically to ensure you are staying on track and keeping wasted time to a minimum.