What COVID-19 Means for Employers, Job Seekers

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Early this year many businesses were severely affected by the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, and establishments that weren’t considered “essential” were required to temporarily close. Some shifted to online services, and even after the order had lifted, businesses had to operate with limited capacities and mandates.

Although these policies were strictly for the well-being of the public, many businesses suffered and are still suffering. This means that for many, the hiring process changed greatly.

Lee Baron Fashions, a family-owned business in Huntsville, is a premier spot for footwear and apparel. AJ, the Vice President of Operations at LBF, believes COVID-19 has pushed them to be more creative in advertising their products, despite its toll on their business.

“At the end of the day, each individual gauges their safety and what they’re comfortable with differently,” AJ said. “So, we tried to accommodate all the different levels of that. Some didn’t want to get out [of their car], so curbside. Or some didn’t want to step out of their house, so we shipped.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lee Baron Fashions has focused on pushing online efforts and making necessary changes to their website for easy access.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the world, many businesses are still being urged to follow CDC recommendations. With the impact that this pandemic has made, it becomes questionable on what to expect in the future regarding employment. 

AJ mentioned that with LBF being a small business, they are able to be more compassionate within the hiring process than bigger corporations.

“Because we’re small we’re a little bit more humane than these black and white corporate structures,” AJ said. “I think if I said, ‘you have to get vaccinated’ or ‘you can’t work here if you had COVID-19 before,’ I think at the end of the day obviously if you’ve been around COVID-19 you shouldn’t be here. Quarantine for 14 days.”

He also plans to follow any CDC guidelines regarding employment if specific mandates were to be given.

For upcoming graduates, this may be a big concern, especially as the virus continues to spread. Granted the position, an employed student during this pandemic is a marketable aspect as it shows a strong ability to adapt.

In an interview with topuniversities.com, Graduate Recruitment Bureau co-founder and marketing director Dan Hawes said companies are still hiring and new positions are opening every day. In the downtime of social distancing and staying at home, he recommends enhancing your resume and cover letter to appear more appealing to employers.

“The big question interviewers will ask is ‘What did you do in lockdown?’” Hawes said. “Much like taking a year out, employers will want to know ‘What did you do that’s put you in a better position?’”

In addition to updating your credentials, it is also a good idea to learn new skills that may increase your credibility when searching for jobs.

Although the hiring process is not the same as it was, there is no reason to feel discouraged. Businesses will continue to make the proper adjustments according to government and CDC control, but they will always need employees to fulfill specific duties.

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