The job market is looking unfortunately grim in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some states are re-opening and people are getting back to work, it is estimated that over 2.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since March of 2020.
Thankfully, about 78% of people who were laid off may be able to return to their jobs after they are reopened. But there are still going to be a large number of people looking for work during this difficult time.
Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in the interest in remote job opportunities - as this is clearly the safest option for many people. Remote work allows people to maintain safe social distancing precautions and provides numerous other benefits like flexibility and the elimination of commutes. The good news is that businesses are listening to this demand and allowing employees to make their move to work from home a permanent one. In fact, three out of four CFOs intend to offer more remote working opportunities for current and future employees.
This presents a whole new realm of opportunities for candidates interested in working from home in their new careers. Here is how recruiters can help people find a completely remote job in the midst of a global pandemic.
Market Their Skills for Individual Projects
If the person has never worked remotely before, it may be best for them to dip their toes into the market rather than dive head-first into a full-time position. While working remotely can be a great fit for some people, many struggle with keeping themselves motivated and even deal with loneliness and isolation. So, consider asking job candidates if they would be interested in trying remote work on an individual project basis at first - rather than taking on a full-time position. This is especially useful for job seekers who do not have a lot of experience in particular positions but need to build some to be more desirable in the job market.
Whether you are looking to hire remote helpers for specific projects or you are helping candidates find work, consider advising them to start with websites geared towards the gig economy. Sites like Upwork, Flex Jobs and Remotive are designed to connect remote workers with projects in areas like (but not limited to):
- Graphic design
- Content writing
- Social media management
- Web design
- Customer service
- Executive assistance
- SEO writing and research
Some projects are paid hourly while others have a set rate upon completion.
Candidates will be up against a lot of competition - particularly with remote workers overseas who are willing to take on projects at a low hourly rate. So, it is important that new remote workers narrow in on their greatest strengths and build up some good experience.
Hire People As Contact Tracers
Although many people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, the pandemic has also created some new, rather creative career opportunities. One of the latest positions that companies are hiring for is contact tracers.
According to the CDC, the "core principles of case investigation and contact tracing" are:
- Investigating cases of suspected or confirmed infection
- Working with patients to determine the people they have had close contact with during the timeframe when they were most likely infectious
- Tracing all potential contacts and gathering information on any symptoms they have experienced
- Provide contacts with information, education, and support
- Protect each patient's privacy while collecting important information that can be used for research purposes
The great news about hiring contact tracers is that it requires no experience (since this is essentially a brand new position) and it can be done completely remotely. Contact tracers simply need access to the internet and a phone line as potential contacts are reached over the phone or via email through specialized software programs.
Contact tracers can help researchers learn more about how COVID-19 spreads, what symptoms are most common, and even play a role in finding a cure for the virus. Helping contact tracing companies find qualified candidates is incredibly important - and it can help people get back to work while in the safety of their own homes.
Offer Virtual Assistance
Since many businesses have had to send employees home for the foreseeable future, leaders have had to quickly transition to managing remote teams. The demand for remote executive assistants has been increasing to help those who either have a lot more on their plates due to the pandemic or are struggling to keep up with the changes.
Furthermore, people are seeking virtual assistance in other areas as they are spending far more time at home and not able to participate in their normal, daily activities. Companies are hiring qualified candidates to help teach or complete various tasks remotely, such as:
- Online tutoring for elementary through college, as well as for specialized courses.
- Online coaching for physical fitness or sports.
- Office assistance.
- Marketing roles.
- Customer service.
Recruiters can help candidates get connected to companies that offer these types of virtual services, making it far easier for people to utilize their marketable skills.
Start with No Experience Online Work
Even candidates with little to no experience working from home can find new positions during this time - especially since some companies are being forced to only hire remote workers. Entry-level positions are opening up across the board, particularly for businesses that are actually growing during the pandemic.
For instance, the need for medical billing and admin specialists is growing, and little to no experience is needed for this position as most of the training is provided once the person is hired.
Other growing businesses like e-commerce companies are looking to hire customer service representatives as well as sales and marketing reps to keep up with increasing demand and order volume. Various positions for tasks like data entry, bookkeeping, and telemarketing are also readily available as they require very little training or experience in most cases.
Recruiters are more important than ever in the current economy and they can help get people back to work even in the midst of a global pandemic. We are lucky enough to live in a time where remote work is possible and companies are finding new ways to keep employees safe.
If you are working with candidates looking for remote positions, ask them to consider some of these possibilities as they can be a perfect stepping stone to get them started.