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Who’s hiring in the time of COVID-19?

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With the unemployment rate skyrocketing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s natural to wonder “who is actually hiring right now?” As a creative recruitment agency, we’ve been asking ourselves the same question as we try to put our growing talent community to work. While many organizations have slowed their hiring efforts or even frozen them completely, the good news is that there are still plenty of companies looking to add to their talent bench amid this crisis. 

Hiring trends that have emerged during COVID-19

In our recent survey of over 300 marketing leaders on hiring strategy, a bit over half of respondents reported that all plans to hire had been frozen at this time. But about one-quarter of respondents said that they are still adding to their teams, some with no change to their pre-pandemic plans, while others admit to scaling back. Of those who are hiring, 36% are hiring for mission-critical, previously-open roles only, 36% are hiring for all open roles, 9% are hiring freelancers instead of full-time team members, 9% are hiring part-time team members either instead of or in addition to full-time hires and 5% are actually hiring for new roles as a result of the pandemic crisis. As we look ahead to reopening the economy, we fully expect to see companies resume previous searches that had been put on pause, as well as open new vacancies as a result of the rapid digital transformation we’re currently undergoing. 

What companies are hiring during COVID-19?

While for many companies, business has slowed over the past two-months, others have actually found success in the shut-in economy. One way to determine which companies are hiring is by looking into which companies have seen business pick-up. Staying up to date on news regarding consumer sentiment is a great place to start, as is thinking about your own shopping and lifestyle habits - what brands are you interacting with more during this time period? Business sectors where we’re seeing continued hiring are, Tech, Pharma, Online Education & Training, Grocery, Delivery Services, E-commerce, Financial Services and some CPG brands. In addition, companies that didn’t have a formal digital strategy pre-pandemic are likely to be adding to their marketing team in the very near future if not already. Keep in mind companies don’t always have their vacancies listed on their website. They may be contracting an outside recruiter or not publicizing the search. It’s important to do your research and continue to build your network, so you’re connected to more potential hiring managers. 

What jobs are these companies hiring for?

The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as an accelerant for trends we were already seeing in the job market. Brands have had to rethink how they reach their customers with a focus on digital channels. Companies that have relied primarily on in-person touchpoints with consumers to drive business, have had to pivot quickly and are likely in need of quality digital marketing and technology talent. In line with this trend, we’ve seen an influx of digital jobs including: Content Managers, CRM Managers, Digital Marketing Specialists, E-Commerce Merchandisers, Front-End Web Developers, Graphic Designers, Product Marketing Managers, Social Media Specialists, and SEO Specialists. Customer experience is more important than ever as brands need to capitalize on every customer interaction. With that in mind, we’re seeing companies add critical members to their Customer Service and Account Management teams. We know things feel very uncertain right now especially if you’re on the job hunt, but it’s important to remain patient. If you’re actively looking for a job, check out our Guide to Finding a Job During the COVID-19 Outbreak for a full resource and how to set yourself up for success. And if you’re thinking of pivoting to a new industry or career, take a look at our article How to Master the Career Pivot.