23 Dec Job hunting after the Covid-19 pandemic [2021 job trends]
Each year in December we normally see a lot of articles that sum up the best of the past year and predict the trends for the coming year. It is obvious that this year it is a bit different. We are still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We normally see the new year to come as a new start, but today most of us are still anxiously waiting for the end of this pandemic. The end of the pandemic, when things will be back to normal again, will be the real new start of 2021. That’s why we don’t just look at what 2021 will bring for job seekers, but more important, what will job hunting and employment look like after Covid-19?
Work-at-home is here to stay
The pandemic has accelerated some processes that may never return to the old situation as it was before the pandemic. One of the most significant things that changed is the way we work and where we work. Experts agree that “Work-at- Home” is here to stay. Before Covid-19 most companies were reluctant to let employees work at home structurally. This year, due to the restrictions, companies had no other option then to facilitate working from home. The vast majority has concluded that it worked out much better than expected. After the pandemic Work-from-home will remain an option for many employees. Maybe not full-time, but to be able to work from home for a couple of days a week opens new possibilities for employees and for employers.
Expand your search area
During the pandemic we saw a lot of people leaving the city centers and moving to more rural areas. Not just in New York City, the same was happening in the large urban areas of Europe, like for example here in the Netherlands. Work-from-home changed the way we look at commuting. A lot of people don’t mind having a longer commute if it’s only for two days a week. This gives employees the chance to move further away from your job. It also gives job seekers the opportunity to expand their search to areas further away and benefit from a larger job market.
Flexibility is more important than ever
The pandemic with all its restrictions has been stretching our flexibility to the limits this past year. Most companies have noticed that flexibility has proven to be one of the most important factors to survive and thrive in a time when normal rules and business laws don’t apply. Flexibility is a skill that will be top of mind for most employers and recruiters for the next years. As a job seeker you have to make sure to convince employers and recruiters that you possess this crucial skill and highlight it in your CV and Cover Letter.
Video call job interviews
Covid-19 also changed the job application process itself. Due to the restriction of contacts most of the job interviews had to be done by video call. Video call job interviews already existed before the Covid-19 outbreak started, but it was not yet a very common way to do job interviews. Recruiters, hiring manager and of course the job candidates had to adapt to the new situation quickly. Most recruiter and hiring managers we spoke were pleasantly surprised by the video call job interviews they did in the past months. Recruiters expect that the video call job interview will become common practice for the first round of job interviews, they expect that the final round of job interviews will remain in a personal meeting.
Better online courses and education
The pandemic not only changed the way we work, it also changed education. Due to the restrictions universities, colleges and other education facilities have been closed for at least a certain period in the past year. This forced the institutions to take their course program online. The pandemic accelerated the availability and the quality of the online courses. In the past an online course was considered inferior to meetings and face to face education. Today many very well respected educational institutions have increased their availability of qualitative online courses.
Competition will be fierce in 2021
Many people already lost their job during the pandemic this year and experts predict that many more will follow in 2021. The job market competition will be fierce next year. The number of vacancies will remain low at least in the first half of 2021. This means that candidates will have to go the extra mile to differentiate themselves from other candidates. Job hunting will be hard work, not just to find the right vacancy. Job seekers will need to customize their CV and Cover Letter for every job application. This has always been an important aspect, but in these times it is crucial to stand out from other candidates.
During the Covid-19 pandemic and all its restriction a lot of people not only had to change the way they worked, but they also changed the way they think about work in general. The way we had to work during the pandemic exposed the basic essence of our jobs. Not everybody enjoyed being confronted with the essence of their jobs. Many people have had plenty of time to re-evaluate their careers and have come to the conclusion that they want to take a different path. Some may just seek more job security but others will take steps to go an entirely different career direction.
One of the biggest uncertainties about the post Covid-19 period is the economy itself. It is obvious that many companies have been and still are struggling to survive during this pandemic. The world economy itself has been halted by all the restriction and many people all over the world have already lost their job in the past year. Some predict that the worst part of the economic struggle is yet to come. But others are more positive. They think the end of the pandemic will spark new positivity and opportunities that will boost the economy. The economy will be the major factor that influences the employment market and job hunting in the coming year. Let’s hope we can find a way to boost economy and to make a great success off this new year 2021, so we can quickly just forget how awful this past year was.
We wish you all happiness and great success in 2021!