The outbreak of COVID-19 has been taking a toll on the job market over the past several weeks, and the tech industry is no different. An industry that typically leads the way in terms of growth is now being faced with significant uncertainty.
Tech jobs across North America had a strong start in the beginning of the year: in Canada, tech remained one of the fastest growing industries across the country; tech jobs accounted for 10 out of the top 25 jobs in the United States as of just one month ago. However, with the current health concerns circling, it remains unclear whether that momentum will keep going or if it will have to take considerable steps back like many other industries have had to.
If you are concerned about how the virus will affect hiring in the tech industry, keep reading. We have gathered some insights so that you can stay informed and adapt to the rapidly evolving landscape.
An Uncertain, But Hopeful, Future
Across the board, COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to pause for the time being. Jobs and contracts are being cancelled or postponed, leaving some people out of work, while some employees have been asked to work from their homes.
The tech sector has seen an interesting combination of ups and downs in response to COVID-19. Some experts have suggested that in the US, an increase in job openings during the first two months of the year, before the outbreak took over, will act as a buffer for the likely decline of jobs in the months to come. Some tech sectors, such as information technology and telecommunications, are projected to drop, while other tech sectors such as internet and tech, are actually projected to increase during this time.
Because this outbreak is fairly recent, a clear answer for the future has not been formed. In general, though, job openings are on a decline at the moment, which is typical across most industries right now.
The most important thing we can do collectively is to stay positive and rational amid the chaos. Capterra senior content analyst Zach Capers notes: “We are clearly in unprecedented territory and the outlook is changing by the hour. However, as near-term volatility gives way to more clarity about what we’re facing in the medium- and long-term, financial markets will stabilize, and the job market should eventually rebound.”
Recruiters and Hiring Managers Harnessing Technology
Because the economic climate seems to be changing by the minute, different companies are making swift changes in approach to their hiring efforts. Large tech companies like Google have been leading the way in terms of their COVID-19 response, and smaller companies are quickly following suit.
Some companies are being more conservative in response to the rocky job market and are delaying their hiring efforts – or stopping them altogether. However, one thing that most people in the technology sector are comfortable with is just that: using technology. If companies are continuing with hiring, all interviews and meetings are being conducted via phone or virtual platforms such as Zoom or Skype, a measure taken to encourage social distancing while still being able to work.
Some experts suggest that the pandemic is lending a significant hand in accelerating workplace practices that may have already been on the rise, like the encouragement of remote work and virtual conferencing. Regardless, the current climate is one that will take some adjusting to.
How You Can Stay Competitive
It might seem like the whole world is on hold right now – but that doesn’t mean your job search efforts have to stop! While this may be a quieter time, there are still things you can do to promote your job search in the interim:
- Revamp Your Documents: Take some time to update your resume, cover letter, and online profiles and portfolios, so they are ready to go if an opportunity comes along
- Virtual Networking: Industry events and in-person networking will be on hold for the next while; take advantage of social media, email and video calling to connect with your peers and stay in the job-seeking headspace
- Learn a New Skill: Have some free time? Perhaps now is a good time to look into taking some online courses or skill training to add to your repertoire, making you a more competitive and desirable tech candidate when hiring picks up again
And, if you haven’t before, consider working with a recruiter to help navigate through this difficult time. Regardless of the hiring landscape, you can count on recruiters having a deeper understanding of industry trends and larger professional network that you can use to your competitive advantage.
If you need support during this time, don’t hesitate to reach out! The team at Next Level Group is always here to lend a hand – you can contact us by emailing us directly or clicking here.