If you’re looking for a gig to help pay the bills, grocery stores and delivery companies need help—and fast. But if you’re looking for something permanent or want to take the next step in your career, you may be able to find a professional role, too, says Michelle Armer, chief people officer at the job site CareerBuilder.
“There is definitely still a demand for professional and management workers across many different industries,” she says.
The catch is that you’ve got to act fast. As unemployment rates continue rise, more job seekers are scouring the market. We spoke to recruiting experts, and these are the types of jobs and industries that are still seeking qualified applicants during the pandemic:
With many employees working from home, a greater demand has been put on technology. Companies that provide services, such as videoconferencing and online collaborations tools, need help, and many are recruiting, says Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting, and culture firm. “With so many remote workers, the need for tech infrastructure and cloud resources is in big demand,” he says.
Scott Rivers, president and managing director for the full-service talent firm Cerca Talent+, has seen clients in the field of medicine, life sciences, and clinical diagnostics have increased their openings in the areas of clinical operations, clinical research, warehousing, and sales.
“What we are seeing is that companies that had open manager positions prior to the pandemic are continuing to recruit, attract, and interview talent,” he says. “Many of them have transitioned to video interviews in order to keep the process moving forward. While some have decided to make offers based on video interviews, many are slowing the process a bit in hopes of being able to see their final one or two candidates in person before making the final offer.”
Rivers says consultants or contractors are being used throughout the areas of clinical research and pharmaceutical development. “If you have experience in the field of research or diagnostic testing, there are many opportunities for you to potentially contract out your knowledge and service during this time,” he says.
Warehousing, manufacturing, and sales
The warehouse, manufacturing, and sales verticals are continuing to look for management and specialty roles, says Armer. The roles most in demand on CareerBuilder are operational, such as director of operations, as well as financial, such as a financial director or chief financial officer, she says. “We’re also seeing an uptick in demand for project and program managers within these industries,” says Armer.
Banks and financial institutions are looking for help processing information and loans as companies apply for the new government programs, says Gimbel. If you’ve got experience in this area, now may be a good time to start looking.
Armer adds that there is also demand for contract consultants in the business and financial operations sector, adding that while there is demand, it’s not as prominent as it once was. She’s also seeing posts for senior-level positions in the finance industry.
Construction and utilities
While some industries have seen a slowdown in the hiring of senior-level positions, specialty management roles are still in demand, especially in businesses that are considered essential, such as construction, utilities, and manufacturing. “Certain organizations are looking for new talent in these areas,” says Armer. “Right now, this is most prevalent for marketing and finance positions.”
Tips for applying
If these industries and roles fit your experience, don’t hesitate. Gimbel says that the unemployment claims that are coming in right now have mostly been driven through the hospitality and airline sectors, and the numbers will continue to rise. “If you were recently laid off, now is the best time to start looking,” he says. “You’ll be able to get out front.”
Rivers expects that competition will be fierce once the pandemic breaks. “With unemployment going to a new all time high, we will see a tremendous amount of well qualified people looking for work,” he says.
Armer agrees, and says some industries are being highly saturated with applications. “To set themselves apart, those searching for employment should create highly personalized résumés, highlighting unique skills and attributes that are tailored to the open position,” she says, adding that it’s important to emphasize soft skills, as well as measurable results.
“This time period is a learning curve for us all, so as those who were laid off due to this uncertain economy head back to interviewing, it’s important to stress the unique perspectives and skills you bring to the table to ultimately make the best impression and score that new position,” she says.
Rivers cautions against sending in blind résumés to open jobs. “Do your research, find people that you know at the company, and network into who at that company would ultimately make the hiring decision,” he says. “Before sending a blind résumé, reach out to that manager and let them know you are interested.”
“Whether or not the talent shortage is over, only time will tell,” says Gimbel. “Looking back at the recessions of 2008 and 2001, it only takes one or two huge companies to go bankrupt for us to see substantial layoffs. The interesting thing is that the Federal stimulus package money is based on keeping employees employed. We may not see as many layoffs in under-500-employee companies. Right now there are jobs out there. Make sure you’re connecting with people and sharing your tangible accomplishments.”