How to find work during COVID-19 pandemic: 'People are still hiring'

Posted at 5:53 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 11:44:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- While the unemployment rate in Virginia rose 0.7 percent between February and March, analysts expect to see the true effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months.

That said, some employers are still hiring during the global health pandemic.

Stacy Maher, the Chief LMI and BLS Programs Manger at the Virginia Employment Commission, said some jobs are ready to be filled.

"People are still hiring full-time, good positions," Maher said. "The Virginia Unemployment Commission has a place where people can go put up their resumes, employers post jobs there. So it's basically like an Indeed for Virginia Employment Commission."

In fact, job seeking sites like LinkedIn and Indeed have even made adjustments to help you find work during COVID-19.

"A couple new features on our site, one is #ready to work," Indeed's Head of Global Human Resources Paul Wolfe said. "So job seekers who are ready to upload their resume on Indeed can add that hashtag, so that clients that are looking to hire people, looking to that database, can easily take note of people who are ready to work right now."

Wolfe said job seekers can find tools like like resume building and virtual interviewing that will help if their job was impacted by COVID- 19.

"We handle everything from the scheduling of the interviews, to the waiting room of the interviews, to the actual handling of the interviews them selves," Wolfe explained. "And we did add a new filter with the on set of COVID-19, which s the new job search where you can filter remote work or work from home."

The Virginia Employment Commission's website has updated job listings as well as virtual job fairs.

"We have different boards in different areas of the state that have been reaching out to their employer contacts and saying, 'If you have jobs available, put them on the Virginia Workforce Connection,'" Maher said. "And you know we are really telling people to go to that as a resource."

Experts also suggest trying to get a job at a well-known grocery or home improvement store chain, since they are usually hiring. That way you have some form of income during your job search.

"During this unprecedented time, I think patience is a virtue," Wolfe said. "There maybe some recruiters inundated with applications for their jobs because there are fewer jobs out there. We certainly see the unemployment numbers kind of rise in the U.S. week over week. And I think, just being a little bit more patient and sticking to it is really important."

There are also temp agencies, like TECHEAD in Richmond, which are still placing people into jobs during the pandemic.

The agency is currently working remotely and fills jobs for a variety of fields, including technical, creative, professional and administrative.

"We’ve been able to assist many looking for work during these times. Additionally, TECHEAD and others in the community are coming together to help others in need," TECHEAD VP of Operation Aaron Snead said.

"While some sectors have been hit harder by COVID 19, we’ve been able to weather the storm with great relationships and communication with our clients," Snead said. "In fact, we’ve brought on several new clients during this time."

Snead said the agency has also been referring prospects to different local groups and online to help with their employment search, like JAM (JOBS ASSISTANCE MINISTRY) and RVA – Social Distancing Employment Assistance.

For those who previously filed for unemployment, the VEC is urging those who previously did not qualify to reapply now that the CARES Act has passed.

Virginia Together: The Rebound Richmond campaign is here to help. Find information on who is hiring, investigations into unemployment payment issues, financial advice on making ends meet, and mental health advice on managing the pressures. These stories will be featured often on CBS 6 News and can be found by clicking this link.