Low unemployment rates, job uncertainty, and economic distress are all just part of the 2020 package this year. But we’re not here to mope, but instead try to provide some direction or answers for those of us who are struggling — in particular, jobseekers who are trying to get hired in a pandemic.
As we know, the job market is not looking too good, especially in light of mass retrenchments across industries (and, yes, retrenchment could happen to a young professional too). Combined with university graduates seeking their first jobs, there’s a lot of competition to work through.
How then can we hope to get on the radars of companies we want to work for and beat the queue?
In episode 15 of Keep It Simple season 3, our hosts sat down to talk to Seah Ying Cong, the CTO of Glints, a recruitment platform aiming to bridge gaps between employers and millennial (and younger!) job candidates. Having run the startup for eight years, Ying Cong had a lot of great advice to share for those who are still on the prowl for employment.
We’ve rounded up his best tips in this article on how to get hired in a pandemic (and beyond)!
Understanding Demand and Supply
For roles belonging to the digital economy (engineering, product managers, designers), Ying Cong has observed that there still aren’t enough job candidates to fill these tech roles.
Owing it to a structural mismatch in the job market, Ying Cong recommends that jobseekers should look at career switching programs or courses that teach relevant, in-demand skills — as long as you’re interested, of course — in order to better position themselves in an industry where there is a high demand, but low supply. If you have SkillsFuture credits, now’s the time to use them!
Remote Roles are Best
Some industries have been decimated during this period, but other industries such as e-commerce began to thrive — and thus saw a lot more hiring activity where other organisations went on a hiring freeze.
Ying Cong recommends that we pay attention to the roles that we’re applying for and figure out whether these roles can be executed remotely — if it’s a yes, then you might be better protected and have a better chance at getting employed.
There are companies out there that operate remotely — meaning employees could come from all over the world. So, searching for job roles that allow you to work remotely opens you up to more opportunities beyond the local job market as well.
Remote roles are much more COVID-resilient because of the diminished need to show up physically to the same office to report in. With the way things are going, more and more companies might be shifting towards a remote work culture — so keep an eye out for such opportunities.
The Problem Solver’s Mindset
It’s important to approach job interviews from the perspective of a problem solver, Ying Cong said. In other words, think of yourself as somebody who can solve a problem for the company, or fill a need. After all, there’s a reason behind the job posting — there must be a business objective you’re able to tackle in your capacity and role (if you get hired).
The interview, then, is a chance for you to demonstrate or share ideas on how you can help the company. This is where research on the company will come into play and help you — only by understanding the company and its goals will you be able to figure out how you fit into it.
The struggle is real, but there’s still a chance to get hired in a pandemic – but we’ll also argue that these tips will be relevant long after the pandemic passes over our heads.