By Arup Chakraborty
“Turtles do not make progress till they stick their necks out”, goes the saying. The damage inflicted by the COVID-19 lockdown is already showing with millions having filed jobless claims with their respective governments. And if you have been tracking the bi-weekly LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index reports across regions, sentiment has clearly taken a good beating.
Broadly, active job seekers remain pessimistic about the job market and the prospect of recruiter response. Not surprisingly, those working in healthcare services, business development and education roles continue to report the highest confidence scores, reflecting stronger optimism about their job security, finances and career prospects. While those in sales, community and social services, and IT positions remain pessimistic about their short-term job seeking expectations. Small business workers and self-employed professionals, too, are slightly less confident in their workforce outlook.
However, Millennials — born between 1981 and 1996 — remain the most confident generation, as per the polls. These are the ones we need to protect and keep positive if we want the world to improve.
The good news is that amid the carnage, companies can now scout for, and even find good and affordable talent in the market — people who have been forced out of the job market, not because they lack the skills but simply because their company has burned too much cash or their sector has been hit badly. Sectors still hiring in the midst of COVID-19 are: pharmacies, Teleworking Software, Grocery stores, and Tech Support. Big companies like Unilever, GSK, Facebook, Walmart, Philips and Deutsche Bank to name a few are also hiring.
In our own small way, we already hired over 20 people in the last two months, including an AI engineer to further strengthen our Computer Vision team. We have also advertised for two positions to strengthen our sales and marketing team to leverage the contactless era with our AI-powered 3D body scanning platform.
As companies learn innovative ways of Hiring and Onboarding — via online, contraction in the global economy will slow down hiring and many young graduates coming into the workforce next year will find it difficult to find their right job. You may not be able to pay them very attractive compensations, but may be in a position to give them a good enough package to start with — something which does not make them loyal to you in good times. Millennials will remember this with gratitude. This is the new normal, and it’s better to lead by example.
(Arup Chakraborty is Founder and CEO of Mirrorsize, an AI-powered 3D body-scanning platform)