Coronavirus (COVID-19), Recruiting

Q2 Hiring: Will the Coronavirus Put a Damper on Hiring Plans?

The second quarter (Q2) of 2020 was forecasted to remain steady with hiring intentions, but now that the coronavirus has hit, will this hold true? The short answer: It depends.

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According to a recent ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, 11,250 employers reported positive hiring intentions across all 12 industries, with the strongest outlooks in Q2 being in leisure and hospitality (+28%); transportation and utilities (+24%); and wholesale and retail trade (+22%). ManpowerGroup previously claimed the strong hiring intentions in wholesale and retail trade could be attributed to consumer confidence, which keeps the economy and the labor market on a solid footing.

However, that confidence came to a screeching halt earlier in March when the coronavirus spread like wildfire across the United States, impacting employers across the nation, as some were forced to close their doors and others required employees to work from home. Could this finally be the end of the candidate-driven market?

Due to the uncertainty the coronavirus has caused, it remains to be seen how the candidate-driven market will fare, but for employers in the retail space, the industry will definitely see the highest hiring intentions for Q2 2020.

As many states require nonessential businesses to shutter their doors, retail employers will continue to see the strongest employment gains. LinkedIn reports the following employers plan to increase head counts to keep up with demand:

  • Walmart announced it will hire about 150,000 temporary workers by the end of May for its stores, clubs, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers.
  • Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, plans to hire 25,000 workers.
  • 7-Eleven expects to bring on 20,000 new store employees.
  • Amazon intends to hire 100,000 workers.
  • Domino’s is hiring more than 10,000 workers.
  • Grocery chains (including Kroger) are looking for workers, as are shipping businesses, online learning, and remote work firms.

These new hires will be responsible for stocking shelves, delivering goods, and covering for sick employees. In addition to food retail, the healthcare industry is also seeing an uptick in hiring; according to LinkedIn, the medical community is looking for as many healthcare providers as possible. New York City has even asked private and retired providers to help in hospitals. More than 1,000 answered the call.

Experts are predicting the outbreak will last well into the summer, so social distancing and isolation could become the new norm in the short term. With that being said, just because you can’t interview or communicate with a candidate face-to-face doesn’t mean you have to shelve your hiring practices until this pandemic blows over.

Video interviewing, online career fairs, and artificial intelligence are great ways to stay connected to candidates during these challenging times.