Hiring in the Time of COVID-19
Because of the pandemic, job hunting has become even more challenging than ever as the retail, recreation, travel, tourism, and food services industries, which employ a significant number of workers especially during peak season, have taken a direct hit due to physical distancing and non-essential operations restrictions implemented throughout the country. According to Statistics Canada in early May, three million Canadians already have lost their jobs and nearly seven million applying for Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) due to the COVID-19 crisis. The unemployment rate is now pegged at a high 13%.
However, it’s not all bleak times. There are industries that continue to thrive as they can continue their operations without having to require employees to be on site, such as technology companies like Google and Microsoft and financial corporations like TD Bank and Royal Bank of Canada. In fact, Shopify and Cyclica continue to look for new recruits to expand their workforce. These companies remain to be fully operational while making sure their employees are safe by implementing the work-from-home policy.
Of course, it comes as a no surprise that IT and banking sectors are hanging in there in the time of the pandemic, but there are numerous industries that continue to be in demand these days and are open to hiring. Let’s take a look at these below.
Supermarket and Grocery Workers
With majority of restaurants temporarily closing and only providing takeout or delivery services and a significant number of employees working from home, it’s only expected that people now have more reason to take up cooking and baking, thus supermarket and grocery employees will continue to be in need. To ensure shoppers are following physical distancing rules, companies like Loblaws even hire physical distancing ambassadors to keep everyone safe and well in the stores. Workers for distribution centres like in Walmart also continue to look for qualified employees.
Community Workers/Social Workers
Since the vulnerable population is greatly affected by the virus, there is an urgent need for social work services to ensure that they have access to essential services such as shelter and housing and food. With the aging population being at a higher risk to contact COVID-19 more than any other population, they need to adhere to stay-at-home restrictions but would need assistance in buying groceries or picking medicines from pharmacies, and community workers can perform these tasks on their behalf.
Now the need for fresh, healthy foods is all the greater, so the agricultural sector is making an all-out effort to keep food security in place throughout the country. In this industry lies a plethora of job options including farmers, harvesters, food manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
It goes without saying that during this time of a health crisis, healthcare professionals are more in demand than ever, and it’s only expected to intensify due to the aging population’s susceptibility to the virus. Healthcare professionals are said to be the unsung heroes during this catastrophe, as they have been in front and centre of the pandemic, making sure patients are attended to and cared for, while putting their own lives and health at risk.
The above three are only a few examples of the job market openings that you can try out during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. Whichever you choose, remember your rights as an employee. According to the Canada Labour Code, “employees have the right to refuse to do a job if there is reasonable cause to believe that the job presents a danger to themselves or another employee. Employees must be at work in order to legitimately refuse to work.”
Check out the Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program website to find out more about these.