Employment experts predict job search surge as CERB ends

To work or not to work

As Canada begins the process of reopening business and schools, some workers may be trying to decide whether or not they should go back to work.

Partly due to safety reasons associated with COVID-19 and partly because many are receiving $2,000 a month from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, some may choose not to work.

Kareen Emery, from global recruitment firm Monster Canada, says CERB has, "created conflict, where is the motivation to look for work coming from."

The first wave of people that applied for CERB back in mid-March will soon receive their fourth and final payment of $2,000. With no clear indication of the program being extended, millions who lost their jobs or who were laid off will be looking for work in uncertain and difficult times. 

Emery predicts a frenzy of job seekers who will mostly be looking for “safe jobs” that will keep them out of the frontline, likely in August. 

With a massive surge in job seekers expected, Kareen is advising job seekers that to have the best shot at highly sought after “safe jobs” they must: 

  • Start early 
  • Get their resume in order
  • Consider how best to position to employers what they’ve been doing while they were off work

Employers will have to work hard convincing candidates that their workplace is: 

  • Safe, that they are taking a proactive stance in COVID prevention measures. 
  • That they have more closely consider employee needs such as sick days and how to accommodate 
  • candidates that may be struggling to balance childcare requirements throughout the summer months
  • Includes perks that acknowledge employees needs such as in-house food services, free parking etc

Emery says it's important for job seekers to focus on transferable skills and she suggests creating more than one resume for different job types.

"It's important not to limit yourself to job titles. think outside of the box and ask where can I re-use my skills?"

Emery also warns job seekers to get used to an unusual experience. "You may not be doing face to face interviews, be prepared to do a video interview."

Some employers may also be moving away from bricks and mortar offices having learned over the last months that they can be productive with employees working remotely. "Employers have been watching key performance indicators and many have found that productivity has gone up. So what is the real benefit of having people come back to the office." 

Emery has one other useful tip for those who are actively looking for work, "check the social media pages of employers you like to find out what's happening with them. If you see a post that they are re-opening that could be a job for you."

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