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How the Coronavirus Will Impact Hiring

It seems the Coronavirus has taken this country by storm in the past couple weeks and many are saying its greatest impacts will unfold over the next 3-4 months. The fallout from the epidemic is reaching into all corners of our society, especially employment.

Experts are still scrambling to predict what will happen to our country’s workforce and our economy because of the many special circumstances being implemented in hopes to stanch the spread of the contagious virus. Events over 250 or more have been suspended in states like California, with many states expected to follow. Employees are being asked to work from home. Tourism and restaurants are taking a big hit. Healthcare employees are being strained by school closures and other impediments to their essential work.

Below we discuss 3 broad ways that the Coronoaviris will impact hiring over the next few months.

1. Hiring Will Be Reduced Across Industries

The one thing that everyone can agree on during this outbreak is uncertainty. All over the world we see countries virtually shutting down and the impact trickling down to all aspects of life. While we are not to that point here in the United States, it can be agreed on that caution is the best practice during these unusual times. Because of this sentiment, all businesses across all industries will be either greatly reducing or halting their current hiring over the next few weeks until it becomes clear what measures will need to be taken to keep current employees and customers safe.

2. Layoffs Will Be Called Into Action

While this may not be true in all industries, layoffs will be occurring in businesses that are economically impacted by the virus. Already we are seeing substantial layoffs in the tourism industry and special events. 

Economists fear more layoffs in the coming weeks as supply chains come to a halt and people stay home and spend less.

“We will definitely see an effect on jobs from the coronavirus, and it could be pretty large in leisure and hospitality,” said Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter. “The first thing we’ll see is a reduction in hours. We hear many reports of employers canceling staff everywhere except in health care.”

3. More Employees Will Be Asked to Work from Home

A silver lining for many employees will be the opportunity to work from home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that employers establish “nonpunitive” policies, encouraging employees who are sick or exhibiting symptoms to stay at home. The internet and cloud-based services will be called into play to enable the workforce to be productive from their home computers and telephones.

In the midst of this global pandemic it can be difficult to stay positive. However, many health experts are predicting that the virus will run its course and things will be back to normal around July/August of this year for most industries. Tourism and Hospitality will be the exceptions and will likely continue to suffer while the world at large begins to trust that the threat has passed. 

We can certainly expect an influx of workers into the hiring pool over the next few months, which will give companies the opportunity to expand their workforce when they feel its safe to get back to business as usual. In the meantime its important to heed precautions and try to hunker down while this global event plays itself out.

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