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How to Find a Job During the Coronavirus Crisis: Who’s Recruiting?

William Wilde 20th Mar 2020 One Comment

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Need to find a job during the coronavirus crisis?

Coronavirus is a major health epidemic that’s affected job security around the globe.

Many people (particularly in the leisure, hospitality, and travel industries) have been laid off. In fact, the Financial Times says 200,000 people have been laid off since February because of coronavirus (access a similar article for free here).

So what can you do if you find yourself without work now? We’ve already written on ways to make money when self-isolating,but what about longer-term job prospects?

Property agents Savoy Stewart have provided us figures on the sectors that are looking to hire right now. And we’re here to guide you through the industries running massive recruitment drives right now. Some of them may surprise you!

A note on health

As always, your health is priority number one right now. It’s vital more than ever that we take steps to protect ourselves and others while coronavirus continues to spread. Remember that social distancing and frequent hand washing are the best things you can do to avoid further infections.

A lot of these jobs will involve being out in public, so follow official health guidance to stay safe if you do have to go out to work.


Where to look for work online

how to find a job during the coronavirus crisis

We’ve got a handy article for avoiding work-from-home scams, which is important reading right now, so do check it out.

Remember never to pay to work for anyone. Some scammers say you need to pay a fee for ‘training’ and other things. They should be paying you!

The following are excellent places to look for work online:


the industries hiring right now

Savoy Stewart has the latest figures on the types of jobs launching big recruitment drives right now:

coronavirus growing industries

Source: Savoy Stewart, looking at all jobs on Indeed from 17/03/2020-20/03/2020


Customer services and client relations

customer service jobs

It may surprise you that customer service is by far the biggest sector looking to fill roles right now. So it may be ideal for short-term work as you try to find a job during the coronavirus crisis. What’s excellent about these jobs too is that many of them are work-from-home opportunities. As inquiries from clients rise in the face of uncertainty, many companies need people on the phones.

Ideal skills and experience

For customer service, any experience in customer-facing roles will be a plus. If you’ve worked in retail or other environments where you deal with clients on a daily basis, that will net you some brownie points.

Remember that a lot of companies are pretty desperate for work right now, so if you think a role sounds interesting but don’t quite have the skills, write a good CV and apply, apply, apply.


Local Authorities

Your local council is going to need a lot of extra pairs of hands to deal with the influx of residents and businesses needing support. They’ve been given extra funding from the Government to handle the crisis on a local level – and that includes hiring more temporary staff. For example, York City Council today released a huge list of new roles they need to fill right away.

Jobs range from customer service to transport logistics, waste loaders to HGV drivers, and even landscapers and kitchen assistants to help feed the new workforce! Remember, too, that many of these roles will classify as key workers – meaning your children can go to school while you’re at work, reducing your need to find childcare during working hours.

Contact your local authority to find out more – their recruitment website will have loads of information to get you started, too.



Healthcare jobs

healthcare jobs coronavirus

This one is far less surprising for those trying to find a job during the coronavirus crisis. There are over 4,500 nursing vacancies and 780 doctor vacancies in the UK right now. Front-line medical staff are at the very heart of the battle against coronavirus. They’re bravely risking their lives to care for the sick, mitigate the spread of coronavirus, and keep regular health services running.

It’s a noble job where you’ll be working in the thick of things. But if you’ve got the qualifications, this could be an excellent way to help in the global fight against coronavirus.

Other jobs in hospitals include midwives, pharmacists, healthcare assistants, healthcare scientists, lab technicians, managers, receptionists, cleaners, and many more.

You don’t have to be on the front line dealing with patients, either: NHS 111 is calling for additional help – specifically from students who can’t currently attend their college or uni courses.

Qualifications needed

UCAS has an excellent overview of what you’ll need to become a nurse. To get onto a nursing course at university, you’ll usually need at least two A-levels or an equivalent. This may include an access course. Each uni sets its own standards for entry, so check out their websites for more info.

The NHS website will fill you in on the ideal qualities needed for healthcare assistants. There usually aren’t set entry requirements, but good literacy and numeracy and some GCSEs are a plus.


Transport and delivery services

delivery jobs coronavirus

Along with those in healthcare, our supermarket and delivery staff are among the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are panic buying and stockpiling groceries and supermarket essentials. We all know how scarce things like toilet paper, soap, and medications like Paracetamol are right now, at a time when hygiene and health are crucial concerns.

There’s a long chain in the process of getting food from farm to table. Supermarkets are struggling to keep up with demand both in store and online. So if you fancy joining in the effort, you’ll be doing an essential service that’s keeping the nation fed.

skills and experience required

It depends on the type of transport and delivery you’re doing. There aren’t any particular qualifications needed to be a grocery delivery driver, for example. Looking at a job post for John Lewis, you’ll need a full UK driving license with no more than six points, and must be over 18. Check out the job boards and supermarket websites for more information.

You could also get work in the warehouse and distribution processes of food delivery to homes and supermarkets.

Another type of delivery is takeaways. As with supermarkets, a lot of home delivery services like Deliveroo and JustEat are implementing ways to limit contact with customers. For example, it’s now possible to drop the food off at the door and step away to confirm the customer picks it up before leaving. And with digital payments, no cash has to be handed over.

This makes the job safer during the crisis, although of course you’ll still be out and about and interacting with restaurants as you pick up food, so it’s not without risk right now.

Logistics and Warehouse Staff

As well as driving supplies from warehouse to supermarket or hospital, companies at the start of the supply chain are crying out for new workers, too.

In addition, more people working from home and staying inside to abide by social distancing guidance means lots more online shopping! Courier companies need drivers – and warehouses need pickers and packers to fulfil parcels.

Amazon, for example, released thousands of new vacancies in the UK this week. From fulfilment manager to customer service rep, there are lots of ways you could find a job with a logistics, warehouse, and delivery company.

In-store supermarket staff

find a job during the coronavirus crisis

Another vital part of the food distribution process is the last step, where customers go in store to buy the food. While home delivery is the safest option for those staying at home right now, stores like Ocado and others are overloaded with new demand.

There are many jobs you can do in a supermarket, and they’re busier than ever right now. Examples of roles include being a cashier, stocking shelves, and assisting at self-checkouts. In-store pickers are another role, where you fill the baskets for online deliveries, ready for pickup. Tesco, Morrisons and Lidl have been the first to announce they’re hiring thousands of new staff immediately. Sainsbury’s have also started a recruitment drive and it’s expected other major chains will follow suit in the coming days – especially now the Chancellor has guaranteed business grants to cover 80% of each worker’s salary for at least 3 months.

Some jobs in supermarkets have been redirected at present. These include in-store café and deli counters, for instance. This doesn’t mean there’s less staff in store, but rather that they’re fulfilling more crucial roles to meet increased demand.

Iceland foods recently posted about the crisis on LinkedIn. They say, “We are offering temporary roles to any individuals who are affected by the current situation, whether they be on reduced hours or university students returning home suddenly. Should you be interested in taking on a temporary role until life settles down then visit www.icelandcareers.co.uk .”

Of course, working in store risks exposure to a lot of customers day in, day out, who may be infected with coronavirus and are not even aware of it. It’s an essential job that should be applauded right now, and if you’re willing to help out, it’s a potential new job during the crisis.

What you’ll need

The most important quality for in-store supermarket workers is providing great quality service. There’s increased customer flow right now. And you may have to assist older and other vulnerable shoppers as they navigate getting food and other essentials.

You usually won’t need any particular qualifications. But as well as great customer service, you’ll need to demonstrate skills like problem solving, time management, attention to detail, and working under pressure.


Childcare and teaching

childcare jobs

Perhaps you could find a role working with children as you try to find a job during the coronavirus crisis?

This one is perhaps surprising, especially as at time of writing, schools across the UK are closing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

That said, the government has stated that children of key workers will still be attending school. This includes healthcare workers, police officers, delivery drivers, and others who can’t work from home. The schools will be adapting to new schedules to keep those kids educated. So because they’re not completely closed, there’s still a need for teachers.

Also, a lot of people don’t fall under the key worker umbrella, but still have to go to work because their employers aren’t giving them any choice. Those parents may not have any friends or relatives to rely on (especially as it’s recommended older people, like grandparents, self-isolate right now).

Nurseries are advised to close along with the schools, but search online and you may still find at-home childcare positions.

The risks

So, childcare is another growing sector right now. This is another job that doesn’t come without risks. Everyone can catch and spread coronavirus. So, as ever, you’ll need to practice excellent hygiene (frequent handwashing, safe food handling, cleaning surfaces properly, etc.) and encourage the kids to do the same. This is easier said than done with children!

Another possible branch of education is remote tutoring. It’s particularly ideal when we’re all practicing social distancing. This may be very important while kids are off school and parents are anxious about them still being able to learn. You could even look at tutoring adults in subjects like languages and business development. Think outside the box and advertise your skills online!

the Qualifications you’ll need

TargetJobs outlines the qualifications needed to be a teacher. You’ll generally need maths, English, and possibly science GCSEs at grade C or above, and a degree in teaching or another degree and postgraduate teaching diploma.

For childcare roles, Early Years Careers gives details on the training required. There are a number of specialised NVQs that you can undertake depending on the type of childcare job you’re looking to do.


Network engineering

network engineer jobs

This is among the smaller of the industries looking for new workers, but could be a great fit for the right person.

Essentially, a network engineer sets up and maintains computer networks for organisations. This could be an internal system in a company. Or it might be working for one of the internet service providers to keep them functioning.

This is likely to become increasingly important as more people start working from home. We’re at unprecedented levels of demand for things like Skype and other teleconferencing services. And that’s not to mention entertainment services like Netflix, which have recently reported they’ll have to lower streaming quality to make sure everyone can access it. Network engineers will be working on increasing bandwidth and troubleshooting issues. This will ensure people can still watch their favourite shows when self-isolating.

Qualifications you’ll need

Most network engineer jobs require degrees in subjects like computer science and other IT-based subjects. Those with relevant experience may find a degree isn’t necessary, though. Check out the Prospects website for more info on what the job is like.

Agriculture and Farming

With so much disruption to everyday life, it’s easy to forget about the jobs right at the start of the essential food production chain. Farmers are crying out for a land army – people who can help sustain the farming industry during the coronavirus crisis.

From sheep farmers calling for new trainee farmhands to fruit farmers gearing up to recruit summer pickers, there will be lots of agricultural jobs on the horizon very soon. You often don’t need much in terms of qualifications – they’re very much ‘on the job training’ type of role. It’ll often get you in the open air, working hard, and keeping you fit at a time when we’re all very restricted!


An uncertain job market

These are the main examples of the industries recruiting a lot right now. As we all face uncertainty over our careers, it’s good to keep your ear to the ground. Keep checking recruitment boards to see what comes up as you try to find a job during the coronavirus crisis.

Our article on how to boost your job prospects for free is packed with ideas on how to make your CV shine without even leaving the house. Plus, check out our guide on tone of voice: the underrated key to a great CV.

Ask a question about work

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Whatever your work-related question, pop it on our new MoneyMagpie Messageboard. You’ll get replies from the MoneyMagpie team, other Magpies in your community, and even vetted experts!

(P.S. You could also win a £25 Amazon voucher each week just for posting and getting stuck in to conversations).

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4 years ago

Great info and advice.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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