THREE TAKEAWAYS FOR JOB SEEKERS DURING A PANDEMIC
“We’re Hiring” is the recap from the Healthcare Hiring Trends and COVID-19 webinars on Tuesday, October 13th where industry panelist discussed healthcare employment during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of soft skills. Here are three of the main takeaways from the sessions.
Employee Health and Safety – Leadership Matters
During the pandemic, businesses leaders realized their first priority was the safety of their employee’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Businesses mandated health symptom protocols and procedures such as temperature checks, mandatory masks and offered flexible and staggered work hours, along with the option for employees to work remotely from home.
Elena Rothfuss, Personnel Liaison Manager, Florida Department of Health Pinellas County stated,
“We were granted 80 hours of federal sick leave. So as people started being exposed to others who displayed potential Covid-19 symptoms or contracted Covid-19, individuals could stay home and take care of themselves and their families. Additionally, we offered a form of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA,) if there are school closures and parents could be home with children if they couldn’t attend school. Also the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24/7 hours per week to find a mental health counselor or community resources.”
Kim Redeker, Senior Recruiter, BayCare Health System states,
“BayCare’s leadership encourages team members to grow and to maintain a positive outlook by keeping employees informed. This meant a lot to me just to see how our organization handled Covid internally with our patients and the community.”
Be Open to Change and Extremely Adaptable
Most workplaces have strategic plans which guide their organizations. However, everyone was in crisis mode and it required leadership and individuals to make breakneck decisions with immediate strategic implementation. Therefore, employee’s needed to be extremely adaptable to the implications of the changes in the work environment.
Alison Rabb, Manager of Talent Acquisition, BayCare Health System states,
“You have a plan, and you execute your plan. And then, something might change. So we had to be extremely adaptable and be really able to pivot on a moment’s notice. Since March it’s been a
complete onboarding process change or a change in our recruitment functions.”
Shanya Turner, Health Equity Officer and Planning Consultant, Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County states,
“Many of our other duties and programs were halted and pushed to the back burner. Some of our staff began working from home as the governor’s orders started coming out. It’s was such a fast-paced environment where rules and directives constantly changed from the President to the Florida governor and the State Surgeon General. We did our best to adapt and stay abreast of all of the information.”
Cross-Training/Re-training and Flexibility
Job seekers should highlight their abilities and flexibility to be crossed-trained in other areas. The pandemic put a halt to normal operations, but leaders had to quickly reexamine their processes and employee resources. Job seekers should be flexible and open to other possibilities based on their set of transferable skills.
Deborah Russell, Human Resource Recruiter, SAS, Operation Par, Boley Centers and PEMHS stated,
“I absolutely love the world of recruiting because you’re able to change someone’s life by looking for the diamond in the rough, they may not have everything you want. But, if they’re pliable, they’re willing to learn, you can usually upgrade people into really great careers if they’re open.”
Alison Raab, BayCare Health Systems, stated,
“We directed our departments to look at their business needs to determine what their staffing needs truly were. In some cases, between departments, we cross-trained some of our staff in the surgery centers because all surgeries were postponed. We were able to utilize those team members and retrain them to staff our drive through testing center which popped up at a very quick moment’s notice. So we retrained and re-educated our team to be available for those services.“
In summary, searching for a job in a pandemic brings about additional stressors and anxiety for job seekers. Knowing your soft skills can make a world of difference when making connections with employers and recruiters. Please get engaged and attend our career services events to network with SPC employer partners.
Don’t miss the SPC Virtual Career and Internship Fair on October 28, 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM!