Late last week I published an article on the imbalance in workload caused by crises such as the one we currently find ourselves in, the coronavirus pandemic. The article received an amazing response, particularly in Canada and America which was not anticipated, but wonderful all the same.
I talked about companies cancelling plans, leaving freelancers devoid of projects and work and how the entertainment, restaurant and leisure sector had been closed to customers, leaving millions with no work and no pay.
Since then, the government have announced various initiatives to support those in business and paid employment, but the most hard-hit group remains the self employed, whose workload has dried up. I know of many groups lobbying for support, and I hope that the government will address this issue.
Whether they do or not still leaves us with a problem. This change in circumstances has given rise to a plummet in work in some sectors, but an enormous increase in others – the NHS, supermarkets, care and distribution. So what can we do about it?
Last week I stressed the importance of using our workforce more intelligently in these times and gave examples of how peoples’ skills can be applied in a different context. Every day I am tagged in more great examples of people doing this:
- The aerospace engineer making face masks
- The virtual assistant turned technology trainer
- The gin distilleries changing their production lines to hand sanitizer (though I would suggest both are needed in equal measure right now!)
- The Baby Sensory class leader running her classes over Zoom using household items
Individually, people have proudly updated their LinkedIN pages to publicly declare how they are doing things differently. Paul Hudson the L&D Manager is stacking shelves in his local Asda store. Holly Maxwell the Commercial Sales Manager now working in her local Tescos. Something in ordinary times that might be sniffed at, but in the here and now, something we should all be proud of.
What is incredible about these stories is the grasp of what is needed right now.
Now is not about what you want to do long term, it’s what our society needs right now to continue operating. We don’t want to be home school teachers. We don’t want to have to work from our living room. We don’t want to not see our friends. But these times require us to put our our pride to one side and work for the greater good. We should be proud of the people that do this, and reward it.
Imagine you’re interviewing someone for a role a year from now and they tell you they stacked shelves at Tesco’s when COVID-19 broke out. Will you judge them for working in a supermarket? Will you question why they didn’t stay in “their” profession? Or will you have total respect for their ability to turn their hand, their lack of ego and their desire to contribute to where it matters?
So what can we do?
Lots of people have messaged me in the last few days saying they love the concept of #WeNeedPeople and asking what can they do to help. My answer is the the same to everyone – spread the word. Across all of our social media channels there are people following this hashtag for opportunities. So use the tag. If you see someone hiring, hashtag it and then ask them to use the hashtag going forward. Help make it a thing!
I should add that a lot of people have ignored me. I want to stress that I am pushing no personal agenda, other than wanting to get through this in the least painful way possible and for the economy to pick back up when all it’s all over. There were green shoots emerging which I fear may have been crushed under coronavirus’ foot.
There are opportunities to be had. Let’s all do what we need to do to get through this time. Let’s emerge bigger, better, stronger. And more skilled than we were when we began.
Who is hiring?
A large number of organisations are hiring. They need people to get through this! I cannot stress enough that there isn’t “no work” available. There is different work available. Below is a list of companies that are hiring to get them through this difficult time.
This list is not exhaustive and I will add any organisations that are flagged to me (message me or email firstname.lastname@example.org). People are starting to follow #WeNeedPeople in a bid to find work so please, let’s make this easier for them. .
- Coop – announced 5,000 new posts last week
- Crucial recruitment
- Hays Social Care (Stoke)
- Sainsburys – their Feeding the Nation redeployment scheme is open to big redeployment opportunities too
- Sunrise & Gracewell Senior Living
- Turning Point
- Ronald James Group – developers
- Find Your Flex
- Blue Square Utilities
- The Orders of St John’s Trust
- Alliance Healthcare
- IESO Digital Health
- Milk and More (who are so busy I can’t even get on to the website!)
- That Works For Me (my flexible working platform connecting forward thinking businesses with skilled professionals in need of flexible work, in the spirit of openness and honesty!)
Lots of other businesses are supporting even though they are not hiring themselves – Omni, Leon, Virgin Atlantic, London Street Feast, The Evergreen Agency, Countertalk, Enterprise Nation, AWD, Digital Mums, Koa Collective, Carnsight Comms, Social Pantry, Soanes Kitchen, Cranes Kitchen, Pitzhanger Pantry, Kensington Mums, Omni Resourcing, Amazing If, Giant Reach Media and plenty more! They are doing their best to hold on to their people and support their customers in the most amazing ways.
Please go forth and help to spread the word by using the hashtag #WeNeedPeople.
Sending all my thoughts to everyone struggling with work at this time. Stay safe everyone.