The industries still hiring amid the coronavirus pandemic

As many industries shut down following the government's virus prevention measures, some need workers now more than ever.

As many industries shut down following the government's virus prevention measures, some need workers now more than ever. Photo: Getty

The coronavirus pandemic has brought entire industries to their knees and destroyed thousands of jobs in the process.

Treasury estimates more than one million Australians will be forced onto welfare payments during the crisis, and Westpac is tipping the economy to lose 814,000 jobs by the end of June.

But not all industries have been negatively affected – and some are even bolstering their workforce to cope with a spike in demand.

Although the hiring uptick won’t put a dent in the country’s overall unemployment figures, it will bring much-needed relief to some of the workers who have already lost their jobs.

So, who is hiring?

Seek ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said the move to remote working and self-isolation has forced businesses to adapt to rapidly changing needs.

“[Some] organisations and businesses have paused or cancelled their hiring plans until they have greater certainty in the economy,” Ms Banks said.

“There are also organisations that are actively hiring workers in response to increased demand for certain services or to support businesses that are increasing their online capabilities.”

Major corporations are calling on unemployed Australians to take up casual postings.

Supermarket behemoths Coles and Woolworths announced plans to hire 5000 and 900 more staff members respectively to help stock shelves as shopper numbers swell.

Telecommunications giant Telstra said it would recruit 1000 temporary contractors to man its call centres.

And the demand for delivery drivers and couriers is also soaring.

Domino’s ANZ CEO Nick Knight announced the pizza chain is seeking 2000 ‘delivery experts’ during the coronavirus pandemic, while takeaway apps like UberEats and Deliveroo have also expressed a desire for more riders.

But many of these jobs could be snuffed out by some 20,000 Qantas workers laid off as the airline weathers the impact of extensive travel restrictions.

Indeed APAC economist Callam Pickering said despite job postings tracking around 12 per cent lower than this point last year, social services and healthcare roles will see a temporary lift.

“Employment in social services will jump in response to recent federal government stimulus announcements,” Mr Pickering said.

“[More broadly there’s] stronger demand for doctors and nurses, along with other healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists.”

Seek’s Ms Banks also pointed to additional demand for skilled IT workers, as offices transition to remote working.

“As businesses are adjusting to remote working practices, they are investing in their cyber security and digital connectivity. People with skills in software development and cyber security are in demand,” Ms Banks said.

Matthew Hodges, the national director of community services at specialist recruiting firm Randstad, said demand for teachers skilled in online teaching had also jumped as schools reduced in-person offerings.

He said the platform had witnessed a surge in listings in Victoria, where Premier Daniel Andrews enforced an indefinite statewide closure from Tuesday.

Currently, there are 144 jobs available nationwide under the search term ‘school teacher’, dating back to February.

“The principals are actually being forward-thinking here with their workforce planning and actually keen to interview quality teachers while there is an influx of applicants, to help find the right one that matches their school,” Mr Hodges said.

Randstad also claims there’s a current spike in demand for nurses in call centres, with more than 1000 listings on its Healthcare platform.

How do you successfully switch careers?

Indeed’s head of career insights Jay Munro said the priority for unemployed workers is to identify their skills and focus on those that are transferrable to recruiting employers.

“For example, as a flight attendant or retail worker, one of the biggest things is customer service – a skill that’s going to be in demand in call centres, which have increased demand,” Mr Munro said.

“And there’s skills that can also be adapted to service-driven roles, and labour roles like cleaning.”

  • Step one: Head to an online job search platform and conduct a blank search in your city. See what jobs are available, as well as what skills and requirements employers want
  • Step two: Identify your skill-set and commonalities across sectors. This includes skills at the forefront of your day-to-day work, and less-obvious skills acquired
  • Step three: Apply to jobs that your skills can adapt to. “Be mindful employers would be inundated … but try and be positive. That’s one of the most important, albeit difficult things, to do right now,” Mr Munro said.
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