The world is a much different place right now. The days of readily knowing which companies are not only open but open to the public are on hold. It’s also a difficult time to know if looking for a new job is a good idea or not.
Even during a pandemic, there are companies which are hiring to fill open positions and to support growth in their markets.
This is why a staffing agency is a great place to get your foot in the door somewhere, and can serve as an advocate for you. The advice provided here can help you to feel more comfortable and safe during your job search-and-application process.
The first thing I recommend is to call ahead to the places you want to visit. There are many companies that are closed permanently or just temporarily … either way, their office is not open. There are also companies that require appointments, as they are limiting the amount of people or visitors in their offices. Phone calls are also a great way to hear and learn about their procedures and what you may need to bring with you if you do go to their office.
Along with limiting the number of people in their offices, companies are trying to strictly schedule and limit the amount of time you will be there during your visit, to allow sufficient time to properly clean between appointments. If the company didn’t tell you on the phone, always assume that a face mask is mandatory for the office visit and while working. The vast majority of companies require their employees to wear a mask, so it will show them that you will not be resistant to the idea once you are placed with a client company. It is also important to make sure you wear the mask correctly (pulled up to cover both your mouth and your nose) the entire time you are in the agency’s office. Failing to do so could be a reason they do not want to place you, as it may show that you will be unwilling or unable to follow directions once placed on assignment at a client.
In your initial phone call, you should ask what you should bring with you to the staffing agency’s office as well as how long you should plan to be there. In many cases, you can apply online before you even head to an office, and can even electronically review and sign key documents beforehand. If you plan on applying in-person, bring all key information or records with you, such as
- government-issued ID
- places (names and addresses) and dates of employment
- contact information for personal and professional references
- educational history
- prior addresses, and
- clean copy of your resume (if you have one).
When you apply in-person, take a business card before you leave, in order to have a contact person’s name, email address, and phone number; it’s a great way to keep track of where and with whom you have applied.
In the past, stopping in to say hello and check in on the status of your application and/or potential placement was a great way to be remembered and keep in contact. However, during the pandemic a phone call or email is considered a much better option and should be your first ways of follow-up communication. You should go into the staffing agency’s office for a follow-up only if they specifically ask you to do so.
Once offered a position, you should ask about their COVID protocol. You may also be able to find this information on the company’s website, but it’s still a good idea to have a conversation about it so that you fully understand (i) when you should call off of work, (ii) when you will need to be tested, and (iii) what you should do if you come into direct contact with someone who tests positive. Staffing agencies work with several different companies, so make sure you have the specific information for your place of assignment. We would always prefer you to ask questions than to make assumptions. By properly following CDC guidelines, we will be able to return to normalcy faster, and must work together to keep our staff, employees, clients and applicants safe and healthy.
(written by: Crystal)