The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to capture headlines and impact communities in the United States and around the world. As the disease spreads, the public health response escalates to meet the rapidly rising need. Job postings are increasing rapidly for workers with a wide variety of skills necessary to contain and respond to the outbreak.
Employees are also paying close attention to their companies’ responses and comparing them with other companies who have already taken action. In light of the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing outbreak, companies are under pressure to respond quickly and assuage employee concerns.
In this research, we analyze both quantitative and qualitative evidence of the increasing impact of the coronavirus outbreak on both demand for workers and employee sentiment. This latest analysis follows our research from last week highlighting how employees and employers are responding.
Surge in Job Postings Responding to Outbreak
Last week, we reported that dozens of job postings on Glassdoor were being created in response to the outbreak. But even in the last week, the number of job postings has exploded, increasing from 100 on Saturday last week to 300 this Saturday in the United States, a 3x increase. Globally, job postings have increased from 254 to 565, a 2.2x increase.
The locations of the jobs are also closely tracking in line with the outbreak’s spread, with the top 5 states for job openings accounting for 61 percent of open jobs. California, Washington and New York have all had the most prominent outbreaks with the largest number of confirmed U.S. cases. Georgia and Maryland are also on the list due to their proximity to major hubs of outbreak response with the CDC based in Georgia and the NIH in Maryland.
Table 1: Coronavirus-Related Job Openings by State
In the United States, 32 percent of these jobs are being posted by employers in the government, health care, biotech & pharmaceuticals, and nonprofit industries. Another 34 percent are being opened by business services firms, which includes third-party staffing & recruiting firms that are often used to rapidly fill high-demand, contract positions like these. The most common occupations reflect the same trend, with registered nurses, communications associates and social workers topping the list of most in-demand workers.
Table 2: Coronavirus-Related Job Openings by Occupation
Examples of Job Postings
In the following section, we share excerpts from several job postings. The largest increase in job postings has been driven primarily by demand for workers to support the direct response to the outbreak, including healthcare workers like nurses and epidemiologists.
- [Healthcare-Associated Infected Infections and Antibiotic Resistance Epidemiologist I | State of Utah | Salt Lake City, UT] “Participate in emergency responses to important infectious disease, e.g., pandemic influenza, Ebola, novel coronavirus (COVID-19).”
- [Be a Part of the Online Care Group’s National COVID-19 Response Team | American Well – Online Care Group | Olympia, WA] “The Online Care Group, American Well’s in-house medical practice, is seeking board certified IM, FM or EM physicians with Washington licenses to provide urgent care services through American Well’s video-based online platform as patients are turning to telemedicine in the wake of COVID-19.”
- [UNI Health Care Recruiters | URGENT NEED- RNs – CORONAVIRUS Phone Screenings | San Diego, CA] “We are seeking an URGENT NEED- RNs – Coronavirus Phone Screenings to join our team! You will be responsible for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of assigned patients.”
There has also been a surge in demand from government entities and nonprofits for workers who can provide public health communications and community support.
- [Contract Public Health Information Specialist | City of Springfield | Springfield, MO] “This position has been created to help the SGCHD plan for and respond to the emerging threat of the coronavirus, COVID-19 … providing public health planning, epidemiological services, community intervention activities, evaluation, and communication for our citizens throughout our community. Position will participate in the development of a regional plan for the delivery of information during a pandemic event …”
- [Community Organizer | County of Shasta | Redding, CA] “This position will assist the Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Branch to conduct a community response to COVID-19. Examples of some duties might be helping reach vulnerable populations with health information, answering calls from medical providers and answering health-related questions from community members, gathering information from persons who may have symptoms of coronavirus, assisting with tracking and tracing of contacts, and other duties as assigned. We are looking for candidates who are willing to work both traditional and non-traditional hours.”
- [Call Center Aide | County of Missoula | Missoula, MT] “… answer telephone calls and provide information to the public in a call center during emergency situations. Focusing on responding to the COVID-19 Coronavirus.”
- [Patient Service Representative | Pace Staffing Network | Auburn, WA] “Lend your assistance to a busy Healthcare organization coping with an unexpected increased volume of inbound patient calls due to the COVID-19 where you’ll be serving as a “front line”to provide information and testing resources to community members!”
- [Refugee Wellness Intern | International Rescue Committee | San Diego, CA] “Create Public Health resources for refugee and other immigrant communities – (help put together a COVID-19 Fast Facts resources for clients)”
- [Program Officer, Novel Coronavirus Response | The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Seattle, WA] “The COVID-19 Response team was formed to organize and execute an investment strategy for the foundation’s comprehensive $100M response towards containment and mitigation of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus … the team is seeking up to three (3) Program Officers to support the core working group, global response efforts in Africa and SE Asia, product development (vaccines, therapeutics), and short-medium term advocacy efforts.”
Lastly, there has been a smaller but noticeable increase in workers providing adjacent services in response to COVID-19 coronavirus: for example, programmers who can help manage the data and technology used for outbreak response as well as consultants who can help companies improve their crisis planning.
- [Scientific Programmer | University of Georgia | Athens, GA] “… the programmer will work with CEID’s Coronavirus Working Group (CEID), as they seek to provide decision makers with data-driven, information-rich tools for situation awareness about the rapidly changing conditions of the COVID-19 outbreak. Projects include the development of tools for mapping the spatial spread of COVID-19 within China, and abroad, as well as models for understanding the early stages of disease transmission.”
- [General Dynamics Information Technology | Web Developer / Designer – CDC Coronavirus Support | Atlanta, GA] “Web Developer / Designer to support our client on-site at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC-wide Activation … The Joint Information Center (JIC), which is a part of the EOC, is in need of a Web Developer / Designer for critical communications support during this response”
- [Change Management Specialist | TTI of USA | New York, NY] “Immediate need to onboard a temporary position to work with internal task force to support planning activities and global communications around the COVID-19 to all employees.”
While the jobs that organizations are hiring for are all focused on responding to the crisis, it is notable that they represent a wide variety of skills from medical and technical expertise to communication and language skills.
Employees Calling for Work-from-Home
Last week, we highlighted the responses from employees commenting on the outbreak and either raising concerns about or praising their employers’ responses. Since last week, employees have only grown more vocal about the ongoing outbreak. Since the end of January, over 150 reviews on Glassdoor have been submitted that mention the outbreak.
The lesson for employers is that employees are paying close attention to the coronavirus outbreak and how companies are responding. And sentiment in employee reviews is predominantly negative, with 85 percent of reviews expressing concern or dissatisfaction with their companies’ responses.
As more governments and employers take action, it’s also important to note that employees are comparing their companies’ responses to those of other companies. For example, many employees express concern that their companies haven’t yet encouraged working from home unlike several other high-profile companies like Microsoft, Google and Salesforce. Over one-third (36 percent) percent of the reviews mentioned work-from-home, remote work or sick/unpaid leave.
Excerpted below are several reviews demonstrating employees’ perception that other companies are taking strong action, raising the risk that under-communicating during this public health crisis may damage employee trust in their own employers.
- “With the most recent CoronaVirus outbreak 90% of companies are asking employees to WFH. Especially those companies who have a workforce that commute via public transportation. Not this one! Instead we get 3 bottles of Purell and 2 boxes of Clorox wipes. Email came straight from HR. CEO checked out for allowing this to happen. It’s not enough to say you feel sick go home. Step it up. Mandate should be WFH during this epidemic.”
- “Working from home was discouraged, however, and that is something of a hot topic (especially as time goes by, and in particular now during the ever-increasing concern for one’s health safety in light of the current Corona Virus spread). No flexibility in regards to providing some variation of telecommuting/remotely working was made available, with very little hope for such accommodations in the future either; this has been and will likely continue to be somewhat of a disappointment to many employees”
- “Take the recent scare going on in the Bay Area right now with the coronavirus- our leadership team hasn’t taken any aggressive action in regards to it. One would think that they would put the health and safety of their employees first and push them to work remotely vs. going into the office to eliminate even the slightest chance of having us contract the virus..a step that numerous Bay Area companies have already taken … What is the dire need to have people in the office? There is none. Every single function can be done remotely”
- “Their response to coronavirus outbreak this past month is a good example why you don’t want to work for this company. When every other company involved in software development and services already announced various measures like suspending travel and telling their employees to stay home and work remotely, [the company] distributed clorox napkins to employee desks. … Not very flexible environment, you would feel uncomfortable and in-secure to WFH. Most communication is over email or f2f. Modern communication tools like slack/teams are barely utilized to their potential.”
Conversely, 15 percent of reviews are positive, with employees praising their employers for taking proactive steps like allowing work-from-home arrangements, scheduling remote interviews, providing medical supplies and protecting salaries and jobs.
- “Pretty much at the top of the awesome company list. Proactively arranging WFH for everyone in the midst of COVID-19 is amazing. Feeling protected and cared.”
- “I feel very fortunate … With this time of uncertainty working in the travel industry, because of the coronavirus, no one was laid off.”
- “… I think [the company] has tried to do the best they can under the circumstances with COVID-19. We are being fully paid and they have indicated they will continue to do so.”
- “The management team puts the best interest of their employees first at all times. In time of COVID-19 outbreak, essential supplies such as masks and sanitizer spray are given to each employee even when resources are scarce.”
- “I original planed to meet them on site but due to my recent trip to China when people are panic about corona-virus, I was banned from traveling in 14 days, They have to cancel all my reservation and gave me a remote interview. Thanks for their flexibility and understanding.”
The unifying theme for positive reviews is the combination of transparent communication and tangible action. Employees at this time are feeling uncertain and want to know that their employers are looking out for them. At a time when employees are paying close attention to headlines and to the actions that other organizations are taking, it is critical for employers to keep in close contact with their employees and take quick action.
The trajectory of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is still uncertain, but on Glassdoor we’re seeing the first quantitative evidence of how employees and employers are responding. Organizations and employers are increasing hiring in order to respond to this public health crisis, and it’s likely that the demand for workers to help address the outbreak will continue to rise rapidly as the situation evolves.
Workers are also paying close attention to how employers handle the crisis. The data so far indicates that employees are dissatisfied, particularly with the lack of work-from-home options, but as companies adapt and fully implement their crisis response plans there is an opportunity for employers to restore employee confidence.
This post is a continuation of our analysis on the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. To read last week’s post in full, please click here. For any questions or to speak with our Economic Research team, please contact pr at glassdoor.com.
In our analysis, we count all job listings on Glassdoor that include terminology related to the novel coronavirus including “coronavirus”, “2019-nCoV”, “COVID-19” and more. Industry and occupation are based on proprietary Glassdoor definitions. Due to the fast-paced nature of the outbreak and data surrounding it, all data included in this post may be revised at a later date.