Finding a job is never easy. Finding a job today is nearly impossible. We're in the middle of the worst global pandemic in over a hundred years. The economy is in a recession. We're experiencing the greatest wave of civil unrest since the 1960s. How and where we work (if we work) is being fundamentally altered.
But if candidates are looking for a fulfilling career, there's no better time than now. Crisis doesn't build character; it reveals character - in people and in businesses. And the multiple crises we're living through are providing a rare window into the authenticity of our leaders, our brands, and our companies.
Amidst so much uncertainty and change, companies can no longer hide behind awards; brands behind their logos; leaders behind their titles. It's easy for companies to be the best place to work during good times.
But we're not living in good times. Employees' physical health and safety, financial well-being, and future security are at risk. As we navigate these challenges, our true values are on full display. Job seekers will be taking advantage of this unique opportunity and paying close attention to what's being revealed.
First they'll turn to current employees. What are they saying? Are their organizations lifting them up or pushing them below the bottom line? Do they feel taken care of or forgotten? Do they trust their leaders?
Then, they'll go right to the source. What are companies and their leaders saying and, more importantly, what are they doing? Did they make layoffs before executives took pay cuts? Have they been transparent or left their employees in the dark? Did they simply post a black box or are they truly dedicated to black lives? Do their decisions align with their stated values?
Right now, there's very little choice in the marketplace. But when the economy comes back - and it will - power will once again shift to the job seeker. Decisions we make today will be memorialized tomorrow. The workforce will unpack their notes and two lists will be made: companies that prioritized their people through uncharted waters and companies that slashed and deserted at the first sign of a storm. With that information in hand, a newly empowered workforce will decide where they want to build their career.
In that pursuit, it's important to remember that these crises aren't over. Some of us may have stumbled out of the block but will regroup and end up finishing strong. Others may have started on the right foot but will end up falling short. There's still time for lessons to be learned and leaders to emerge. We're living in challenging times. No leader or organization is perfect, but our actions are on full display. Job seekers are paying close attention and taking note of it all. When the time comes, they'll put that information to work. The question is, will it be for your company?
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