BWBacon Stories of Recruiting– Finding Work During COVID-19

Posted on June 2, 2020 by .

Welcome to our third series of BWBacon Stories of Recruiting. This month we wanted to bring our stories into the present, and learn more about the human experiences happening now. Although things are different and challenging, years from now we will tell stories of this time.

We asked some of our candidates about their experience finding work and making decisions during the virus outbreak, and how they found hope in smaller moments. These stories renewed our sense of solidarity, reminding us that we are all people struggling through this moment, trying to figure it out.

What Is It Like To Find A Job During Coronavirus?

We spoke with a Principal Engineer about her experience trying to change careers and find work during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Question 1: Were you looking for a job before the virus outbreak?

“Before the virus outbreak, I had an interesting work situation, I had left another job because I wanted to do a career change. I went to a boot-camp for data analytics, but when I came back, news of COVID-19 had started. And then the whole hiring situation changed. After talking with people and some of my mentors, I decided that this might not be best time to look for that dream job, and that I should have an open mind. Then the BWB recruiter reached out saying she had found the right position for me.

When you read the news and understand we are in unprecedented times, and we don’t know what companies will survive, I didn’t want to be without work. The new company is a big organization, so I feel like my role has potential. They could have a data role open in the future, as every company has an analytics team, but right now wasn’t the right time to do a career change. When this opportunity came along, I jumped on it. I wasn’t even sure if companies were hiring, so I’m very grateful.”

Question 2: How did the virus and shutdowns impact your job search? Can you tell us more about how you felt in those moments and what you did to manage?

“At first, I was applying for different positions, some data scientist positions and others. Right now, we don’t know when we’ll open up, it might be two months, more. When you start watching the news and really understand, you don’t need external people to tell you the stocks are going down, anyone who’s been around would say it’s going to be like this for a while. We’ve also heard the news, so many people don’t have jobs, are struggling to make ends meet, so I had to take a step back and think, is this really something I wanted to put my family through? Finding good work was one less variable. I didn’t want to leave the opportunity at the door.”

Question 3: Tell me more about your experience working with us, BWBacon, and anything we did well or could improve on in the future?

“I was very impressed with BWBacon, and my last job was also through BWBacon. When I left my job to pursue data science, my recruiter reached out to see how I was doing and if I was looking.  The BWB team is professional, responds quickly, and gives good guidance. Working with my recruiter has been a good experience. Very responsible recruiters. So far I’ve enjoyed the first three weeks at my new job, and feel connected with my new team even working remotely.”

We asked another experienced contractor about his job search during this time, and how he found a position through BWBacon.

Question 1: Were you looking for a job before the virus outbreak?

“I was working somewhere until February, but myself and a group of engineers decided to leave the project because our situation changed. Then I started working for a hospital for about a month, when they let go of all of their contractors, nearly 80% of their workforce.

So, I’ve been actively looking for about a month. Basically, in the IT world, there are a lot of agencies and landing a position by yourself is slim. I would say for specific roles, 60% of all IT work is through contractors, so you get messages from multiple agencies reaching out to you, saying they saw your resume on LinkedIn, Monster, Zip Recruiter, etc. However, a lot of it was for entry level positions. I thought there would be more mid or senior positions with everything happening, but there’s not, and my skillset was actually in one of every ten calls (from recruiters). I feel like I’ve been on the phone more times than I would working at a call center.”

Question 2: How did the virus and shutdowns impact your job search? Can you tell us more about how you felt in those moments and what you did to manage?

“My family works in healthcare, so I have different perspective than most people. When it comes to the virus, I think the biggest thing comes if you have health issues, every person is going to be different and their opinions are going to be different. At the end of the day, it is what it is. The outbreak didn’t change my emotional state too much. I was not nervous simply because I am financially stable, if I weren’t it would be different. If I didn’t find a job right away, I wouldn’t be homeless. You can’t get emotionally invested in things you can’t control; all you can control is doing well in interviews.”

Question 3: Tell me more about your experience working with us, BWB, and anything we did well or could improve on in the future?

“I could tell that the person I worked with was invested. My recruiter has emailed several times, checking in, even if there was nothing new. Asking me, “how are you doing?” and this seemed to be genuinely vested interest. I originally thought that this was a contract position, but it turned out to be a direct hire, which is not a bad thing. As health insurance premiums are insane, the burden is less with a direct hire.”

What Did We Learn?

Interviewing our candidates revealed a range of opinions and outlooks when it comes to coronavirus, and handling its lasting impacts. Those we spoke with discussed how they were managing fear and concern with practicality. Overall, tech companies are still growing their teams and connecting with new talent, and this speaks to a larger movement of rolling with change and learning how to live with this unexpected visitor.

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!


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