World Skills Employer Panel Discussion – April 29th, 2020

There are many unanswered questions during this time of uncertainty. You may be wondering how to navigate the circumstance of a pandemic as a job seeker. World Skills has held its third Employer Panel discussion on April 29th to lay out the steps for success despite COVID-19. Take a look at the vital advice provided by our panellists to support your job search with new perspectives!

We had the pleasure of having these fantastic employers from various backgrounds join our second Employer Panel. Special thanks to:

Allan Massicotte, Costco
Steph Barlow, Iversoft
Lorraine Gignac, Adecco
Aleksandra Whistle, Sysco
Sarah Graham, PeopleReady
Sandra Saric, Inclusive Path


Safety First
During this pandemic, safety is the best contribution we can all make towards the fight against COVID-19. Essential services like grocery stores have had an extreme increase in business, along with those in trade, skilled, and general labour. Although many people are home, there are still Essential workers on the frontline who do not have this privilege. From a human standpoint, some workers are at risk and others who have been directly affected by COVID-19.  Employers and job seekers alike are still learning, so we must have empathy as we navigate how everyone can be supported. Many things are changing, such as job losses and hiring freezes, but don’t be deterred; patience is key with the right steps we can all get through this!


A New Normal
We are entering a new world with new ways of living, guidelines and safety measures that are enforced will now be a new norm in the workplace. How you used to search, apply, and network for jobs has not shifted into a different practice. Employers are creating innovative forms of recruitment and enabling these services online. 

Although there have been job losses and employers have been slow to hire, new opportunities are emerging to tackle the pandemic. Look out for positions in the manufacturing industry as the demand for temperature devices and Social Distancing measures rise. Another positive impact is that the talent pool of candidates that were in other sectors can now be recruited where they are needed most.


Technology Takeover
Everything’s gone virtual! As we follow safety guidelines, many businesses remain closed, resorting to services moving online and working from home. Technology has been a fantastic tool to facilitate interviews, workshops, and events that can no longer be done in person.

Focus on traditional sectors that aren’t established online. With many companies not being prepared with the digital transformation, the tech field is currently thriving and actively hiring. There has been a worldwide concern with hacking, creating positions for those in cybersecurity to implement defence mechanism. Now is the right moment to gain some software experience and Incorporate your current skills to computer literacy.


Networking with COVID-19
It’s essential to stay up to date and continue to make connections. Despite not being able to meet physically, video conferencing software permit the hosting of online events. After attending online sessions, feel free to follow up with your fellow participants or hosts.

SLACK applications for working professionals to have a chat is a great resource to connect with individuals in different sectors. Continue to reach out on LinkedIn but it is important to use the right approach to pitch yourself and stand out amongst the multiple messages an employer receives. Be creative and have fun in the process! Invite a connection for a virtual coffee where you both can casually discuss your aspirations!


Create an Action Plan
Though things may be moving slowly, take the time to plan out your job search, build your portfolio, and asses what steps are necessary to reach your goal. There is a false notion that there are no jobs available – that is not true!  Right now, you can keep yourself ahead of the competition by searching for appropriate opportunities or re-thinking jobs that may use your transferrable skills. Continue to seek as many job opportunities.

Invest time in continuous learning and development of new skills to demonstrate that you are on top of your game. Free courses are being offered, such as Smart Serve and LinkedIn Learning, to keep your skills current and up to date. Be prepared for when the economy opens back up. Watch for sectors that are thriving, start-up businesses will soon be expanding, and the demand will result in plenty of new and different opportunities.

Remember to show adaptability, flexibility, and reliability that in desperate times you are prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful.


Thank you to our team Magdalene Cooman, Andy Rapoch, Fatima Saadeddine, Haguer Abdelmoneim, and Olushola Iyoho for hosting this event. 

World Skills will continue to work with employers in making employment opportunities available to newcomers. Please continue to monitor our job board and other workshop opportunities which are all offered online during Covid-19.




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