Employment Talent Market Trends

The current state of the employment market has been significantly shaken up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment is rampant and many individuals are working from their homes if they have not been laid off or furloughed. As businesses begin opening up, here is what we are seeing:

  • Some companies do not need as many employees and others have decided they are not going to hire some back – a turnover selection process.
  • In working from home, employees are evaluating their positions and employers and thinking about looking for other positions in the marketplace – in many instances, these are individuals in top-level or specialty skill positions.

So, what are the implications of what is happening?

  • For front-line workers, the implications are clear. If current career options are limited, employees could do the following differently to secure a better future:
    • Change career choices based on what an individual is passionate about.
    • What types of careers best suit an employee’s behavioral style? Determine a behavioral style by taking an evaluation.
    • Check out career training either online or with career technical colleges.
    • Consider long-term college options that significantly change a career direction.
  • For those that are looking for a new opportunity:
    • What employers are you interested in? Research that organization to determine if it meets your values and has the culture you are looking for.
    • Network to learn more about the organization and determine if there is someone in the organization that you might be able to have a discrete conversation with. You can also use a talent management organization to help you in the process.
  • For employers:
    • Be in touch with employees who are working on a regular basis to find out where they are at and if they are pleased with their current working conditions/environment.
    • At this critical time, who can you not afford to lose and what are you doing to keep them pleased with your organization?
    • What specialty positions would you like to fill for the future and had not considered doing? Now might be the time as individuals may be more open to a move like never before.
    • As an employer, you know that you will not need a number of people, but you want to make it as painless as possible. Consider working with an outplacement organization to assist those who you no longer need in this new environment.
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How COVID-19 is Changing the Hiring Process

Whether you’re facing a layoff or just surveying your options, there are employers that are actively working to keep operations running and hiring new staff. It’s possible to find a new opportunity even during the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus.

MBJ Group, a talent management agency in Sarasota, Florida, is one organization that is learning to adapt to new practices during this ever-changing job market and is readily working to connect people with the tools they need to succeed.

Jim and Mary Beth Bos, co-owners of MBJ Group, recently led the search for an Executive Director position at a nonprofit. After advertising the position on several websites, an astounding 40 applications were submitted. Jim and Mary Beth utilized Skype as a social distancing-friendly way to narrow down the applicants to the top six.

Prior to beginning the next stage of the interview process for those moving forward, MBJ Group and the nonprofit developed a rating sheet to record their first impressions of all six candidates before any discussion was done by the group.

Using Zoom, the agency and seven interviewers conducted each of the six interviews in a separate chat room. Once an interview concluded, the chat room would be closed and the group moved to the next chat room with a different candidate. One interviewer was assigned to each candidate so follow-up questions could be addressed.

Together, the group selected the top three candidates to proceed with a more stringent Zoom interview, which was longer and addressed specific questions. In preparation of this process, the candidates were given a virtual tour of the agency and were asked to complete an assortment of Behavioral Assessments online from MBJ Group.

Throughout the entire process, MBJ Group was able to eliminate many of the traditional ways of interviewing and hiring. While the hiring process will slowly return to the way it once used to operate, there is no doubt many organizations will continue to use these new ways of working paired with new technologies. To learn more, visit MBJGroup.com.

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5 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Employment Change

5 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Employment Change

Have you recently found yourself unemployed? You’re not alone. In the past week, 3.28 million new unemployment claims were reported, which is 4.7 times higher than the prior weekly record of 695,000 in October of 1982. In these unprecedented times, it’s challenging to navigate the workforce and adjust to the ever-changing job market.

While we can’t predict what will happen in the next 30 days or even three months, we have compiled some tips to help you handle whatever job changes are coming your way – whether that’s unemployment, reduced hours or a career change.

Define your employment status

Before you start thinking about if you need a new job or not, figure out what your employment status is with your current company. Were you laid off or furloughed? An employee is typically laid off when an employer does not have enough work to sustain your employment and terminates you from their payroll. Furloughed occurs when a company forces you to take a period of unpaid time off or some type of leave with the ability to potentially come back to the company when things return to normal. In either of these cases, think about reaching out to your previous employer with an interest in returning should any positions open up when things return to normal.

If you are in need of a job for the time being, a number of essential businesses are currently hiring. You can also visit CareerSourceSuncoast.com for a current list of available jobs, reemployment assistance, hiring events and more.

Research resources available to you

The COVID-19 crisis has introduced a number of new sources that unemployed individuals can take advantage of in order to assist with a sudden loss of income. Some examples are tax filing deadlines being extended, credit card companies offering reduced interest rates on debt and fees being waived on late payments. In addition, interest has been waived on all federally held student loans and you can also ask for administrative forbearance so that you can temporarily stop making your federal student loan payments without becoming delinquent.

Revamp yourself

You might find that you have some extra time on your hands due to this unprecedented period. Since it is very rare to ever feel like you have extra time on your hands, take advantage of it by updating your current resume and LinkedIn profile. When you’re sending in your resume to a company, do your research and be sure to include a compelling and compassionate reason why you’re interested in the company. Don’t just list the qualifications you have.

There are also a number of free resources available online like webinars and tutorials to help you polish off old documents and present the best version of yourself.

Practice your interview skills

Just because social distancing prohibits you from being around people doesn’t mean that you can’t work on your interview skills. Practice on the interview process with a friend. Whether it’s a phone interview or an interview done via Skype or Zoom, there are still plenty of alternatives to help you nail it.


Be cognizant of who your networking group is. Whether you utilize a talent management service like MBJ Group or you prefer something like Linkedin, make it known that you are looking for employment and ask individuals to keep an eye out. If you have a good relationship with someone at a company you’re interested in or who one has a contact there, the referral can do wonders for you. Sometimes your resume doesn’t always convey your talents and qualifications for a particular position. However, your potential referrals or references may be what secures you an interview.

While the workforce will eventually return to normal, many companies are learning to adapt to different practices, which will reflect over into the future job market. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact MBJ Group for more guidance and best practices. We are here and happy to help!

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Executive Director – Turning Points

Turning Points – Bradenton, FL is seeking a results-oriented Executive Director.  Where compassion takes action’ – this non-profit is focused on preventing and reducing homelessness in Manatee County. Turning Point’s one -stop center, provides a wide array of services designed to assist individuals and families on their path to financial stability and independence.

The Executive Director for Turning Points is responsible for: resource development and continued growth; program planning for the agency; community engagement; personnel management; and fiscal oversight. This leadership position will be under the guidance of the Turning Points Board of Directors.

Candidate experience should include knowledge of and sensitivity to the diverse facets of homelessness; the ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships; demonstrated effective communication and presentation skills; and strong fiscal management with an understanding of not-for-profit regulations and state law.

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree with seven to ten years or more of direct not-for-profit leadership experience. A Master’s Degree, successful major fundraising experience, and a CFRE are pluses.

Full job description.

Send your resume and cover letter with compensation expectations to Karen@MBJGroup.com by March 23, 2020.

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NOTE: Position Search Paused Due to COVID-19 Neuro Challenge – a non-profit Foundation for Parkinson’s, is seeking to fill the position of Business Development Director. Reporting to the CEO, the BDD is responsible for the planning and execution of Neuro Challenge’s earned income events and business, plus developing income-producing corporate partnerships. The ideal candidate will possess an entrepreneurial spirit, excellent interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills; sales experience; and exceptional organizational, time management and prioritization skills. Highly desirable is proficiency in Microsoft Office, and experience in a healthcare setting and non-profit organization, as well as managing relationships with volunteers, staff, board members, and corporate partnerships.

Full job description. Send your resume and cover letter with compensation expectations to Karen@MBJGroup.com

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