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Growing demand for jobs in the wake of COVID-19

Supermarket carts

It won’t have escaped your notice that we are entering unprecedented times right now.

As we worry about our health and that of loved ones, we turn our attention to extra work that can be done to guarantee the financial security and the support we can give to others in this crisis, which is why we’ve started investigating which sectors are showing the most promise and those that are falling from grace.

What roles are jobseekers searching for now?

Taking a look at our search data, it became clear that COVID-19 has affected the positions that people are looking to fill.

There is a 302% increase in job seekers looking for NHS positions in March according to our latest research. The interest in open NHS positions is welcome news for the UK, who are battling to fill 37,000 unfilled positions, including clinicians, volunteers, and critical care nurses.

The UK faced a 22% reduction in overall job vacancies in March. However, job openings and country-wide interest in vital sectors, such as NHS and social care staff, supermarket staff and delivery drivers have surged across the country as the UK mobiles to contain the virus.

High-demand and guaranteed work are playing essential roles in search criteria and the following terms have seen significant spikes since 24 February 2020.

Search queriesInterest change MoM %Jobs available (March 23)Avg. advertised salary (Mar 23)
Supermarket jobs+4,301%>5,000£26,681
Temporary jobs+2,235%>5,400£23,268
Hospital cleaning jobs+967%>180£17,294
Delivery jobs+370%>4,000£22,844
NHS jobs+302%>6,000£38,499
Online jobs+261%>2,000£40,694
Live-in chef jobs+192%>250£23,986
Nursing jobs+81%>35,700£34,971
Live-in care jobs+57%>3,700£22,790
Remote jobs+55%>1,400£51,763
Work from home jobs+47%>1,900£31,927
Cleaning jobs+20%>7,000£17,501
Virtual assistant jobs+16%>120£29,386


🔎 Search term: Supermarket jobs

Supermarket jobs in the UK

  • Increase in searches: +4,301%
  • Current live ads: 5,000+

Impressions for supermarket jobs has increased by 4,000% as demand surges as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Which supermarkets are having the most growth in searcher interest?

SupermarketInterest change MoM %Jobs available (Mar 23)
Tesco jobs+1,946%>2,400
Lidl jobs+1,769%>600
ASDA jobs+1,590%>560
Sainsbury's jobs+1,289%>1,000
Iceland jobs+1,150%>800
Morrisons jobs+927%>1,100
Aldi jobs+746%>600
Ocado jobs+675%>300
Waitrose jobs+617%>500
Marks & Spencer jobs+493%>200


🔎 Search term: Temporary jobs

  • Increase in searches: +2,235%
  • Current live ads: 5,400+

Economic uncertainty around coronavirus has caused a spike in temporary jobs especially within business administration, accounting and finance, retail and logistics, as well as social work and catering.

💡 Upload your CV to our Value My CV tool and find career paths that are a good match with your skills and experience.


🔎 Search term: NHS jobs

NHS and nursing jobs

  • Increase in searches: 302%
  • Current live ads: 6,000+

With caring professions being more needed than ever and many NHS locations inundated with concerned patients, resources have been stretched beyond recognition.

Although measures are being proposed to fast-track new clinical staff through their training, clerical and manual roles play an important part, too, meaning there are opportunities to work.


🔎 Search term: Nursing jobs

  • Increase in searches: 81%
  • Current live ads: 62,000+

Although qualifications are needed for most nursing roles, jobseekers are looking for relevant positions to fill. It is presumed that there will be no shortage of hours, which will allow families to earn enough to continue paying monthly bills.

One company to consider is Barchester Healthcare, which has 3,129 vacancies in 2020, a 54% year-on-year increase compared with 2019.


🔎 Search term: Cleaning jobs

Cleaning jobs

  • Increase in searches: 20%
  • Current live ads: 7,000+

Hygiene is being cited as a key way to fight COVID-19, leading to a surge in people being willing to take on the numerous cleaning jobs available to earn extra cash. 


🔎 Search term: Hospital cleaning jobs

  • Increase in searches: 967%
  • Current live ads: 190+

With limited experience required and with predicted demand growing, this has been one of the most-searched-for sectors. Anybody being sent home from work due to companies closing for an unknown period, especially those who don’t get sick pay, could find a potential lifeline role here.


🔎 Search term: Delivery jobs

Food delivery driver

  • Increase in searches: 370%
  • Current live ads: 4,000+

Whether it’s delivering food for a supermarket or bringing online orders to the door, delivery roles are more important than ever and almost anyone with transport can take one on. A great way to supplement an income, working hours to suit, it has already been noted that almost all of the major supermarket chains need extra drivers, as do fast-food delivery services.

Two firms that are worth applying to are retail giant Amazon, which has 1,803 current vacancies (154% more than 2019, year on year), and Domino’s Pizza (1,180 vacancies, a 292% increase).


🔎 Search term: Live-in care jobs

Live-in care jobs

  • Increase in searches: 57%
  • Current live ads: 3,500+

Looking for ways to circumnavigate potential rent payment issues has resulted in a surge in live-in role searches being observed. It’s worth remembering that these positions can be very demanding, both physically and mentally, and appropriate experience and qualifications are usually needed.

Care-home provider HC One would be a good bet here, with the company offering 1,472 vacancies in 2020, 20% more than in 2019 year on year.

💡 Read more: How to become a private carer


🔎 Search term: Live-in chef jobs

  • Increase in searches: 192%
  • Current live ads: 300+

The hospitality industry has been hit immeasurably hard by COVID-19, with many restaurants already closing their doors, as well as pubs and clubs. The result is that chefs are now looking for residential opportunities, to ease the burden of living costs, until everything returns to normal.


🔎 Search term: Work from home jobs

Remote working (working from home)

  • Increase in searches: 47%
  • Current live ads: 1,900+

With increasing numbers of the population being told to self-isolate and stay indoors, any opportunities to earn a living while doing so are being gratefully snapped up. From admin to IT support and call centre work, there are plenty of choices for a range of skill sets.


🔎 Search term: Remote jobs

  • Increase in searches: 42%
  • Current live ads: 1,400+

Very similar to working from home positions, in that these roles do not require a physical presence in an office, making them popular right now. With a mobile phone, a computer and a reliable internet connection, it’s surprising how much you can earn.

💡 Read more: Working remotely during COVID-19 outbreak


🔎 Search term: Online jobs

  • Increase in searches: 261%
  • Current live ads: 2,000+

If you know your way around a computer and can navigate the internet quickly, online jobs might prove to be a useful search for you to make a note of. Popular because they require little in the way of training or equipment, these roles often include helpdesk positions that can be manned from anywhere in the world.


🔎 Search term: Virtual assistant jobs

  • Increase in searches: 16%
  • Current live ads: 120+

Administrative support is a vital part of any business, especially with so many having to make tough decisions about whether to stay open or not right now. Executives need to know they have an experienced aide by their side, creating job opportunities that could ride out these uncertain times.

Financial powerhouse Citi is one such company that needs this type of role – overall, it has 1,019 vacancies in 2020, 353% up on 2019 year on year.

💡 Read more: How to become a virtual assistant?


Which sectors are suffering?

In short, all non-essential ones. The travel industry has been among the hardest hit, with almost all flights being grounded indefinitely now and public transport systems also scaled back to the bare minimum.

Hospitality is in severe decline as well, thanks to large gatherings and crowded spaces being banned, and with schools just having been told to close as well, educational roles are also in jeopardy. Some giants of the hospitality industry, such as Britannia Hotels, have seen a drop in job vacancies between 2019 and 2020, from 796 to 701 (a 12% fall). 


Interview tips for remote applications

Video interview

Even remote working roles often require an interview, and there are ways to ensure that your suitability and professionalism come across, even on a screen.

Using a video chat service such as Skype to complete an interview is fairly commonplace now but there are a few things to bear in mind before you hit the camera icon and go live with a potential panel of interviewers.

  • Prepare your space — Everything behind you will be up on the screen in full colour, so drying racks with laundry, inappropriate wall art and general mess won’t look good. You can also choose to blur your background, which gives a more professional impression.
  • Un-funny your profile — That profile picture that your friends find hilarious? And the in-joke profile name you’ve had for years? They won’t resonate with employers, so it’s time for a smart, easy-to-read picture and your real name. We know it’s less fun but it’s also more likely to get you a job.
  • Dress for an interview — You might be sat at home, but you can still make an effort with your appearance. Don’t be tempted to dress smart on the top and casual below, because you assume your legs won’t be seen either, as you never know when you’ll have to retrieve something.
  • Practise your body language — Open the camera on your messaging app to see how you look in different positions. You need to be comfortable, of course, but good posture and no fidgeting makes a better impression than slouching.
  • Keep cool if technical problems arise — You can’t predict a bad connection, but if the worst does happen, just stay calm. It happens to everybody and this will be a good opportunity for you to instigate a contingency plan, such as an email ready to answer any questions or a voice-only call.

💡 Read more: Top 10 tips for a successful Skype interview


In-person interview tips

If you’ve applied for a role that requires an in-person interview within a care setting for example, you need to be prepared and safe. A few useful things to bear in mind include:

  • Explain any social distancing requirements — If you are trying to social distance, explain in advance that you won’t be looking to shake hands with anybody in your interview. It will avoid any awkward misunderstandings.
  • Wash your hands before you go in — Ask if there is anywhere to wash your hands before you walk in, and if you can, take hand sanitiser with you, in your bag, in case you really can’t avoid a handshake.
  • Maintain proper distance — Nobody will think you are rude for sitting one chair further away than you would normally. If anything, your diligent approach will be a demonstration that you understand the seriousness of the situation, as well as your determination to secure a role.
  • Ask about COVID-19 containment strategies — Show an interest in how your potential employer is dealing with the crisis in their setting. This will give you an idea of if you can see yourself being a good fit for the team or not.

If your industry is sending people home or closing businesses, don’t despair; there are plenty of ways to earn a living still. Always remember that your safety is paramount and that you have strengths you can work to in this trying period, even remotely in a lot of cases.