Will your business be hiring any of these positions?
Here's what you need to know:
- COVID-19 has created new types of jobs that didn’t exist before — or at least not in the same way
- Contact tracers track down people who may have come in contact with COVID-19 by essentially cold calling strangers
- Social distancing monitors and ambassadors make sure that people are following social distancing rules
- Temperature takers help see if any employees have high temperatures before they enter a building
- Workplace sanitizers can help stay on top of OSHA and the CDC’s sanitizing recommendations
While the novel coronavirus pandemic has skyrocketed unemployment as jobs were lost across the United States, it’s also created some new types of jobs that didn’t exist before — or at least not in the same way.
Contact tracing, for example, has always been a job but today it’s on the rise because of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be thinking about what you’ll need to reopen safely and whether or not that includes adding a new coronavirus-related position or two. Or your business relies on understanding the trends of the job market. Either way, here’s a look at some of the new positions that are being created because of the pandemic.
You may be thinking about what you’ll need to reopen safely and whether or not that includes adding a new coronavirus-related position or two.
This is perhaps one of the most obvious jobs that has come from the pandemic. While there were certainly contact tracers before this pandemic, the numbers of contact tracer jobs are on the rise. This is especially true as unemployment in other sectors is also growing.
Contact tracers are in charge of exactly what you might imagine them to be responsible for. They track down people who may have come in contact with COVID-19 by essentially cold calling strangers. According to NPR, many states nearly doubled the number of contact tracer jobs they had in a 10-day period at the end of April and beginning of May. It’s estimated that when all is said and done, anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 people will be needed for contact tracing.
Most often working over the phone, contact tracers can work full or part time — often from their homes.
In addition to analog contact tracers, there may be other contact tracing-related jobs in the future. Cities, countries, tech companies, and entrepreneurs are working to create contact tracing apps.
Dan Gish is a Montana-based entrepreneur. He’s working on developing a contact tracing app that he’s hoping to implement in partnership with the State of Colorado. He shares that getting his product certified with a relevant agency has been a difficult process. However, he sees a bright future for employment related to contact tracing apps.
“[My business partner and I] have been working for free, but if we did get implemented by the state of Colorado, we would really quickly need to scale up and hire support staff and people to help out. The potential impact of these apps is huge,” he says, “especially if the virus blows back up again.”
Social distancing monitors
Much like the job title sounds, social distancing monitors and ambassadors make sure that people are following social distancing rules. In Seattle, social distancing ambassadors have been monitoring the city’s parks by collecting and reporting on hourly usage data. They also remind visitors of social distancing recommendations.
Private businesses, like grocery stores, have also been employing social distancing monitors. The job is also becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry as well.
A job posting for a social distancing monitor with Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie, Oregon, lists the responsibilities as “enforcing compliance with all Bob’s Red Mill policies and procedures related to the COVID-19 Pandemic response, especially focused on the company’s Social Distancing Policy. Through ongoing monitoring of the building, the Monitor ensures a safe and healthy working environment and to prevent any injuries and accidents.”
From boarding a plane to entering public buildings, temperature checks may very well be a common facet of the “new normal.”
From boarding a plane to entering public buildings, temperature checks may very well be a common facet of the “new normal” as stay-at-home orders expire across the U.S. and businesses begin to open back up. Apple, for example, introduced temperature checks and required masks as it reopened its Apple Stores recently.
However, for businesses looking to implement new temperature taker roles, be sure to follow the law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued special guidance in March that allows temperatures to be taken at work (previously this was considered a medical examination and was more or less a barred practice).
It’s also important to remember that just because someone doesn’t have a high temp doesn’t mean they don’t have COVID-19. When hiring a temperature checker, you should give them all the personal protective equipment they need to do their job. Even though they’re helpful, temperature checkers won’t be able to solve all of your pandemic problems.
There’s just an incredibly high amount of sanitizing that will have to happen as businesses open back up. Reopening could be bringing employees back together in an office or welcoming customers into your small business’s store once again. The sanitizing that the pandemic requires is simply above and beyond what any traditional cleaning crew is responsible for. Now, cleaning in the workplace has to be done constantly and consistently throughout the day.
That leaves you and your employees. People will likely rush back into work to make up for lost time. While you can remind everyone of sanitizing requirements, it’s easy to imagine constant cleaning and disinfecting falling to the wayside. Consider hiring a temporary workplace sanitizer whose sole purpose is staying on top of Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s sanitizing recommendations so that your employees and customers can be kept as safe as possible.