In this day and age, “unemployed” is no longer synonymous with the term “unemployable.” In this blog post, we identify and debunk three common myths that are associated with the hiring of long term unemployed applicants. Keep in mind that the following myths and accompanying facts go to prove that high-quality applicants don’t always fit into one single template for success and that managers, recruiters and hiring executives should be open to the idea that potential talent could indeed come from a long term unemployed applicant.
Three Myths & Facts Associated With Hiring the Long-term Unemployed
Myth #1 – The industry has changed, they are clearly unqualified.
We are not dealing with children who have just been fired from the local burger joint and sit at home playing video games till three in the morning. Quality employees and highly desirable talent won’t be wasting their time on the couch, but can be found utilizing professional development resources in their downtime to better themselves and keep their skill set fresh and competitive. Don’t be afraid to ask about their time away from the office to better gauge what they did to stay current.
Myth #2 – Unemployed means poor performance.
Decades ago this was the norm; employees were let go due to poor performance or wrong doing, and unemployed individuals were tacked with a red flag of sorts. In today’s society, this is not the case. In fact, it is highly likely that an unemployment status could be based on the economic downturn as opposed to poor performance. The harsh truth of our economy personifies itself through mass layoffs and budgetary cuts, both of which can catapult quality talent into the unemployment pool. Simply keep in mind that a candidate’s unemployment status does not immediately mean that they are of unemployable quality.
Myth #3 – Even if they were let go for economic reasons, they weren’t valued enough to try and keep.
While it is a popular and sometimes true belief that the fat gets trimmed first, you have to remember that good chunks of meat sometimes get cut off as well. With that being said, it is essential to realize that layoffs have been necessary for company survival and departments that one company may have deemed to be an additional “perk” may be the lifeblood of your organization. It is not uncommon to see entire categories of jobs, levels of management or entire sites of employees let go theses days. Remember that employee performance is not the only thing that dictates the necessity of layoffs.
When looking for quality employees and new talent, keep in mind that hiring those long-term unemployed applicants is no longer taboo. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you need answers to and be open to moving forward with the best candidate, regardless of the length of their unemployed status.
If you need help with recruiting top talent or with expanding your contingent workforce, give us a call at (650)752-6193. Menlo Partners Staffing, general & administrative recruiting experts for small to mid-size employers in Silicon Valley.