Resume gaps. Job hopper. Once a candidate has these labels attached to them, many hiring managers will add one extra stamp: unemployable. Despite the fact that most businesses are struggling desperately to find qualified candidates, studies indicate managers have less confidence in unemployed candidates than in those with a criminal record. Is it really necessary to take such a hard line? It’s time for gut instincts to take a back seat to logic. Here’s why you should give a fair chance to every candidate, including those who are currently unemployed.

Hiring candidates who are unemployed

The supposed logic behind rejecting unemployed candidates is fairly simple: good workers don’t struggle to find work; therefore, anyone who can’t find work is a bad worker. Simple. Done. Such proxy-based decision making allows managers to rapidly thin the resume pile and fill themselves with a sense of progress and accomplishment.

Such reasoning falls apart, however, when one examines the maxim on which it is based. Good workers do struggle to find work, often for reasons that are beyond their control. Even the surprising fact that hiring managers put more trust in those with a criminal record than in the unemployed takes on new depth when studies indicate there is no reason to blindly reject those with a record, either. In fact, businesses that enforce bright-line policies regarding any specific demographic do themselves as much harm as the candidates they are missing out on. So what should hiring managers focus on when considering unemployed candidates?

·         The reason for the employment gap

There are many legitimate reasons to step away from one’s career for a while, ranging from health, to family, to poor management and beyond. As such, it’s unfair and unproductive to assume that an employment gap indicates a lack of seriousness or professionalism. If you are otherwise impressed by the candidate’s skills and work history, wait until you know the full story before making a decision.

·         The length of unemployment

Regardless of the reason behind the gap, long-term unemployment could result in some key skills becoming rusty or outdated. Remember, however, that driven professionals are more than capable of keeping up with changes in their industry while away from work. In addition, the standard orientation phase is often more than enough time to pick up the slack and regain their previous level of competence.

An efficient and effective hiring policy depends on knowing all the facts. At All Quality Labor, we thoroughly vet every candidate to ensure they will meet your exacting demands. To learn more about our comprehensive part-time, temporary and permanent staffing solutions, contact a recruiter today.

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