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It’s human nature to automatically move the resume of an unemployed job candidate to the bottom of the pile. But it may not be in your best interest to do so. Keep in mind your goal is to hire the best person for the job. More often than you think, this may be someone who is currently out of work. Here’s why:

  • They’re hungry. Determination is a great attribute in a new hire. People who are hungry for a new career opportunity are more likely to try – and to work – harder. They can harness that hunger into passion, which works for them and for your company.
  • They’ve had time to reflect. When people have a break from the day-to-day grind, whether voluntary or not, they have time to reflect. This is often a good thing. It results in a renewed sense of purpose, and they become more focused. When candidates have a higher degree of clarity, they have the potential to perform better on the job. They have a personal mission – and if it aligns with your organizational mission, hiring them will be a good match.
  • They’re resilient. Experiencing rejection is never easy, but it’s a necessary part of life – and growth. Look for people who have learned from rejection and developed resilience. They won’t dissolve at the first sign of trouble. And they often have a strong sense of personal awareness, which means they’ll be apt to improve at a quicker rate. You can expect them to meet job challenges and setbacks the same way they’ve handled unemployment.

How to Spot a Hidden Gem

While some jobless candidates may have been let go due to subpar work performance, you’ll find some hidden gems among them.

  • Understand what led to their job loss. It could have had nothing to do with their level of commitment or performance. For instance, maybe their firm shut down unexpectedly and they were caught off guard.
  • Look for honesty and transparency. Seek out candidates who are clear and upfront about themselves and their career history. There’s no room for ambiguity as you make a hiring decision.
  • Find out how they’ve spent their time out of work. The best candidates will have engaged in activities that draw on their professional skills and expertise. Have they pursued educational or professional development opportunities? Done relevant volunteer work? Taken initiative to consult independently?
  • Look at their past track record. A demonstrated history of success defines an applicant who is unemployable, even if they are currently out of work.
  • Check their references. It goes a long way if a former senior-level colleague speaks highly of a person. In fact, this may even be more relevant than the recommendation of an employed candidate.

It can be a challenge to locate the “gems” when considering candidates for hire, whether or not they are currently working elsewhere. Consider partnering with PrideStaff Modesto as you identify and address your staffing and talent management needs. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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