Many of you have heard the expressions, “It’s a job getting a job”, or “It’s easier getting a job when you have a job”, but few of you may have heard the expression, “Not having a job is seen as worse than having a criminal record by hiring companies trying to place candidates.” The sad thing about the latter statement is that it is not just an expression, but has been proven to be the current state of play albeit by an isolated, however, conscientious study by Bullhorn.
This is not the kind of awkward topic that you tend to hear openly discussed in coffee bars, but in Bullhorn’s anonymous survey of 1,500 recruiters last year, 44 percent ranked placing a candidate who had been unemployed for more than two years as the hardest type of candidates to place whereas only 31 percent said that someone with a criminal record (non felony), would be hardest to place.
For whatever reason, it appears employers may not be receptive to hiring the long term unemployed, or just maybe a strong value proposition is yet to to be developed for the unemployed, so I thought it might be a good time to try to develop one.
The Unemployed Value Proposition
1. More loyal and may increase staff retention levels
Today’s employers are constantly focused on trying to retain workers and build loyalty. Arguably, after having been out of work for so long, the unemployed will most likely be more risk averse in terms of changing jobs and will be more likely to stay put. The unemployed will also have a more realistic view of the marketplace and will tell other employees how difficult it is to get a job, which could increase retention levels in your other staff.
2. Strengthen your brand
Hiring the unemployed (especially the long-term unemployed) is seen by many to be an act of strong corporate social responsibility. Since CSR is a key factor in developing a strong employer brand, then hiring the unemployed will strengthen your employer brand which, according to research, will make it easier for the employer to attract staff in the future.
3. Bring new skills to the company
Many of the unemployed spend their time learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge and certifications while out of work, which they can bring to any company they join. To confirm that this learning has indeed taken place, I’d urge any employer to ask the unemployed this simple question: “How have you developed yourself while being unemployed and what have you learned that can benefit our business?”
4. Widen your network
Hiring an unemployed person may help you to increase your business network. How? Because the unemployed will have built up their own network of contacts (many of whom may be unemployed) and some of these contacts could be potential new hires for the firm.
I’d be interested to hear any more good reasons that you may have to hire the unemployed.