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Hiring Candidates Who are Unemployed vs. Employed but Looking

August 5th, 2015

August 18th

Despite the increase in the unemployment rate in the USA, it’s still a challenge for hiring managers to find qualified candidates for skilled assignments. Today, most recruiters are faced with selecting candidates from a pool of either unemployed people or those who are employed but casually looking for better career opportunities. Unfortunately, there still exists a general stigma associated with being unemployed. As if somehow unemployed candidates are somehow “flawed” or less worthy of consideration, they oftentimes get ignored.

While it can be easy to fall into the trap of only choosing candidates who are currently employed over unemployed candidates, this is not a productive way to find the best candidates. Unemployed candidates can and should be considered equally with those who are currently employed and looking for work. In the future, due to changes in hiring laws, recruiters will have no choice but to disregard the employment status of candidates. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is backing a bill in Congress that will make it illegal for companies to willfully discriminate against candidates who are unemployed.

Here’s a breakdown of unemployed vs. employed but looking candidates, with the benefits and disadvantages of hiring each.

Unemployed Candidates make up more than half of the candidate pool, and are made up of professionals who have varying degrees of work experience, education and training. From entry level to advanced level candidates, you are likely to find unemployed candidates who are proactively seeking suitable employment. While you are going to have some candidates that have outdated or non-marketable skills, many are back in school trying to learn new trades. With some 48% of all unemployed candidates out of work for six months or more, you’ll most likely find those who are willing to accept less glamorous assignments than passive candidates will accept. In addition, unemployed candidates are usually ready to start work immediately, and also very trainable in new roles.

Employed but Looking Candidates have many appealing factors, such as up-to-date work skills, high levels of education and training, and stable employment histories. However, people who are employed and looking are only interested in one thing – finding a better job. If you don’t have a mid to upper level assignment available, you will basically waste your time with passive candidates. If you have an assignment that needs specialized skills, then an employed but looking candidate is going to be a great resource. When talking with passive candidates, also consider that you will need plenty of time to find a candidate because he or she will need to give a resignation notice to the current employer before being available to accept your assignment; a process that can require several weeks.

As you search for people to fill key assignments for your clients or your company, be sure to give unemployed candidates more than just a first glance. You’ll find seasoned professionals with great qualities, who are just “between jobs” looking for an opportunity to shine in a new role.

Want assistance with finding great candidates for assignments at your organization? Please be sure to contact The Concorde Group  for responsive staffing support!


Volunteer: Use Your Unemployed Time to Build Your Experience and Enhance Your Resume

September 5th, 2011

Source: winnond /

Have you recently found yourself unemployed? Have time on your hands and not sure what direction to focus on? While you are looking for a new and better job, now is the opportune time to explore ways in which to stand out from other candidates through volunteerism.

Being a volunteer can help you to stay active on the job market, while earning valuable career skills. Additionally, you are likely to enhance your resume, as you will demonstrate the ability to contribute to society while you search for gainful employment. Here are some ways to use your unemployed time wisely as a volunteer.

Get involved with religious and civic volunteer efforts. Every religious and civic organization has the need for volunteers to handle a number of duties. These can range from providing extra people for events, to managing various technologies and projects. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a skill in a certain area, but have not had the time to do so while working full time. Contact a local church or non-profit organization and find out what volunteer roles are available.

Join an industry association and get active. A great way to garner valuable experience in a particular career is to join an industry association and then volunteer to help out on an important activity. This is especially helpful if you are a new graduate, a career changer or hoping to land work in a new career field. Learn valuable work skills and put yourself in the right place at the right time as a volunteer on a new project. The network you develop as a result will help you throughout your future career, and it looks great on your resume.

Participate in community service. In every neighborhood, there are thousands of ways to get involved in community service events. Take part in food and clothing drives, provide a service to less fortunate neighbors, or improve the beauty of a poorly maintained lot through lawn and garden services. By doing this, you are not only making your community a better place to live in, but you will gain positive attention from employers who may be looking for someone with your initiative and creativity. You’ll also learn valuable lessons about managing something yourself.

While you are volunteering, be sure to keep a list of people who can vouch for your service and your performance in this role. Just as you would references for a paid position, you may ask for letters of reference to include with your resume in terms of the volunteer work you’ve accomplished. Add your volunteer work experience along with your paid work experience, including your major accomplishments while in that role.

Volunteerism is growing as one of the best ways to earning more work experience and a sense of responsibility that employers look for in candidates. When you list volunteer roles on your resume, you appear to be someone who sees the “bigger picture” about your career, and someone who’s motivated enough to make positive changes in the world.

Want to learn more about volunteer, part time and full time career opportunities? Check out the Concorde Personnel candidate portal for more advice and job listings.




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