How to Help Long-Term Unemployed Candidates

No MoneyBetween wage stagnation and a number of states offering 73 and even 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, candidates in lower paying industries are turning down job offers, preferring to continue collecting unemployment benefits instead.

Yet while a candidate may not be thrilled with a company’s offer, it’s important they take the long-term view, looking not only at the compensation, but at the opportunities to develop competencies and increase their skill sets. In the “new economic normal,” most employers no longer think less of candidates who have gaps in their employment history or take lesser positions than they previously held.  At the same time, they want someone who is active, sharp and relevant.

How can you help long-term unemployed candidates stand out and get back in the game?  According to the 3,000 hiring managers we recently surveyed, the top ways are to:

  1. Take a temporary or contract assignment.  Not only will it keep skills fresh, it may lead to permanent employment.
  2. Volunteer for a non-profit organization or charity and quantify how these efforts contributed to the organization’s success.
  3. Keep learning and continuing their education by attending professional seminars, taking certification courses or mastering commonly used software programs. (Don’t let money be an issue.  Top universities like MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Penn State, University of Michigan and Stanford offer free courses online.  And The Khan Academy provides over 3,000 free video tutorials covering just about every subject from computer science to physics to finance.)

Other suggestions included starting a business or professional blog.

PREMIUM CONTENT: September 2013 Jobs Report Digest

Even if a candidate is not thrilled with an offer, encourage them to weigh the professional development opportunities and benefits of getting back in the work force sooner rather than later. Remind them that getting their foot in the door will increase their leverage.

The bottom line is, whether your candidate takes the job or not, he or she needs to stay engaged and active so that when the hiring manager asks:  “What have you been doing?”  They have a more attractive and compelling answer than, “looking for a job.”

MORE: Are unemployed college grads and struggling recruiters a perfect match?

Erik Kelley

Erik Kelley
Erik Kelley is senior sales manager in CareerBuilder’s Staffing & Recruiting Group.

Erik Kelley

Share This Post


Related Articles

One Response to “How to Help Long-Term Unemployed Candidates”

  1. […] Read the original post: How to Help Long-Term Unemployed Candidates | The Staffing … […]

Powered by ·