Hidden Assets: Hiring Job Seekers Who Have Been Laid Off

by Ken Crowell

Some hiring managers and recruiters may favor applicants who are presently employed over laid-off job seekers. They may believe it’s difficult to assess skills and qualifications of unemployed candidates. Pre-employment screening can help companies identify candidates with the specific skills they need from among many applicants, including those who are currently unemployed.

Today, when many employees have been laid off through no fault of their own, it makes sense for hiring managers to give these candidates careful consideration. Their advantages may include:

  • Raw talent: Some unemployed candidates were laid off as a result of the “last-in, first-out” formula that prioritizes seniority over growth potential. These applicants may have a tough time landing interviews due to the short tenure listed on their resume, which many recruiters interpret as a lack of competency. If your company is looking to carefully develop the perfect employee, these types of job seekers are a strong choice.
  • Rapid onboarding: Laid-off workers are often ready to start as soon as possible, and do not have to go through the customary two-week notice process or fulfill obligations to an employer.
  • Versatility of experience: Applicants may be more open to different industries and positions if they are not currently employed.
  • High morale: Laid-off workers tend to be excited about getting back to a normal employment schedule. Receiving a job offer can be both a relief and a source of soaring optimism. Hiring applicants that are full of positive energy can breathe new life into your work environment and stimulate productivity.

“Unemployed applicants are, by nature, hungry for a chance to prove their worth,” Ken says. “They can bring a lot of immediate value to your organization, along with the expertise, experience and dedication needed to truly excel.”

Ken Crowell is Founder and CEO of EmployTest, a pre-employment testing platform that’s helped more than 7,000 corporate and government organizations across the US and globally to remotely pre-screen applicants for the best hiring choices. EmployTest administers more than 60,000 tests to job applicants each year.

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