In our last blog we gave advice for people who have been out of work for six months or more. These folks are often called “long term unemployed”. We care about these people at The Interview Doctor.
Lately, though, other people do not. Unemployment benefits have been cut in many states as if cutting benefits to people who need them the most will somehow change the situation. Some groups go out of their way to make nasty comments about the character of people who have been out of work for a while. As if they are out of work by choice or they are sitting at home eating bonbons on the magnificent amount of unemployment insurance they receive.
Hog wash. Balderdash. Ridiculous. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Do not buy into this lie perpetrated by certain political interest groups.
No one who is out of work is pleased with their situation or with themselves. Usually they didn’t choose to be out of work and can’t figure out how to get out of this situation. They usually feel desperate. They start to get a negative attitude. They often lose confidence and say “I will take anything” or “It must be my … (age, sex, race, etc)”.
I hear company representatives wring their hands about the situation. Stop wringing your hands and get involved.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Do not exclude unemployed people from consideration. We know this happens all the time. Stop now. Most unemployed people did nothing to contribute to their status. Give them a break and include unemployed people in the mix.
- Review your applicant tracking system (ATS) screens so you are realistic about what you need and want. The job description contains every requirement including the kitchen sink. The successful candidate does not have to have experience in absolutely every aspect of the job description. You know that. So identify the top 3 or 4 requirements and focus the ATS on those requirements. I bet more people make it through the ATS screen.
- Occasionally search for candidates without ATS screens to evaluate candidates the old fashioned way – personally – to see firsthand the impact of those ATS screens. I bet the ATS is screening out perfectly good candidates, maybe even great candidates who might not meet unrealistic and unnecessary screens.
- Participate in job clubs as a mentor. Train candidates in interviewing skills so unemployed folks can offer themselves in a manner appealing to employers. Offer job vacancies to job clubs. By participating you can help unemployed people have the positive attitude and attributes that you know employers want to see.
- Network to find talent instead of just reacting to fill jobs at the moment of a vacancy. The vast majority of hiring managers and HR people do not network. They just react. But by networking you can collect talented people (including unemployed people) who can be available when you have a need.