Unemployed. Does that word bring up negative feelings when you read it on a resume? Maybe you think of a lazy person or someone who quits jobs for trivial reasons. While that can be the case for some candidates, it is not the norm these days. As the economy changes, employment changes as well. A strong economy creates jobs for all skill levels, and it is easy to obtain a job and move up in a company. As employment needs change, so will the hiring practices.

When you look through resumes, here are some factors to consider:

·         Not everyone who is unemployed wants to stay that way. Get rid of the assumption that the unemployed are the lazy quitters society has stereotyped them to be. They might be the product of a merger, downsizing or process automation, not their lack of willingness to work. Consider asking: What happened to create this season of unemployment for you?

·         Not everyone who is employed is the best candidate. Just because they have been able to stay employed, doesn’t mean they are a good employee. Consider the idea they may be able to work the system better than others and stay employed. Consider asking: What are your long-term goals?

·         Not everyone who is unemployed is lacking marketable skills. What may happen is they have the same skills as everyone else in their field. What will set these unemployed apart from the rest is how they fix this problem. Consider asking: What have you been doing to become a standout candidate?

·         Not everyone who is employed has ambition or the desire to improve their workplace. They may be happy to just deal with the status quo. If you’re trying to hire go-getters, they may not be the best choice, even though have been consistently employed. Consider asking: How do you try to improve your workplace?

·         Not everyone who is unemployed is desperate. They may have several options being presented to them so a low-ball offer or a negative attitude from the hiring personnel may be an immediate decline from them. Consider asking: What does your ideal workplace look like?

·         Not everyone who is employed is eager for work. Someone who has been employed for a long time doesn’t always realize how lucky they are, especially in certain fields. They take for granted their steady paychecks and benefits, while those who have worked hard as contractors or on project work, might be more willing to work harder, longer hours. Consider asking: When was a time you went above and beyond at work?

As you go through the hiring process, don’t worry about their unemployed versus employed status but really focus on the person as a whole and the skills and work ethic they bring. Some circumstances are beyond our control but it is a testament to personal character to how you react. For help finding the best candidates, contact WSi Healthcare Personnel.