5 Smart Reasons to Hire the Unemployed

5 Reasons to Considering Hiring the Unemployed


I posted last week about a dilemma that stemmed from organizations who will not consider hiring the unemployed. In the past I could understand to a certain degree why companies would’ve shied away from those who were laid off simply because traditionally, the majority of employees reduced in a layoff were let go because they were not as productive as the workforce that remained.

But is it fair to assume that this is still true in this economy, where employees may have made it through the first 3 rounds of layoffs, but have now been let go? We are talking ROUNDS of layoffs and I can’t imagine THAT many unproductive employees would’ve stayed on the payroll through multiple layoffs. The world has changed and I don’t think you can safely assume that the unemployed were all a part of a reduction in force due to their own actions.

That being said, here are some other reasons it makes sense to consider hiring the unemployed.

Better retention – Those without a job are not going to be eager to risk one once they get one. They may even help retain your current employees by sharing the struggles they endured while they were out of work.

Strong employer brand – Now that it is common knowledge that many companies won’t even consider hiring the unemployed, think about what it will do to your employer brand that you do. You are open-minded, non-discriminatory, and have a heart – all things that attract talent and inspire loyalty.

Updated skills and a different perspective – Many of the unemployed are using this time to brush up on their abilities, learn about trends and build up industry knowledge. They just may be able to provide valuable insight simply because they invested time in learning while they were off.

New networks – Candidates looking for work spend a considerable amount of time networking. These relationships could prove very beneficial to your business in the form of customers, industry experts, and additional highly qualified hires. A lot of success comes from who you know.

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act – Many organizations can take advantage of tax breaks by hiring the unemployed. This can help your company recover financially as well as help the entire economy move forward. There isn’t much time left though, unless it is extended.

What do you think about hiring the unemployed?

This article was originally posted at www.careercurve.com/blog.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Patti Yaritz says

    A great post Jim and one I wholeheartedly agree with. There are a lot of talented people looking right now. Your 2nd point is really the heart of the matter and shows if a company believes in recovery or not. I encourage recruiters/hiring managers always to look at competency versus history of candidates and yours are very valid reasons to do exactly that!

  2. Jolene says

    I agree with you. I do whatever I can to hire people who have been looking. I especially love seeing what constructive and productive things out of work folks have done in between jobs. Many are doing more than just drinking coffee.


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