Nobody wants to hire an unemployed person. It’s a problem that most recruiters — whether here in the U.K. or elsewhere — face. On several occasions, I’ve actually had clients request that I seek somebody already in work.
The increasing scarcity of jobs puts us in a tricky situation where:
- Employers can be pickier about who they hire;
- There are more jobless candidates (who nobody wants);
- People are reluctant to trade in a secure job for a new one.
Clients are demanding high caliber candidates while refusing to consider the talent that is actually available to us and them.
Here are some tricks I’ve picked up that make unemployed candidates more appealing:
1. Search for somebody your client will like.
It’s a no-brainer. If two candidates have the same skill set, it will come down to likability.
Though dubious of unemployed people, your client will probably give a candidate they like the benefit of the doubt. Provided that they have the right skill set, of course.
2. Sell the benefits of being unemployed.
Most employers don’t want to hire a jobless candidate, but here are a few things they do want:
- An employee to start sooner rather than later;
- An enthusiastic, motivated and loyal worker;
- Somebody who is resilient and determined.
Don’t sell your candidate as somebody who has lost their job. Sell them as a motivated individual who is keen to get back into work. You know the drill.
If your candidate has been out of employment for a while, train them to say it’s because they were looking for the right role and company.
3. Search for candidates who have been keeping themselves busy.
Clients often worry that unemployed candidates have been left behind. In some industries, that could well be the case. So if you find a candidate who has been actively learning new and refreshing existing skills, you’re onto a winner.
4. Find out why your candidate is unemployed.
If they were that great, they’d still have a job — ringing any bells?
My answer is that bad things happen to good people — if we’re using clichés.
Normally, unemployed people have simply had a bit of bad luck. Finding out why your candidate lost their job is sometimes enough to put your client’s mind at ease.; provided the candidate has the right skills.
5. Follow through with a reference.
If you can, get a reference ready before your client meets your candidate. A strong reference will correct many of the prevailing myths attached to jobless people. It will also give your client peace of mind.