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The long-term unemployed are an untapped hiring resource

Posted on June 12th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Many hiring managers look askance at an applicant who has been out of work for a period of some months. However, a full 40 percent of the unemployed have been without a job for six months or longer, according to Department of Labor statistics cited at To discount this segment of the potential workforce is to hamstring a company's own human resources administration in the process of hiring. If an organization neglects to consider nearly half of its applicants, it is possible that it has already missed the best talent from the start. 

There may be reasons to think twice before hiring some of the long-term unemployed, such as a dismissal from their last job that is preventing them from being hired, but relying on stereotypes limits the candidate pool. There may be benefits to hiring these applicants as well.

"Employee retention with these candidates can only be strong," writes Steve Gifford, a contributor at Fistful of Talent, arguing that those who have experienced joblessness for a significant period of time won't willingly enter that state again. HR services professionals may well find themselves pleasantly surprised by this pool of applicants.

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