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Employ the Unemployed

I was having lunch recently with the Vice President of a former client. During the lunch she shared one of her pet peeves. "Why do we still hold onto the old belief that anyone unemployed is not as good a candidate as those that are currently employed?"

Wow, did that hit me between the eyes. At one time, this belief carried a certain amount of validity. It assumed that the really talented individuals would always be the ones retained, even in a downturn and layoffs. Therefore anyone that was let go was probably not as good. Hence the logic: if you want really good talent, seek those who are already employed.

But as I look around at all the people who are currently unemployed, that piece of wisdom is no longer valid or even wise. There are thousands of very talented, skilled and capable people seeking positions today. I know sales, HR, engineering, finance and many other executives who are seeking positions. These are extremely talented people with fine track records of producing results for their organizations. But because of circumstances beyond their control, the economy and other factors, they find themselves unemployed.

Isn't it time that we drop old beliefs about the unemployed? Let's start seeking the unemployed first before trying to recruit others away from their current positions. It is a true win-win-win position. It will help our economy, it will help talented people, some who are on the verge of losing the homes, and it will help your company. You will be able to hire gifted, talented people without having to compete on salary to lure them away from their current position.

Let's start a movement: hire the unemployed—they're worth it.

Norman Wolfe — President/CEO — Quantum Leaders, Inc.

Executing Strategy

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Do you have recent experience with either job hunting or filling positions? Please share your experiences and any advice.

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