Source: Vlado /

Even with the increase in available candidates due to higher than normal unemployment levels in many regions, recruiters still often have trouble finding the right person for each assignment. There are some clear benefits of hiring unemployed candidates over employed but looking (passive) candidates – mainly that unemployed people are readily available to start work.

Unfortunately, there is still somewhat of a social stigma associated with being unemployed for long periods of time, which is often the case with today’s job seekers. Choosing not to hire unemployed people is an outdated attitude, and not a productive way to find the best candidates. In fact, in the near future it will be illegal to discriminate against people based on their employment status, due to an EEOC backed bill in Congress currently.

While making the right hiring decision should be handled on a case-by-case basis, there are some ways to determine if hiring an unemployed vs. a passive candidate is the way to go. Read on to review the plusses and minuses of each choice.

Hiring Unemployed Candidates

On the plus side, making the decision to hire unemployed candidates is somewhat easier than hiring someone who is still employed. These candidates are generally ready to start work right away, have possibly spent some time getting new training, and have positive attitudes about going to work. On the negative side, some people who are unemployed will become difficult when advised about an assignment that may not provide them with enough financial reward to exceed their unemployment benefits. They may also be looking for a temporary solution for their situation, and accept a job simply to get a paycheck until a better job presents itself. Be sure to screen unemployed candidates well to find out what they are truly looking for in a new assignment, to avoid these issues.

Hiring Employed but Looking Candidates

It may not seem obvious, but the plus side of hiring passive candidates is that they are up to date on work skills and possess work related credentials, which makes them valuable to other companies. Additionally, those that are employed but looking tend to have more stable work histories and progressive responsibilities as a result, a factor that is also appealing. The negatives of hiring people who are currently employed include requiring a time period of notice before working a new assignment, a resistance to change, and heavy salary negotiation. Again, carefully evaluate a passive candidate before making any offers to eliminate issues that can stand in the way to a good hire.

Need high quality candidates for openings at your company? Contact the staffing specialists at Davis Staffing to find your next great employees!