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You’re in search of a candidate who’s just the right fit for the job. But what happens when you locate someone who looks perfect on paper… but is currently unemployed? You may feel apprehensive, afraid you’ve uncovered a problem employee. But have no fear—there are some key steps you can take to ensure your hiring choice is a sound one that won’t lead to turnover.

What to look for when interviewing and screening an unemployed candidate

What is the reason for unemployment?

It could be as simple as taking time off to raise young children or do some traveling. The candidate could also have been laid off through no fault of their own. If their unemployment was due to a disciplinary reason, always check for transparency—they should not try to hide the reasoning, because you can find out anyway.

Does the candidate show maturity and growth?

In other words, are they transparent about the situation, and if negative, have they taken steps for personal improvement? For example, if a candidate was previously terminated for frequent tardiness, they should explain how they have improved their behavior to ensure they’ll arrive to work on time.

How have they spent their time out of work?

Being unemployed is not the same as being on vacation! Aside from job hunting, it’s a perfect time for self-evaluation and learning new skills. Did the candidate take a course, return to school, volunteer, or even travel?

What do past references have to say?

This should give you a good understanding of the candidate’s character, work ethic, growth potential, etc.

Conduct thorough screening

To keep yourself and your workplace safe, it’s always important to do background checks (financial, and criminal) and drug screens on any potential candidate, unemployed or otherwise. It helps you protect your business and your current employees.

Let your recruiter help

Working with a staffing partner is an easy way to find highly skilled candidates who fit well with your business needs. Inter-Connect can help you find light industrial, office/clerical and professional workers in a fraction of the time it takes to source candidates on your own. To learn more and speak with an experienced recruiter, contact Inter-Connect today!

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