One company’s trash may be another’s treasure

HR Roundtable panel member Dionna Keels discusses how the unfortunate increase in unemployment can be a great resource for employers looking to hire:

In recent months, some of Atlanta’s largest corporations, government agencies and non-profits have found it necessary to restructure and cut jobs. Many of the employees who have found pink slips in their inboxes are simply casualties of war. Some, who have never experienced a lay-off themselves, may incorrectly assume that everyone affected was laid off because they were not valuable to their organizations. Remember, value is subjective. An employee whose talent is not valuable to one company may be extremely valuable to another. Many of these employees are well educated, highly skilled and possess years of specialized experience. One might assume that with this increase in viable candidates, companies with hiring needs would focus some of their efforts and resources on reaching this talent pool; however, often this is not the case.

Few companies are refocusing their recruiting strategy to reflect the current market. Mostly because tapping into this group takes strategy and an on-going effort. It is, however, a worthwhile effort.

Where might an employer find these candidates?

Work with the Georgia Department of Labor. Their Career Centers offer many services to both the unemployed and employers. Employers will find opportunities to advertise their jobs, search resume databases, etc.

Place ads in the newspaper. Many of those recently laid-off may also be part of the growing number of employees accepting early retirement and/or buy-outs. This group may not have experience searching for jobs online, but instead, regularly search the Sunday paper for new opportunities.

Consider taking calls from contingency search agencies. For companies that donít have a dedicated in-house recruiting function, contingency agencies can be a good source for qualified candidates. Referrals from others in your industry, is a great way to make this connection. Just be sure to do due-diligence when working with an agency.

Recruiting strategies should be diverse and creative, with the ultimate goal of attracting, hiring and retaining the best talent. Has your company considered the recent increase in lay-offs in its recruiting efforts? Do you consider the recently laid-off to be a viable group of prospective candidates?

Dionna Keels is a guest blogger from SHRM-Atlanta.

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