How To Hire The Best Unemployed Candidate(s)

Are all unemployed candidates a risk to hire?  Were they laid off or fired solely for performance?  If they have been out of work for some time, does that mean that they are unqualified since no one has hired them yet?  These are valid questions, however, many applicants in today’s market are typically available longer and are still excellent candidates. 

So, how can you fairly evaluate candidates and eliminate the non-qualified and hire the top performers?  According to an article in Staffing Industry Review by Margaret Steen, Ms. Steen offers the following 10 questions to ask and/or consider during your interview to find the best unemployed candidate(s):

1. How does the candidate explain being out of work?
2. What is the candidate doing while unemployed?
3. In which round of layoffs was the person let go?
4. What does the candidate’s employment pattern show?
5. Where has the candidate worked in the past?
6. Was the candidate referred to you?
7. Does the candidate have the right skills?
8. Are there subtle red flags?
9. What do you learn from an extensive reference check?
10. What does the candidate’s body language tell you?

These points of discussion or observation should help you communicate with candidates to clearly determine the reasons for separation, skills and the probability for the potential new hire to not only contribute to your business but also have some longevity.