Why hire someone with gap years in employment?

I read a LinkedIn post by Oleg Vishnepolsky the other day called Do not hire the UNEMPLOYED if… and it inspired me to write this.

No, he’s not promoting what the post title says.  It’s actually the contrary.  Oleg says that he had hired individuals that have been unemployed for a while, and they thrived in his company that a couple climbed up the company ladder and another one opened up his own small company.  Towards the end of his post, he wrote:

People who are not working are very eager to get a job and to keep it. They are highly motivated, and will give you their utmost loyalty, dedication and hard work.

What he said really struck me because it’s TRUE.  People who have been unemployed for a while are highly motivated because they need a job so that they can support themselves and/or their family and would work very hard to keep that job when compared to someone that has an existing job and is just looking for new opportunities, be it for more money or career advancement.

A person who has gap-years in their employment does not mean that:

  • they’re underperformers/mediocres in their jobs.  There’s a good reason why the person left the workforce.  At this day of age, no one can afford to quit their jobs.   Maybe they left for medical reason or to take care of a family member, or they were laid off because of workforce reduction or outsourcing.
  • their hard skill sets are unmarketable.  If you think about how we became proficient at something, it was due to training and work experience in that field.  Everyone is trainable as long as they’re willing to be trained, and they’re given the tools and great mentors to learn from.

Dear Talent Acquisitions, Recruiters and HRs, please improve your process so that you can give 5 minutes out of your busy time to read 1 out of 10 resumes from your pool, so that you can see them as a person, maybe dig a little bit deeper in their background by giving them a call, and maybe even consider them as one of your potential candidates after talking to them.


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