A recent Society of Human Resources (SHRM) article suggests that employers should not dismiss out-of-hand applicants with “jagged resumes” showing long periods of unemployment.
SHRM says that these candidates “have high levels of achievement, but they’ve been out of work for a year. Often, they will turn out to be great hires. They are motivated and bring incredible energy.” Applicants laid-off during the recession may bring a fortitude born out of struggling through being unemployed that other candidates may not have. Also, candidates who have been through unemployment likely will be appreciative of a company that gives them an opportunity, and thus may be more loyal employees than those directly leaving another company.
In other words, not only may an applicant who has been unemployed for a time turn out to be a good employee, the unemployment experience may have made them a better candidate.