Some unemployed people in my local area recently received some jarring news: their outplacement counsellor had been outplaced.
Seeing your outplacement counsellor be laid off has to be disheartening. It’s like learning that your marriage counsellor is getting a divorce, or seeing that your personal trainer has developed a weight problem.
It’s just an example of confidence-rattling developments in the job market that make them question whether they will ever find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Many recruiters and hiring managers are reluctant to hire those who are out of work, particularly the long-term unemployed, viewing them as damaged goods. Those who shun the unemployed seem to view such interaction as an act of charity. As a result, they are less inclined to make room in their schedules, and in their thoughts, for them. But that logic is flawed — because people remember those who have helped them in time of need.
For companies that hire the unemployed, it means bringing people aboard who are already motivated to give back. These workers truly appreciate the value of a job and are committed to performing for the business.
For people who assist the unemployed, it means forging a business relationship that’s far stronger, more genuine and lasting than the superficial connections that comprise most people’s professional networks.
But short of hiring the unemployed, how can you personally help?
Start by responding when they seek your guidance. Call or e-mail them back promptly. Spend 15 minutes critiquing their résumé, providing feedback on their “elevator pitch” or strategising about their job search. In short, give them your time.
To take it a step further, consider introducing them to one of your business contacts, someone with a professional background or a current role that may be helpful.
The New York Times