"Lost Talent"

I had lunch yesterday with a good friend who is currently looking for a new position. Our discussion went from who we worked for in the past, real funny stories I must say,  to current employment opportunities, to what we plan to do in the future. One topic lead to another and then "lost talent". Yes  "lost talent". He shared with me his concern that the longer he was out of work the less marketable he felt he would be. How true that is in today's world. Articles abound on how companies are reluctant to hire individuals with great talent, skills, and work ethic. 

As we discussed this disturbing issue from a top HR executive level (which we both were) we got more and more concerned that companies are really missing the boat. They are also telling the out-of-workforce you are not valuable.  Knowing people who have been out of work for several years that is as far from the truth as can be. What we concluded was that we could not change current hiring principles. 

I have to say some companies are hiring talented 1+, 2+ out-of-work workers and encourage those companies to continue to hire those talented extended unemployed.  

Companies must think out of the box to stay competitive and this is one way of staying ahead of the competition. While these people were out of work what changed, we thought:

  • software may have been upgraded in companies
  • companies may have gone virtual or mobile 
  • dress codes may have changed
  • resized companies have reduced workspace
  • some key players in target companies
What hasn't changed:
  • company values 
  • the skill set of the unemployed worker
  • the network the worker had in prior work lives and what has been gained during the unemployed period
  • eagerness for these unemployed to add value to the hiring company
  • not much else has changed.
So rethink your position on culling out those individuals who have been out-of-work for 1+ years. You are missing great talent and valuable contributors and we can save this "lost talent" from just dropping out of the workforce completely. 

Thanks Matt for this spirited, sobering, mind stimulated, and content laden luncheon discussion.


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