Why and How You Should Be Recruiting Laid-Off Talent

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In order to explore the benefits of recruiting laid-off talent and strategies for doing so, we’ve gathered insights from CEOs, founders, and other industry professionals. From targeting companies with recent layoffs to partnering with outplacement and career transition services, discover 12 valuable perspectives on why and how to recruit laid-off talent for your organization.

1. Target Companies with Recent Layoffs

Candidates who have recently been laid off are eager to regain employment, and they have a lot to prove in their next role. This often equals a stronger drive, work ethic, and performance. They see a new job as an opportunity to get their career back on track, and they want to excel in hopes of greater job security going forward. This motivation and determination translate directly to better outcomes for the employers who hire them. Try targeting companies with recent sizable layoffs. Connect directly its HR representatives to ask if they have released any strong talent that would be a good fit for your openings. Also, post announcements of your jobs directly to private alumni networks of companies that have had major staff reductions.

Bowen Khong, CEO, GameDayr

2. Host Webinars and Virtual Workshops

There’s a wealth of untapped potential when recruiting laid-off talent. Layoffs often aren’t a reflection of an individual’s skills or abilities. I once hired a trainer who had recently been laid off due to a gym closure. She was an absolute gem — her skills, experience, and passion for fitness were undeniable! The layoff wasn’t a reflection of her competence, just the circumstances. Try hosting webinars or virtual workshops, inviting professionals affected by layoffs. These provide an opportunity for them to network and learn, and for you to spot talent. Afterward, follow up with attendees who impressed you with their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Evander Nelson, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Evander Nelson SEO & Content Marketing

3. Leverage Your Network to Save Costs

Recruiting new employees can be an expensive affair, from advertising jobs to screening resumes, conducting interviews, and performing background checks. By leveraging your network or utilizing outplacement services to recruit suitable laid-off candidates, you may potentially save on some of these recruitment expenses.

Adam Wright, CEO, Human Tonik

4. Consider Laid-Off Talent on Social Networks

Laid-off talent is often in a tough position, but not because of their own doing. Professionals who have been let go are just as talented as the individuals who keep their positions, but the decision to leave is often due to a business decision rather than performance. Keeping an eye out for laid-off workers is just as important as looking at candidates who have a job or have applied for one. Using social networking platforms such as LinkedIn can help find more unique and qualified professionals. Looking for people who have shared their layoff to their network or have added the #OpenToWork banner on their profile can help ease your search.

Benjamin Farber, President, Bristol Associates

5. Approach Candidates with Empathy and Understanding

When laid-off employees receive a new job offer after a period of unemployment, you’ll often see them exhibit a deep sense of loyalty and commitment to their new organization. They understand the value of stability and genuinely appreciate the opportunity given to them. They’re motivated to prove themselves and contribute to your organization’s success for the long haul. This loyalty and retention can save you the costs associated with high employee turnover. Remember to approach the hiring process with empathy, respect, and understanding, and recognize that the candidate might have faced unfortunate circumstances beyond their control.

Mike Roberts, Co-founder, City Creek Mortgage

6. Be Upfront and Honest

Recently laid-off employees likely have a plethora of current industry knowledge, making them ideal quick hires for specific roles. However, because they likely were caught off guard by layoffs, they may need to feel more trust toward a potential future employer before committing again. Being as transparent as possible in the recruiting process goes a long way with these candidates. By being upfront with key information like the interview and onboarding process, on top of role expectations, the candidate builds trust sooner and can truly feel out if they will be a good fit.

Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers

7. Recruit Talent Affected by Bad Timing

In a slowing economy, laid-off talent are often people caught in the wrong department or wrong business at wrong time. Every business differs in what it needs at the moment. It’s important to understand where your business could stand to invest more, by recruiting high-quality talent who have fallen out of other businesses only because of bad timing in the investment cycle.

Trevor Ewen, COO, QBench

8. Emphasize Company Culture and Benefits

Laid-off employees are often highly skilled and experienced professionals who are eager to find a new job. They are motivated to prove themselves in a new role and can be a great asset to your team. When reaching out about a position, be sure emphasize the company’s culture and the benefits of working there. Laid-off employees may be coming from a toxic environment at their previous company, so it is important to set clear expectations about the type of opportunity you are offering.

Miles Kovarik, Senior Digital Marketing Specialist, Aquent

9. Rebuild Loyalty and Morale

Offering opportunities to individuals who have been laid off can help restore their confidence, boost their morale, and instill a sense of loyalty toward your organization. By providing a supportive environment and acknowledging their past experiences, you can create a positive and inclusive workplace culture that fosters growth and engagement. This strategy not only helps individuals recover from a difficult situation, but also brings dedicated and motivated talent to your team — contributing to long-term organizational success.

Ben Lau, Founder, Featured SEO Company

10. Connect with Outplacement Services

One effective strategy to recruit laid-off talent is to establish partnerships with staffing firms that offer outplacement services. These firms can help companies find candidates and provide support in the recruitment process. Also leverage social media platforms to create targeted campaigns and reach out to a wider pool of laid-off employees. By doing so, you can tap into a new source of talent and provide opportunities to skilled employees.

Tarun Saha, Co-founder & CEO, StallionZo

11. Act Quickly and Stay Connected

Recently laid-off workers are a pool of highly qualified candidates, but be sure to reach out before they update their social networking profiles. Moving quickly reduces the competition. The key is staying connected. Keeping your ear to the ground means you’ll know a company is reducing its workforce before notices go out. That’s your chance to pounce. Reach out with your best compensation package, skipping a long negotiation process. These workers are motivated to move on quickly to avoid a break in their resume, and your cost-to-fill will be reduced by a speedy hire, freeing up money for salary.

Tim Walsh, Founder, Vetted

12. Partner with Career Transition Services

Laid-off talent offers experience and expertise, adaptability and resilience, fresh perspectives and ideas, and motivation and commitment to your organization. When recruiting, try establishing partnerships with career transition services to tap into this pool of talented individuals who are actively seeking new employment opportunities. You’ll benefit from the skills and experiences they bring to your organization.

Michael Jestadt, CEO, Smart Heating & Air Conditioning

How JobsInTheUS Can Help

Since 1999, JobsInTheUS has helped employers find the top local talent they need to grow their business — through our network of state-specific job sites, including JobsInME, JobsInNH, JobsInVT, JobsInMA, JobsInRI, JobsInCT, and more.

With our popular Career Fairs, we also provide employers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with job seekers, present a company overview, discuss available positions, and respond to questions.