When it comes to resumes, gaps in employment can often be a big red flag. You see one and filter out the candidate. But in reality, your next great hire might have a huge glaring hole in their employment history – and it could be for a good reason. You won’t know, though, until you ask.
To ensure you don’t overlook a star candidate just because of a resume gap, PrideStaff, one of Phoenix’s top staffing agencies, offers these few steps to take first:
Ask about it.
Before you make a judgment call about a candidate or their resume gap, ask about it. Find out why they were out of work or took time off. Discuss whether their lack of employment was a personal decision, or whether it was due to a lay off or termination. If it was the latter, find out why. Once you have a better understanding of the situation, you can make a more informed decision about the candidate and whether to pursue them.
Find out what they did during the gap.
Beyond talking about the specific reason for the gap, ask what they did to keep their skills sharp. For instance, if they had to resign to move home and take care of an elderly parent, perhaps they accepted consulting work or took the opportunity to earn extra certifications. Just because a candidate wasn’t working in a conventional situation doesn’t mean they weren’t putting their time to good use.
Think about the positives.
When you’re hiring someone with a resume gap, they often want to prove themselves and help you to understand their value and worth. Not only that, but they could be willing to work on a contingent basis for a short period or be more flexible in terms of salary until they reach certain milestones. These are all positives when it comes to hiring and to your business bottom line.
The bottom line? Considering a candidate with a gap in employment history is certainly a risk. But it could pay off in the end with a smart, hard-working new hire who’s willing to go the extra mile to impress.
Need more help finding the best-fit people for your team?
If you’d rather leave the resume screening and interview process to experts, call in one of the top staffing agencies trusted across Phoenix: PrideStaff. Then get back to your other business priorities. We can hit the ground running sourcing and evaluating top-quality additions for your team. Contact us today to learn more or get started.