There was a time when a resume gap was a red flag for employers. But this should have never been a barrier to employment. Coming out of the pandemic and uncertain job market for two years, many very qualified candidates might have a gap in their resumes. Here is how to fairly evaluate a candidate with an employment history gap.
Evaluate All Skills and Experience
Rather than focusing entirely on why someone hasn’t been working, review their previous experience. Is it relevant to the job? Do they demonstrate the ability to learn new things? Did they advance during their last time in the workplace? Did they volunteer their time during their period of unemployment? If so, in what?
Someone who has been out of the workplace for a while may be a significant hidden source of talent. They’re eager to learn, excited about the opportunity, and want to do a good job. Be open-minded to match their transferable skills with the job.
Know What Are Red Flags
However, not every resume gap is the same. There may be some cases where time out of the workforce could be a red flag. For example, if they say they didn’t need or didn’t want to work, it’s right to question why they are looking for a job now. You can also look for behavior patterns, such as starting multiple jobs where they leave after a very short period.
Ask About the Gap
It’s okay to ask questions. There are so many reasons someone isn’t working. It might be for medical reasons, to take care of children or other family members. Maybe they went to school. If so, you want to discover why they chose to return and what they hoped to gain from the experience. Be sure to avoid questions prohibited by anti-discrimination laws, such as those about pregnancy, disability, gender, or family status.
Are you looking for great new talent in hidden places? CornerStone Staffing can help, so contact us today.