Employed or Unemployed: Who Would You Hire?


For those of you who are hiring--I'm guessing there are a few out there--do you lean toward those IT pros who already have a job, or those that are currently unemployed?

Columbia Business School Professor Rita McGrath takes a look at this issue in this blog post.

Her analysis of a story in The Wall Street Journal about hiring tendencies today:

"Apparently, many believe that those that are unemployed were their former employers' lower-priorities, poor performers or otherwise non-superstars. By hiring someone who already has a job, they reason, they are reducing their risk of picking up someone who is a second-class performer."

There's definitely some logic there. But then again, there are plenty of talented IT pros out there that found themselves jobless simply because their companies had to cut back due to the recession. Quite a challenge for CIOs.

IT pros, what's the reality for you? Have you opted for one or the other? And what kinds of results have you seen?

See also:

9 IT Staffing Projections for Q3

7 Books to Help You Hire the Best People


10 Comments for "Employed or Unemployed: Who Would You Hire?"

  • Bruce Derflinger December 28, 2009 3:26 pm

    There are many reasons a person can become unemployed or underemployed and looking for full- or part-time work. One good example of this is part-time technical or college-level instructors. We teach the latest technology to your employees and with the recession and the cutbacks in schools, part-timers are the first to go. Due to this many of us are out of work or underemployed. Yet, when a teacher applies for a full- or part-time job we are basically told that we can't do the work because we are teachers (who you send your employee to for training) and "teachers teach but can't do." Some of your best potential full- or part-time employees who know the technology, have experience troubleshooting it, and can think fast on their feet, may be available.

  • Peter November 17, 2009 12:01 pm

    I agree with the poster above, as somebody who was overlooked in the job market for five years. During that time I learned a technology that is now massively in demand, but it took a brave start-up company to give me the benefit of the doubt in the first place. Don't look simply at the work record--look at their online portfolio.

  • William Right November 05, 2009 10:37 am

    I totally agree with the last comment. An unemployed individual is more capable of doing a good job because of he/she is eager to work. So, never under estimate the unemployed.

  • Ronde August 30, 2009 4:46 pm

    I know many an innovator who is unemployed because laggard management doesn't consider him part of the "team." The question for the innovator is always, am I worried more about keeping my job, or doing it? For the laggard, keeping his job is paramount. Hire the unemployed innovator who has kept up with his education and certifications.

  • John August 07, 2009 5:42 pm

    You hire the best. Period. The best will pay for themselves. It doesn't matter if they are currently employed or not. You can outsource the tasks that require only commodity skills, the tasks that can be performed by a scalable workforce; the people who, if given simple instructions, can perform the grunt work. But where you need expertise, you hire the best, pay them well, and position them as subject matter experts who understand your business in a layer of detail that most don't need to grasp.

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