This statement is wrong for so many reasons. First of all, if this were true, here in the US there would be nearly 4.5 million college graduates NOT WORTH HIRING! However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the college-grad unemployment rate is around 4%.
Secondly, unlike the well-known fact “ALL guys named Bill are terrific people”, generalizations are meaningless because of the myriad of reasons a person may be unemployed. There is an abundance of highly skilled professionals like lawyers, accountants, techies, doctors, and C-suite residents, who amassed a small fortune and have left the workforce to pursue leisure – to take a break. In a recent survey by the Rand Corporation, 39% of employed workers over 65, report they had previously retired. The reasons for returning to the workforce vary from the lack of having fun when their spouse still works, to the belief their work is meaningful, and they need the money for themselves or someone they care for.
In the world of IT, specialists thrive on contract assignments, temporary assignments lasting from 6 weeks to 18 months. These highly paid, consulting jobs fulfill their entrepreneurial spirit and desire to see the corporate landscape before landing the PERFECT position. And, since these individuals are well paid and can often easily find jobs, assignments are often followed by extended periods of downtime and vacations. Many times, after experiencing several corporate cultures, these IT professionals are better suited to “settle” down with a career at a particular company. Another factor aiding to the desire to transition from a consultant to an employee is a spouse or family – security and benefits can play a large role.
Corporate restructuring, either self-imposed or as the result of new ownership, often creates gaps in the working careers at all levels, from the shop floor to the C-suite. While many companies provide parachutes with extended benefits, transition counseling, and cash, the resume-gap can be real. GREAT talent is often sent home with a box of personal belongings. Case in point: Does the name Jack Dorsey mean anything to you? As a 29-year-old NYU dropout, living in a small apartment in San Francisco, Jack was a freelance coder for companies in the Bay Area. In an attempt to keep his head above water, he applied for a job in a shoe store and was turned down. He then ran into Evan Williams (founder of Blogger) at a coffee shop and Dorsey is now one of Silicone Valley’s mega-stars having co-founded Twitter and founding Square.
Even the best of us can overlook great talent!