Career Competent Employees
Lance Haun | Rehaul
July 15, 2010
Every day, it seems like a new depressing story pops up about the unemployed. Some employers won’t hire them or think being unemployed is a scarlet letter. Others who are disproportionately impacted because of their age, race, disability or veteran’s status tell stories of months without an interview. Still others who are stuck in the never ending cycle of submitting a resume, interviewing and not getting the job. Not because they aren’t qualified or aren’t doing it right but because there are hundreds of qualified people too.
Then there are harder stories. People selling houses, losing things and even marriages and other family ties being dissolved.
There is a lot of hand wringing that happens in HR circles over this stuff. I don’t think a meeting of HR people has gone by without talking about how many people have been laid off. HR people sharing war stories of prepping layoff papers. As if we need another personal reminder about how grim the picture is for some of these people. What it feels like to layoff a guy who is 50 years old when you’ve heard the stories about what many of them have to do to find work. Or single mom’s. Or young people. Or minorities.
I consoled myself with the fact that we offered severances, that I would offer to look at their resume or help connect them with people in my network. But it’s not enough. A pat on the back and a reassuring smile worked in good times. You know the guys and gals who worked hard and were smart would get picked up. Not anymore.
We need to do more. As a group of people who know what it is like out there, we have to do more. The people that read this blog, the HR pros, the business leaders and the folks in the know, we all need to do more.
Now some of you may be stepping back and thinking, “Hey, wait a second. This isn’t my responsibility. Remember you said HR is all business. How is this business?”