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Staffing firms join Obama effort to help long-term jobless

February 04 2014

Several staffing firms and the American Staffing Association endorsed a new set of best practices from the White House aimed at removing barriers against the hiring of long-term unemployed. The staffing firms joined a list of more than 80 large companies and more than 200 small- and medium-sized firms in endorsing the practices.

The White House announced the list Friday.

“Kelly Services has numerous success stories in helping the unemployed transition back into the workplace in the same — or a different — industry,” said Carl Camden, president and CEO, Kelly Services (NASD: KELYA), one of the staffing firms endorsing the best practices. “Staffing firms are a logical gateway to employment as individuals can ‘test’ a position and company prior to making a commitment.”

In addition to Kelly Services, other staffing firms endorsing the best practices include ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN); Seaton Corporation; Day & Zimmerman, the parent of staffing firm Yoh; Magic Johnson Enterprises, the parent of Magic Workforce Solutions; and Employment Connections.

“It’s a cruel Catch-22 — the longer you’re unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem,” President Obama said in remarks delivered Friday regarding the best practices. “Now, this is an illusion, but it’s one that unfortunately we know statistically is happening out there. According to one study, if you’ve been out of work eight months, you’re likely to get called back for an interview only about half as often as if you’ve been out of work one month — even with the identical résumé.”

The best practices include:

  1. “Ensuring that advertising does not discourage or discriminate against unemployed individuals.”
  2. “Reviewing screens or procedures that we use in our recruiting and hiring processes so they do not intentionally or inadvertently disadvantage individuals from being considered for a job based solely on their unemployment status.”
  3. “Reviewing current recruiting practices to ensure that we cast a broad net and encourage all qualified candidates to consider applying, including the long-term unemployed.”
  4. “Sharing best practices — including success we have achieved with hiring the long-term unemployed in our own company — within our organization and across our supply chain, with staffing firms, our employer associations and the broader business community.”

For more on the best practices, click here.

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Jay mattern 02/04/2014 09:13 pm

While this sounds great, it is nothing more than an effort to capture some free publicity. C'mon people, we're the STAFFING INDUSTRY. All of the things mentioned in this article we should be already doing. Who would avoid placing a qualified candidate in a billable position, regardless of how long he or she has been without work? If you want to really make a difference (Kelly and Manpower), quit talking about it and put someone to work today.


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