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HomeNewsUnderstanding Hiring Managers' Views on Employment Gaps: New Survey Insights

Understanding Hiring Managers’ Views on Employment Gaps: New Survey Insights

Understanding Hiring Managers' Views on Employment Gaps: New Survey Insights
Career Gaps Pose Concern for 36% of US Employers, Yet 95% Acknowledge Valid Explanations

While significant unexplained work gaps might deter some U.S. hiring managers from considering applicants, a recent survey by Express Employment Professionals and The Harris Poll shows that a majority of decision-makers understand and accept valid reasons for such interruptions. This understanding is crucial in today’s job market, where both employers and job seekers are navigating complex employment histories.

Survey Insights on Employment Gaps

  • Survey Results: 36% of hiring managers may be deterred by work gaps, but 95% recognize valid reasons for these interruptions.
  • Top Acceptable Reasons:
    • Health Issues: 73% hiring managers; 74% job seekers
    • Staying Home with a Child: 68% hiring managers; 66% job seekers
    • Going to School: 68% hiring managers; 65% job seekers
    • Caring for an Elderly Parent: 67% hiring managers; 67% job seekers
    • Switching Careers: 45% hiring managers; 41% job seekers
    • Dislike of Previous Industry: 23% hiring managers; 18% job seekers
  • Gender Differences: Female job seekers find these reasons more acceptable compared to men, while sentiments are equal among male and female hiring managers.

Re-Entering the Workforce After Caregiving

  • Caregiving as a Common Reason: 100 million U.S. adults function as caregivers, affecting their career timelines.
  • Expert Opinions:
    • Neil McMillan: Emphasizes that caregiving does not indicate complacency.
    • Kim Sullivan: Notes skill erosion as a potential issue, but recognizes different impacts based on the industry.
    • Bill Stoller: Stresses the importance of considering candidates beyond their resumes, focusing on skills and cultural fit.

Evolving Norms and Flexibility in the Workplace

  • Changing Norms: Historical norms of mothers as primary caregivers are shifting towards shared responsibilities.
  • Economic Impact: Low unemployment and talent shortages make dual-income households critical for economic success.
  • Employer Strategies: Flexible schedules, hybrid, and remote work opportunities can help accommodate challenges related to childcare and commutes.

Employers should be open-minded about candidates with non-linear work histories, recognizing the valid reasons behind employment gaps. As the survey indicates, the right skills and cultural fit can outweigh gaps in employment, making it worthwhile to consider these candidates for further evaluation and potential hiring.