We Just Placed A Candidate Who Hasn’t Worked For 13 Years…

Posted On 26 Oct 2018

We Just Placed A Candidate Who Hasn’t Worked For 13 Years…

26 Oct 2018

Candidate Resource, Employer Resource, News & Events

We Just Placed A Candidate Who Hasn’t Worked For 13 Years...

… and here’s why

With no end in sight to Sydney’s candidate short market, we’re working creatively with our clients to widen tried and tested search parameters and shift recruitment mindsets. And we’re achieving some great results.

One recent standout success was the placement of a superstar candidate into a prestigious EA role. Her point of difference? She’d been a stay-at-home parent for almost 13 years. At EST10, we know good talent when we see it and we’re delighted to say she’s already proving to be a huge asset to her new employer.

Although many of our clients are leading the way with innovative diversity programs and support for employees becoming new parents, the return-to-work parent candidate pool is often, and wrongly, overlooked or dismissed. Discriminative attitudes or unconscious biases are leading many employers to make incorrect assumptions when it comes to the skills and commitment of return-to-work parents.

I was therefore interested to read a recent survey published in the Harvard Business Review which found many employers are biased against candidates who have stayed at home with their children, even preferring unemployed candidates who have been out of the workforce for the same amount of time.

Remarkably, the employers surveyed viewed stay-at-home candidates as less capable, less reliable and less committed to work than unemployed candidates.

But here’s what we’re finding.

As most employers will know, a candidate short market can oftentimes engender a sense of entitlement and complacency amongst candidates. EST10’s latest Market Update for 2018/19 delves further into this phenomenon. Our recent return-to-work candidate, however, demonstrated a level of enthusiasm, dedication and commitment that is becoming all too rare.

She had great skills and completed our testing immediately. She was flexible and driven, even juggling home commitments to make a last-minute interview on time and where she excelled. And since starting her role, she’s unfailingly reliable and focused, multi-tasks with ease and meets deadlines without exception.

At EST10, we also come across the assumption that parents who have been out of the paid workforce for a long time are somehow less skilled or that their skills have become rusty. Again, this is not always our experience.
Managing a household with children finely tunes problem-solving, organisational and time management skills, and is one of the best environments to develop resilience and innovative thinking. In the case of our recent return-to-work parent placement, she had also been volunteering for several years in preparation for her next career move.

We’re finding the return-to-work talent pool refreshingly focused and ready to re-embark on their careers with positive energy and drive. We encourage all employers to see the value in and embrace parents returning to the workforce.