A glimmer of hope is on the horizon.
With the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in full swing and another from Johnson and Johnson on its way, many of us are holding our breath to see if this is really the end of the pandemic. We’d sure like to hope so!
There have been a lot of changes made to our businesses, day-to-day interactions with customers, friends, and family, and even our employee relationships. While also revealing our weak spots, the growing pains from the pandemic have made us stronger in many ways.
As we go into this new phase of optimism and hope, we must remember as business leaders not to leave anyone behind. We must stand up as leaders in our communities and remember what unites us.
Many hardworking Americans have been out of a job for several months. These are people who are good at what they do but were in the right place at the wrong time. It can be daunting for these folks to get back onto their feet and out into the world without business leaders who are willing to take a chance on long-term unemployed candidates. We want to encourage you not to ignore the talent pool in front of you.
Here is why hiring long-term unemployed candidates is worth it.
Don’t think about it as charity. When hiring employees who have been down on their luck, chances are you’ll both benefit overall.
Employees who were formerly unemployed for the long-term are more appreciative, loyal, hardworking, and committed to the place that gives them a chance. This is great news for your bottom line because productivity is through the roof. Some of the best employees you have ever had might be hiding in the talent pool.
Who says doing the right thing doesn’t pay? According to the US Department of Labor, entrepreneurs who hire “individuals from 10 targeted groups,” such as the long-term unemployed, “who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment,” can get a tax credit through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Although the WOTC technically expired on December 31, 2020, expiration is not unusual for this policy. It regularly “expires” and then Congress renews it again, oftentimes retroactively. So, keep an eye out for the next renewal, or be proactive and start hiring now to reap the benefits retroactively. It’s a worthwhile investment.