One of the problems facing the long-term unemployed today is that the rest of us – i.e., the people with jobs – think these people are either lazy or have no marketable skills. We beat our chests and proclaim if we lost a job, we’d be out the next day, looking for work until we found a way to make ends meet.

The truth of the matter, according to a recent study by The Brookings Institute, is that really isn’t the case. If you were to lose your job – something that could happen to any of us at any moment – you better find a new one, fast. Because if you don’t within a few weeks, Brookings found that there is a very high chance you’ll join the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

And what does that mean? Study after study – including a recent and exhaustive one done by The National Bureau of Economic Research – shows that the vast majority of employers are much less likely to hire people who have been without a job for a while. So chances are, your resume – no matter how impressive – will be one of the first to find its way to the recycling bin.

In the end, your chances of landing a job will be bad – real bad. The Brookings Institute study found that during 2008 to 2012, of the people who fell into the bracket of long-term unemployed, only one in 10 found “steady, full-time work.”

Clearly, this is an issue that affects an entirely too large segment of our population, including potentially you or I. Meanwhile, companies are also hurting as well, as they are discriminating against a population of people who have the potential to be great workers.

So what’s the solution?

  • Remove the stigma organizations have against the long-term unemployed. As described, the odds are stacked against them and it is not an indication of their talent level.
  • Give all candidates a shot. That is best achieved using VoiceGlance or a similar program that allows all candidates to have their voices heard.
  • Take a chance. The long-term unemployed is of group of people no different than you or I, they just fell on hard times. And frankly, to be pragmatic, most come cheap and hungry. That’s a recipe for a rock star employee.