About six million people were looking for work in the US in May.
More than five million people have given up the search but still want to work. Businesses are struggling to recruit and retain workers as the labor shortage continues.
Some businesses may be leaving out certain groups of candidates.
Daniel Zhao, senior economist and data scientist at Glassdoor, previously told Insider that people with disabilities and formerly incarcerated could be the answer to businesses’ hiring problems. There could be more than 100 million workers.
According to a report published in 2020, there are over 70 million Americans with a criminal record, 536,000 people with a disability, and 47 million people receiving Social Security benefits.
The groups of workers tend to see more job opportunities in a hot labor market. In a time when remote work is more common, people who need accommodations or feel uncomfortable in an office setting are even more able to find work from companies nationwide. Even though they could be the answer to their staffing crisis, experts say businesses overlook talent pools they are not familiar with.
According to a press release, Robin Erickson, vice president of human capital at The Conference Board said that organizations willing to overcome deep-rooted beliefs about how work should be done will have an advantage in this war for talent. It will expand the candidate pool and the diversity of thought and experience within your organization by hiring from underutilized groups.
Discrimination still reigns when it comes to hiring practices
According to a press release from The Conference Board, other groups of job seekers that are overlooked are migrants, refugees and college students. Abbey Carlton told Insider that people who don’t have a college education and “opportunity youth”, as well as those who are between 16 and 24 years old who are not in school or work, are two groups of job seekers who tend to be underutilized.
It is hard for those considered opportunity youth to get a foothold in the labor market, according to Carlton.
According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, the employment-population ratio of people without disabilities has been about three times higher than the ratio of people with disabilities.
Mia Ives-Rublee, director for the disability justice initiative at Center for American Progress, previously told Insider that there are people who want to be employed if they can’t find a job. Discrimination, barriers to being able to apply and obtain a job, and the ability to maintain a job are some of the problems that remain.
There are barriers that may make it harder for job candidates and workers with disabilities to get a job.
Josh Basile, community-relations manager for the accessibility firm accessiBe, previously said there are barriers in the recruitment, hiring, and retention phase of employment.
More and more job postings note that there is a higher share of searches for terms related to fair chance hiring. Based on Indeed data, the share of job postings that note fair chance hiring is still low. According to AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, the analysis shows that the tight labor market is helping pull in groups of workers who are often overlooked.
The benefits of reaching out to these underutilized groups of talent have been shared by experts. The “Ban the Box” campaign can be used by those looking to attract more workers who have criminal records or have been previously imprisoned. According to the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Path forward, they can offer returnship programs to attract unretiring workers.
Some job seekers with disabilities prefer remote work options.
Konkel said that remote work has been helpful for individuals with disabilities because they can be in a more comfortable environment in their home.
The chief operating officer of the National Organization on Disability previously told Insider that people with disabilities have been advocating for flexible work before the Pandemic.
Konkel previously told Insider that employers want to be able to fill their positions. “They want to be able to get enough workers to be able to meet consumer demand, and exploring undiscovered pools of talent is one way to hopefully get the workers that they need.”