SHRM Joins White House Initiative to Help Long-Term Unemployed

Article excerpt

More than 300 business leaders and elected officials from throughout the nation traveled to the White House on Jan. 31, 2014, to meet with President Barack Obama and discuss ways to expand and improve their efforts to recruit and hire the long-term unemployed. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is contributing to the initiative, and SHRM President and CEO Henry G. "Hank" Jackson attended the event.

"Every worker needs a fair and equal chance to find a job," Obama said during the event. "We need to find ways to look past long stretches of unemployment and see what the real skills and talent are there."

The White House is asking private-sector employers to examine their corporate hiring practices and commit to eliminating discrimination against job applicants who have been unemployed for long stretches of time.

Prominent U.S. employers, including Wal-Mart, Apple, General Motors and Ford Motor Co., have committed to the initiative. The president thanked SHRM and the Business Roundtable for developing inclusive hiring policies and best practices for employers.

"It's time for some of us to begin thinking differently," Jackson said. "In one of the toughest economies the United States has ever seen, unemployment on a candidate's resume is more of a white flag than a red one. Employers must be able to recognize the human capital potential in the ranks of the long-term unemployed. …