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Unemployed Are Not Being Considered for Some Open Positions – #Fail

A disturbing trend in recruiting involves employers not even considering the resume of someone who is unemployed. Here’s the text from a recent job ad:

“Will not consider/review anyone’s resume who is NOT currently employed — regardless of the  reason.”

The company who posted the ad believes that it’s better for them to get a new employee from the ranks of those who are currently working and happy. Hmmm…

Now we can debate the pros and cons of that logic but in a world where there are multiple candidates for any job, employers need to find some way to separate qualified from unqualified candidates. Apparently, under the law, using current employment status as a filter for screening candidates is not illegal unless it has a ‘disparate impact’ on minority groups.

Whining about how this isn’t fair won’t get us anywhere. We need to ignore these companies and find a job. For the employed who are looking for a new opportunity I suggest that you stay away from any company that uses a person’s ‘current employment status’ as a criteria for employment. When they have cuts, what will the criteria be? People whose parents need care? People whose children have a chronic illness?

If it looks like discrimination and sounds like discrimination… it probably is.

For those of you who are unemployed, my suggestion is– DO NOT spend 2 seconds thinking about these short-sighted employers. If you are consistently building your skills (in this you have the advantage over your employed brethren) and have a positive attitude; it will all work out. Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

18 Responses
  • Duane Hallock
    July 7, 2010

    If I were unemployed, I’d be quite frustrated to be screened out by such a myopic company. On the other hand, I’d also be praying that I’d never be hired by such an employer. While it may be “hell in the hallway,” I’ll bet it’s an even hotter hell on the other side of that door.

  • Deborah
    July 7, 2010

    Duane, I totally agree! what might seem like the fire is really only the frying pan. These employers will pay big time in the long run. thanks for your comment, Deborah

  • Josette
    July 8, 2010

    I read a similar article recently and was appalled that employers are engaging in this tactic. Of particular concern is that those of us who are unemployed and over 40 are presented with a double whammy. I am constantly trying to keep up with trends in my field; even taking a graduate course on internet marketing and new media at my alma mater (where I earned a masters degree two years ago in order to provide a competitive edge). What the heck else are we supposed to do?

    Just yesterday, I applied for a position through a staffing agency. One of the questions on the online application was whether or not I was currently employed. Why on earth does the staffing agency want to know this? I hesitated, then decided to click “yes,” because I have been doing some independent consulting during this period of unemployment. I sure hope my answer doesn’t appear dishonest.

  • Deborah
    July 8, 2010

    Hi Josette, You are doing a good job in your job search. It’s clear you are being proactive and that will pay off. Patience is key. I kept my consulting practice for just this reason. Hang in there.

  • Dave Conroy
    July 18, 2010

    My personal thoughts about this ad is that employers of this sort are a minority as I have not seen and ad like this at all. With that being said it is simply not worth the time or effort to be offended by this, move on and forget his employer. I will add some common sense the employer who placed this ad, be careful of the type of employee you are wishing for. A lot of times employees are poor performers and they may have the hindsight in realizing their company is going to get rid of them soon anyway so they beat them to the punch and begin looking while they are employed. We all know our qualifications and being unemployed for me was not my fault it is just what happens when pharmaceuticals merge.

  • Doug H.
    July 19, 2010

    I have read several blogs about companies seeking applicants who are employed and can see the implication this has on us who are unemployed and over 50. Though it is the hiring companies’ perrogative to filter us out, it does not mean we can not submit our interest for this job, especialy if our qualifications and skill set closely matches their needs and we have properly networked ourselves into the company. The pre-screen criteria in the posting is only a filter, but we are wrong if we rely ONLY on this filter to put ourselves out of the race. Like any job, the right person with the right skills needed by the hiring company gets the job and I am sure the hiring manager responsible for the posting knows this. In addition, if the posting is made through a recruiter, I would not fret over this either; submit your response, the recruiter may have other postings we are not aware of that may be a better fit for us.

    My take on this, go for the job that fits your skill set and network yourself to the hiring manager. That is the best way to become a viable candidate, regardless of the filter.

  • Henri T
    July 20, 2010

    A sad artilce showcasing a recruitment action using criteria that eventually will end up in court. Selection criteria must be based on bonafide job related factors. Being unemployed is not a bonafide job related factor. If are not bilingual and the job requires it that is a job related reason not to interview or hire someone. Eventually, one of two things will happen to companies like these. When the market flips their competitors will have better staff and run then out of business or someone in a protected class will sue on this criteria and win and start a class action suit.

  • Anonymous
    July 29, 2010

    Another sad trend, being offered $20 an hour as a contractor for a short term job that is worth $60 hour, because “you’re unemployed, anyway, and this will look good on your resume.”

  • It’s posts like this that keep me coming back and checking this site regularly, thanks for the info!

  • Johann S
    August 18, 2010

    It is disturbing to read about the practices by some employers that unemployed candidates will not be considered. Who are these companies? Why aren’t the company names out there? Should these companies be protected in a web article? NO – get the names out there so we don’t waste any time dealing with such despicable hiring practices.

  • Deborah
    August 18, 2010

    Johann, thanks for the comment. So far, I haven’t seen the documentation as to which companies but I’m with you. Whichever company is finding employees this way is NOT the kind of place most of us want to work. Let’s keep our eyes open.

  • Julia
    September 8, 2010

    I think it is a waste or your time being concerned with these knitwits. There is no enlightening them. Put one foot in front of the other everyday and you will find your way.

  • Mary
    October 12, 2010

    OMG, the company must be nuts! I can’t believe that they are passing on some of the best talent they would ever have the chance to hire. I’d rather know up front that this is a company running scared instead of ready to grow.

  • jake3_14
    November 7, 2010

    To Henri’s point about starting a class-action suit, the SCOTUS is about to take that right away from us: The only reason for the SCOTUS to hear a case on a matter that has long been considered settled is that they want to change the restrict or abolish the law on the matter.

  • Deborah
    November 8, 2010

    I wish I had something intelligent to say about the Supreme Court and the cases it selects to review. I don’t. I just received a check for $4 from Verizon presumably brought about by a class action suit. In a world gone slightly mad, what makes sense? Common sense is a precious commodity. If you have it, please share it often.

  • Bobbi
    February 17, 2011

    Wow! There is a treasure trove of experience out there and the people are more appreciate and happy to be employed and would not take it for granted. I know because I am one of many of whom are unemployed at the moment. I am very positive and proactive toward finding my next job. I guess I will be staying away from those companies. It is a vicious cycle. People lose jobs. People stop buying. Companies lose money. Put people back to work so consumption goes up and everyone wins.

  • Yanks
    June 30, 2011

    Common practice, whats even more frustrating is taking short term positions only not be considered by another short term company because you have had too many in the last year.
    Wheres the logic in that?

    Hello, people are taking anything they can to work.

  • Deborah
    July 1, 2011

    Hi Patrick, I agree this is a frustrating cycle and there’s only so much one can do about it. I do think that more organizations are understanding that short term work or ‘contract’ work is what helping both companies and workers get by right now. I believe the whole nature of work is changing. More and more people will do free lance, short term work and move from project to project instead of company to company. We currently don’t have the appropriate legal or financial mechanisms to pull this off — but we will. Keep on truckin’!

    What do you think?

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