Unemployed Need Not Apply

Okay, here’s a phenomenon we’re seeing that is probably going to outrage some of you and confirm that “life is not fair” to others.  Job listings spotted on Monster, Careerbuilder and other websites flatly state any applicant should be currently employed.  There are job ads being posted that specifically say, “No unemployed will be considered.”

Let’s just cut to the chase and list some reasons why:

  • Employed workers are perceived as more skilled and valued
  • Hiring a top performer is seen as a way of accessing a competitor’s strategies
  • Employers still may assume jobless workers were laid off for performance problems
  • Hiring managers wonder if an unemployed person’s skills and contacts are up to date
  • Unemployed often are frustrated, bitter and angry – characteristics not welcomed in new work environments
  • Weeding out the “unemployed” just helps as a screening tool for overworked human resources departments

And no, this is not discrimination.  The unemployed are not a protected class under U.S. law.  You can’t say you won’t hire Hispanics, Muslims, women with small breasts (Seinfeld), or old people – but you can say you won’t hire anyone who is unemployed.

Is this just the way the cookie crumbles or is this kicking someone when they’re down?  What would you propose as a helpful solution?


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