If You’re Unemployed, Don’t Apply?

Unemployed Seek Protection Against Job Bias

This makes no sense to me. I would think that an applicant who’s been out of work a long time would make a great employee. They’d be grateful for the opportunity and work extra hard. Sadly, some companies don’t think so:

A survey earlier this year by the National Employment Law Project found more than 150 job postings on employment Web sites such as CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com requiring that applicants “must be currently employed” or using other exclusionary language based on current employment status.

I can see now why those unemployed for such a long time are feeling hopeless. You may be perfect for a position, but they won’t even consider you because you’ve been out of work? That just blows.

Would a law help? I don’t know. All I know is that this really sucks. I searched CareerBuilder.com and used “currently employed” as key words. There were definitely ones that said, MUST BE CURRENTLY EMPLOYED Yes, it was in bold capital letters. In one, the first question under Applicant Questionnaire was: 1. Are you currently employed? If not, when was your last day of work? That would be seriously depressing to read that in a job posting.

I hope companies give those who are unemployed a chance, though. Take a gamble. I think the odds are good that they will prove themselves to be hardworking, loyal employees. If anyone knows that being unemployed sucks, it’s them. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep from being unemployed again.

22 responses to “If You’re Unemployed, Don’t Apply?

  • Terrance H.


    I forget from where, but I heard about this a couple of months ago. It’s a damn disgrace, and sadly, no law can really help. You can say a company isn’t allowed to discriminate, but we both know that doesn’t work. Quotas are unlikely to gain any traction, but if they do, companies will find a way around them. I think the best hope for real, meaningful change is the OCW movement. We have to hit them where it hurts and keep on until the entire corrupt system is brought to its f***ing knees, and then you’ll see change that will affect the lives of the unemployed and everyone else.

    If there is extra, meaningless text at the end, it’s this dumb phone’s fault. LOL.

    everyone else. to gaib

    • Spinny Liberal

      I don’t know if a law would help either. It would be hard to prove you’re not being discriminated against based on employment status.

      Oh this extra, meaningless text? “everyone else. to gaib” 😛

  • lobotero

    I first heard about this on the Maddow Show……what a piece of crap!

  • afrankangle

    Although he has had a couple of temporary duties, a good friend of mine has been unemployed for five years. He was a manager level that was let go due to an acquisition. I’m confident that he interviews well, and one thing for sure, he is hungry to work! … and I think he would also say that there is a bias against the unemployed.

  • Snoring Dog Studio

    This is a despicable practice that ought to be outlawed. I mean that. Millions of people in this country are NOT unemployable; sadly, they’re at the mercy of vile business owners. How foolishly unproductive, too. The unemployed, employed again, would go back to purchasing things from many of these same heartless employers. Stupid, stupid. I wish for bad Karma upon them all.

  • beaglezmom

    I think a law would at least show our country is interested in justice. But, I also know that hiring is so subjective that its frequently discriminatory. We know from studies that as you look at jobs other then entry level retail – more thin people are hired than overweight people, more young people are hired than older people, more white people are hired than minority people (Sorry, Herman Cain, it’s true). The current trend of hiring the already employed is the link in a long line of corporate society pushing its desired norms onto a population that must fit in to survive.

    Long term, economic change from the top down is really the only hope to making this different. We don’t necessarily just need people camping on the street. We need people getting into boardrooms, human resource departments, and filling out those surveys and polls we all like to avoid.

    • Terrance H.

      I guess I just don’t know what you mean when you say a law would show that we are interested in justice, because our constitution pretty much makes that clear. But still we have none.

      And you make a good point that we don’t just need people frolicking in the streets, we need people to take to take other action. But the problem I see is how best to get people motivated, because the approaching squalor doesn’t seem to be turning the trick.

    • Spinny Liberal

      I definitely agree it’s from the top down!

  • Terrance H.

    And I simply mean that 50,000 people or so in the streets isn’t enough. We need to motivate millions of people, but too many are complacent.

    I just don’t think there is an answer; at least not until it gets so much worse.

  • nonnie9999

    not only would the unemployed be more grateful for a job and probably do her/his best so that s/he could keep it, but someone who is currently employed but applying elsewhere apparently has no sense of loyalty to an employer and is probably more likely to keep fishing for a better job if they’re hired for the job advertised.

    this thought just occurred to me. maybe they want people who are presently employed, because they figure they have health insurance and will be healthy, so they won’t make a new company’s insurance rates go up. if that’s the case, that would be yet another argument for universal health care.

  • John Myste

    My company seems to have a lay off every year, followed by a hiring session. I think they clean up the bottom tier of employees, who then become unemployed. In general, when you hire someone who is unemployed, you are usually hiring someone else’s second choice (or less). Those who remain employed are more wanted. That is all you know. Why? It could be many reasons, competence being one of them.

    I don’t like the phenomenon, but I definitely understand it. Hiring someone you think may be less capable is a charitable act. I am all about charity, but let’s be clear about what it is.

    If I had a small business, I would probably seek out those in need of a job. I don’t have a small business, though. I have had a few ideas, but I could just never make it work.

    • Spinny Liberal

      The thing is, John, I don’t think that the majority of the 14 million who are out of work are incompetent. And I think you’d find a lot of people in that 14 million who are not just competent, but very skilled.

      The layoff followed by hiring is interesting. It’s probably to help the books look better at the end of the quarter or year – cut costs. Especially if they’re not profitable or fall below expectations.

  • myonepreciouslife

    Wow. Besides the initial fact-checking of why the person is unemployed, I can’t see why it would make a difference to an employer unless you’re in IT or something where your skills would need to stay super current.

    I know when we are looking for people at work, we often get excited when they don’t have jobs because it means they can start right away and we don’t have to wait for them to give two weeks’ notice.

    As for job loyalty, I know my job lost it when they laid off half my department and then rehired an entirely new team in another city to do the same work. It has been made clear that it’s about the bottom line. Period. I actually like my job quite a lot, but I am also on the list with about three recruitment agencies and yeah, if something better comes along, I will go for it. My loyalty and accompanying guilt would be to my immediate team, who would be quite inconvenienced, but not to my company.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Exactly. You wouldn’t have to wait the two weeks.

      See? That’s really sad. I remember people loving their companies because of that jobs for life thing. Definitely not the way it is now. Yup, in the end, it’s the people that will suffer – not the company.

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