I'm just tossing this out here. When did we become so callous and short-sighted that the new norm in job posting language is something like: "If you're unemployed do not apply for this job."?

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Now this should be an interesting topic........


This subject has been discussed 2-3 times to my recollection.  The most recent Blog post was:

Bill Would Ban Discrimination Against Unemployed In Hiring


Employed or Unemployed? That Is NOT the Question.

To which I responded: 
Comment by Valentino Martinez on May 19, 2011 at 1:24pm
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This is an important subject and as recently as May 12, Debbie Fledderjohann covered the same subject in her blog entitled:  Will “Unemployed Discrimination” Become Illegal?

It's unfortunate that some employers/hiring managers need to be reminded that considering an unemployed job applicant does not necessarily mean they are forgoing the pursuit of quality candidates. It amounts to “Head in the Sand Thinking” to presume that quality candidates for employment do not exist in the unemployment line. 

However, it is good to hear that soon employers/hiring managers who are identified as blatant discriminators of unemployed job applicants--will come under the scrutiny of State Attorneys General and Federal officials who are expanding Fair Employment Laws to have provisions to also protect the "unemployed" job applicant from selective discrimination. 

Unfortunately, employers and recruiters who practice this "HEAD IN THE SAND THINKING" will continue as if nothing has happened—because all they have to be mindful of is not to advertise their bias against the unemployed.  So, it’ll be business as usual—the unemployed will be shuffled out of contention and that is that.

Is there a solution that goes beyond legal pressure for getting the unemployed professionals fair consideration for employment opportunities?  From my 40 years in the business of recruitment I’ve discovered it will happen in the trenches.  Yes, like most recruiters (internal or external), I too have been given the direction from hiring managers that they prefer and essentially will only consider the “gainfully employed or passive” job candidate.  I say to them, as I said way back then and today, that my focus is and will always be QUALITY. And I will present highly qualified, high potential candidates who will be a mix of:  gainfully employed, passive, and between jobs—and will include a true diversity of backgrounds.  And they will WOW you—particularly if they are added to your team.  For the past 38 years this method has worked for me and many a hiring manager has discovered the true value of candidates they hired--some of whom happened to be unemployed at the time they were first considered for employment.


Unfortunately right now this language perfectly legal. On August 1st, New York Times economics reporter Catherine Rampell discussed the recent trend of help-wanted ads specifically asking for only the employed to apply. She was a guest on The Brian Lehrer Show on NPR.


"Perfectly legal" doesn't make the activity of rejecting a fellow human being right simply because they are between jobs.

What is perfectly justified is to remember those employers, who operate in this way, and decide if their products or services are essential in your life going forward.  And if they can be rejected by you, an individual--your sphere of influence may be interested in knowing why you would make such a decision.


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