This recent trend has me perplexed -the trend towards including exclusionary wording on job postings which state in various forms: “The unemployed need not apply.”
Hey Recruiters! What gives? What ever happened to “Let’s help America by putting her back to work one job at a time.”? Isn’t this prolonging the job crisis and unemployment by further dividing the “haves” and “have nots”?
After my initial reaction, I proceeded to take a closer look at this approach. I am always looking for ways to increase personal productivity and quality of candidates. Is the benefit worth the risk? Here are the pros and cons from the as I see them from the recruiting side:
· First, let me state, there is no law against discriminating against the unemployed, but statements like the above can get your organization into trouble. It can lead to disparate impact. Disparate or adverse impact is defined by the adverse treatment of one group over another by four-fifths. With the unemployment rate for Black Males at 18% in April 2010, and double the national average – this is a very real danger. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) Even if the disparate impact is unintentional, it is still illegal and the burden of proof lies with the employer.
· It reflects poorly on the organization. With a net loss of 8.2 million jobs since the start of 2008, the economic crisis has touched just about everyone in some way, shape or form. It reads as insensitive and elitist. By tacking statements such as “MUST be currently employed to be considered” at the bottom of job postings, the organization is cast in a negative light.
· It makes Recruiting appear lazy and whiny. The only benefit I can see with this approach from the organization’s point of view is that it might save the Recruiter a little bit of time screening resumes. But the negatives far outweigh the positives in my opinion. Corporate HR is constantly fighting to improve our reputation with employees, management and the community, so why would they approve such a statement when it coveys such an uncaring sentiment? Time over people? Not in the world where I want to live.
· It is counter-productive. With mass lay-offs and reductions in force becoming commonplace, there are bound to be talented people who got caught up in the misfortunes of company downsizing. Why exclude them if they were let go through no fault of their own? You might find a gem just waiting to be discovered.
· It won’t work. Many people are technically classified as “unemployed” but do some sort of work and could conceivably be an “independent contractor” depending on their definition, not Recruiting’s. And, of course, no one will lie on their resume – that never happens.
· Who would want to work in an environment where callousness is advertised to prospective employees? Probably not the best and brightest.