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Should Unemployed Job Seekers be Ruled Out? Some Think So

by | Jun 16, 2010 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Traditionally, recruiters have sought out job seekers who are already employed, as opposed to those who are not.

Apparently, they are even more prone to doing so in the current economic climate.

According to a recent article (“Looking for Work? Unemployed Need Not Apply”), companies and recruiters are increasingly letting unemployed job seekers know that they shouldn’t even bother applying for their open positions.

What’s startling are the lengths to which companies and recruiters are going to communicate this, such as including the phrase “Unemployed candidates will not be considered” right in the job posting.  It doesn’t get any more direct than that.

After all, they don’t need to include such verbiage in a job posting in order to rule unemployed applicants out.  So what does that mean?  It means that companies and recruiters are simply being overrun with applications, and the easiest way to address that is to convince unemployed job seekers to not even bother applying.

Is it against the law to rule out an unemployed job seeker?  Absolutely not.  Recruiters and companies can do it all day long.  However, can it be considered a good business practice?  That would depend upon who you ask.

The fact of the matter is that it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to find a “diamond in the rough,” so to speak, to uncover an unemployed job seeker who lost their job due to reasons beyond their control and who could add significantly to a company’s bottom line if given the opportunity.

Considering the current state of the economy and the job market, companies and recruiters don’t appear willing to make that investment of time and effort.  They’re willing to gamble that there aren’t any hidden gems among the unemployed, instead taking the time they save by not looking for those gems to lure the currently employed superstar candidates away from their present employers.

Here’s the harsh reality.  Do companies think that everybody who’s currently unemployed lost their job because of performance reasons?  Basically, the answer is that companies don’t care.  Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.

Companies are taking the stance that whether or not job seekers lost their job for performance reasons doesn’t matter to them; they’re not going to expend the energy to find out one way or another.  Simply put, it’s not worth their time and it’s not worth the risk.  More than ever, time is money . . . and companies (and by extension, recruiters) are safeguarding both as closely as ever.

Should unemployed job seekers be ruled out automatically?  Is it worth the time and effort to find a potential “diamond in the rough”?  What are your thoughts?

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