Thursday, June 17, 2010
It takes a lot to get me angry, but I think this article I found on Yahoo!'s home web page did it directly to me today. I cannot even tell you how incredibly disgusted I am nor the measure of how livid the blood boiling in my body is. (After several slow weeks, I must say it does feel good to get these feelings pulsating again.)
Out-of-work job applicants told unemployed need not apply
Employed or not, I had to read the article (here for your viewing, ironically from the CNNMoney web site: http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/16/news/economy/unemployed_need_not_apply/index.htm)
Because this article made me so upset, I've decided to copy and paste the entire thing in here, with little comments from me in bold inside of parentheses next to truly ludicrous statements:
The last thing someone who is unemployed needs to be told is that they shouldn't even apply for the limited number of job openings that are available. But some companies and recruiters are doing just that.
Employment experts say they believe companies are increasingly interested only in applicants who already have a job.
"I think it is more prevalent than it used to be," said Rich Thompson, vice president of learning and performance for Adecco Group North America, the world's largest staffing firm. "I don't have hard numbers, but three out of the last four conversations I've had about openings, this requirement was brought up."
Some job postings include restrictions such as "unemployed candidates will not be considered" or "must be currently employed." (You Must Be Kidding Me Moment #1. In this economy with families and recent college graduates struggling to make ends meet, you will not grant these individuals, with qualified skills and work experience, an interview or even a look at their resume unless they are employed?) Those explicit limitations have occasionally been removed from listings when an employer or recruiter is questioned by the media though. (So if the media doesn't intervene on what is obviously a wrong practice, you'll continue doing this? Or grant us the "blessing" of occasionally removing this from listings? BULLSHIT!)
That's what happened with numerous listings for grocery store managers throughout the Southeast posted by a South Carolina recruiter, Latro Consulting.
After CNNMoney called seeking comments on the listings last week, the restriction against unemployed candidates being considered came down. Latro Consulting refused to comment when contacted. (Of course they did. Because if they did comment and own up to what they did, then the person responsible for posting this "requirement" would be fired and suddenly unemployed. Which would make them unable to get hired! Being a grown-up and admitting to your own mistakes must be lost on the people at Latro.)
Sony Ericsson, a global phone manufacturer that was hiring for a new Georgia facility, also removed a similar restriction after local reporters wrote about it. (Well, now I know where not to buy my products from. And where to discourage my friends and family to not invest with.) According to reports, a Sony Ericsson spokesperson said that a mistake had been made. (Could you specify this? Or in spelling bee terms, use it in a correct sentence? How very vague of them.)
But even if companies don't spell out in a job listing that they won't consider someone who currently doesn't have a job, experts said that unemployed applicants are typically ruled out right off the bat. (Does this even begin to sound logical to anyone? I understand ruling individuals out for not having the proper skills or experience, but they don't even look at the resumes! Blood boiling rate: 6.9 on a 10 scale.)
"Most executive recruiters won't look at a candidate unless they have a job, even if they don't like to admit to it," said Lisa Chenofsky Singer, a human resources consultant from Millburn, NJ, specializing in media and publishing jobs.
She said when she proposes candidates for openings, the first question she is often asked by a recruiter is if they currently have a job. If the answer is no, she's typically told the unemployed candidate won't be interviewed. (Dear Recruiters, you remember that scene in Knocked Up when Leslie Mann is screaming at the doorman for not letting her into the club and telling her to go to the back of the line? Yep. That's you Recruiters. You are not God. Remember that.)
"They think you must have been laid off for performance issues," she said, adding that this is a "myth" in a time of high unemployment. (Surely they are aware of the phrase about assuming things and what it does to both you and me?)
It is not against the law for companies to exclude the unemployed when trying to fill positions, but Judy Conti, a lobbyist for the National Employment Law Project, said the practice is a bad one. (No offense Ms. Conti, but no shit Sherlock. I fully believe this should be against the law. You have to sign the job application agreeing that everything you wrote is truthful and to your best knowledge. If you take the time to fill out this form with truth on your side, it is extremely unfair to be excluded simply for stating said truths.)
"Making that kind of automatic cut is senseless; you could be missing out on the best person of all," she said. "There are millions of people who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer feels that the best qualified are the ones already working, they have no appreciation of the crisis we're in right now." (Much better, though I beg to differ on the "you could be missing out." You would miss out! Every person, big or small, brings something necessary to the company, regardless of what their position may be.)
Conti added that firms that hire unemployed job seekers could also benefit from a recently-passed tax break that essentially exempts them from paying the 6.2% of the new hire's wages in Social Security taxes for the rest of this year. (Oh honey, you didn't say that loud enough for the fat cats to hear. ALL CAPS PLEASE! HEY CORPORATIONS, YOU LIKE MONEY? WANT MORE? HIRE THE UNEMPLOYED AND YOU'LL GET TAX EXEMPTION!!!)
Thompson said he also thinks ruling out the unemployed is a bad idea. But he said that part of the problem is that recruiters and human resource departments are being overwhelmed with applications for any job opening that is posted. So they're looking for any short-cuts to get the list of applicants to consider down to a more manageable size. (Basically, HR wants to make their jobs easier so they can get off half an hour earlier to catch the Happy Hour specials at T.G.I. Fridays and talk about how much they can't stand their jobs/that the new girl Anna's skirt was too tight and everyone was looking at her in the office especially the men and whyyyy won't they look at me even though I'm married and refuse to wear any makeup. Meanwhile, there's a lot of hopeful thumbs crossed for a position that won't even warrant an email back, acknowledging that they received their application. Little hopeful wishers, I have a secret to tell you that you won't want to hear: This isn't the job for you. Sure, it's a paycheck, but is that worth it in the end? You're destined for better things and they are coming. Patience, I promise.)
"It's a tough process to determine which unemployed applicants were laid off even though they brought value to their company and which ones had performance issues," he said. "I understand the notion. But there's the top x percent of unemployed candidates who are very viable and very valuable. You just have to do the work to find them."
There's a lot of issues I get upset about and fight for. Arts in schools. Scholarship funding increases. Giving children homes and food. The right for everyone to be treated with dignity and to have basic needs fulfilled.
This just took it to the next level. This is injustice in the work force. During this period of time, when we are all looking for change and for help in finding our footing after losing it, this happens.
I'd really like to know how you feel about this. You guys are incredibly bright, astute individuals and to hear your opinion means more to me than my own (it must be my journalistic nature; I've long considered the words of others to still be 10 times more intriguing than simply mine).
I'm climbing off my soapbox now.
Love to you all,