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.)

The headline?

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:

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,


Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Wow, simply wow. Way to take advantage of an eligible workforce!

I truly hope this practice stops. As an experienced hire searching for work in a new country (I'm hoping this country isn't the same) how could I hope to integrate myself professionally if I'm not given the chance?

Naka said...

this is terrible :/

Naka said...

i meant as in what happening not your blog post btw...

Dancing Branflake said...

Well, you said it perfectly so I really have nothing else to add. So much wrong going on right now.

shari @ little blue deer said...

I read this on Yahoo this morning too!! I don't usually read their articles but that one caught my eye! I am SO with you, it's insane. I really appreciated your comments. Happy to find your blog (great blog header!) and happy to be your newest follower! XO!

JoJo said...

This is terrible. Don't let it bring you down. Just keep trying and showing people how passionate you are and never give up! You always have to be your own advocate in life and there will always be people trying to knock you down along the way.
You can do it!

godessunseen101 said...

I read something like this recently ! Very inspirational I love it !

Care to follow me back ?

alice h

Alison said...

I couldn't even finish reading that article. How is anyone supposed to get a job if they aren't going to get interviews because of being unemployed?!

This whole thing is just terrible.

natalie said...

This is the kind of thing that makes me extremely grateful that I was able to get a job at my dad's office. Right now is not seeming like a particularly good time to be unemployed, especially with everything like this going on, it's just ridiculous. You definitely said it all.

JoJo said...

Just left you a a special award on my blog! Hope this brightens up your day :-).

English Rose ♥ said...

this makes me SO angry - it is COMPLETELY OUT OF ORDER!!

You said it all perfectly Heather - thanks for bringing this shocking injustice and blatant discrimination to our attention!

Merci beaucoup for your wonderful comment darling, it really means a lot - je suis très désolée for the late reply!

Have a lovely weekend dearest - and thanks so much for the award =]

Stay safe and chic ma chérie,
English Rose x

Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn;t even know employers were leaglly allowed to be that discriminatory. Does that mean that you're better off getting a min-wage job that you are overqualified for just so you are not unemployed when your preferred job comes up? People are unemployed for different reasons. They've been at school, on mat leave, etc. etc. Some of those looking for work might even have more training because they have been upgrading their skills while unemployed. - G

Diana Mieczan said...

I read it this morning and I am so with you on it...Its so bad..I could not believe it...
Hope you are having a lovely weekend:)
Kisses darling

Anonymous said...

A very relevant and compelling post. Thanks for sharing this.

Lizzie said...

Please e-mail me a bio for the collab blog by tomorrow!
My e-mail again:

Thank you.

The Zhush said...

I think if I were looking for a job right now, and was currently unemployed, this article would just send me over the edge! We need to be encouraging people right now, not the opposite!

Anonymous said...


Ally said...

ugh, i saw this too and i think you are in a different place being a recent grad, this is more for people like me who have been out of work since september and are applying for anything and everything we see :( young fresh minds are truly a diff. story i think .

FASHIONconfectionairy said...

Darling, get back up on that soap box, I entirely agree. This is disgraceful! Makes me so angry, completley illogical.

kelly ann said...

this disgusts me. and everything you said, i completely agree with. i don't even know what to say right now, this makes so angry! especially right now with our economy, and the fact that SO many hardworking people have been laid off and are now unemployed... this is just horrible.

Martina Voigt-Schmid said...

Dear Heather, what you wrote about IS horrible, we're living in strange times. But i believe they are times of real deep change - for better or for worse? We'll see. We can be grateful for being flexible and creative, for that counts a lot!

Bathwater said...

I'm afraid its true and it would be the first thing I would lie about if I was unemployed. I say I was working on something.

Phoenix said...

This is such bullshit. I'm pissed too since it happens in the entertainment industry quite a bit - if no one else has already given you an opportunity, no one is willing to give you an opportunity. And so the gates stay closes.

Why wouldn't employers want to consider people who need that job more than others??


Anonymous said...

I work in HR and I wish I could get off work early to do that, lol!

I know it does in a lot of the bigger firms, and it isn't fair. It isn't only people who aren't currently working that this happens to, either, but it's more than my job's worth to say any more than that!

Jas said...

Oh. My. God.

That's all I've got.