Unemployed? …. Do Not Apply!

A recent article posted at Huffington Post brings up the question of whether or not the unemployed should be excluded from applying for vacant jobs.  The article reports that some companies in the US are not only discouraging the unemployed from applying for jobs, but also blatantly stating “Must be currently employed” in their job postings.

A poster on ere.net had stated that “This ‘practice’ been going on for almost as long as I can remember (30+ years of TPR) now everyone is upset because a company actually said it in a job post?” Is there any wonder that the US, is still in a recession if the unemployed are discouraged from becoming employed?

The part that I am having a hard time understanding is what makes someone who is currently employed in the wake of so many layoffs, more employable than someone who was let go due to the recession? Some might say that if the person was really good, s/he would still be employed. But, if you are employed and currently looking for a job wouldn’t that suggest that you are unhappy with your position, company, boss, or are on the list to be fired? And how does this make you more worthy than the pool of unemployed candidates that are team players, top performers and will be real go-getters because they want and need a job.

I don’t know the answer. I just hope this isn’t happening in Canada as well as the US.

I would like to think that since we are a in a better economic position, we would not discriminate against the unemployed. And since I would like to think we would be less discriminating, I did a little research on the major job boards and Craigslist.

In my search, I found that there were no ads specifically requesting that candidates be employed. In fact, I found a few ads stating they would prefer to hire someone who is currently unemployed.

This does raise the question – is this practice going on in private in Canada? Do the resumes of the unemployed undergo more scrutiny than the resumes of the employed? What are your thoughts on this issue? Where do you stand on this?


Dana Sebal has over 10 years Marketing and Human Resources experience.  Outside of her professional career, Dana’s passions include her family, rowing, running, tennis, skiing, yoga, and Beagles.

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2 Responses

  1. The offending organizations are likely working from the assumption that employers don’t layoff their brightest stars. Which has some truth to it – I have seen managers use budget cuts as an opportunity to get rid of performance problems. Avoiding the stigma of unemployment is definitely an added hurdle for great people whether they are in the US or Canada.

    • Very true. It is unfortunate that this happens, and as you say, it is a large hurdle for candidates to overcome.

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