In Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

I read this article on The Huffington Post: Disturbing Job Ads: ‘The Unemployed Will Not Be Considered.’

In my opinion (Jason Alba, not Career Resumes), this should be illegal.

At the very least it seems immoral and unethical (which, imho, trumps the law anyway).

I’d like anyone who makes a policy decision like this to lose their job, for any reason.  Could be the economy (like 2009), someone at the top messing things up (like Enron), bad office politics, getting a new change of bosses who bring in their own people, a customer account tanking which causes layoffs….

It could be a number of different reasons why they lose their job – and then let THEM find a job as an unemployed person.  See how they like it.

Does being unemployed change your knowledge, skills, background, experience, or value proposition?

NOT ONE BIT.

You still are competent, expert, etc.  Maybe now you are just more available.  But you are not less of a professional just because you are for-some-reason unemployed!

I thought that one result of this last recession, with so many industries failing and so many professionals out on the street, would be that this kind of 1800’s thinking would go away.

I thought we would look differently at professionals who are in transition, or who have multiple job changes.  But these ads tell me there is still a lot of ignorant thinking to change.

You can tell this makes me mad… I’m not going to post the names of the companies listed on the article since this isn’t my blog…. but I will on my JibberJobber.com blog (or just read the original article).

What do you think – should this be tolerated in today’s world/economy?

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Showing 8 comments
  • reinkefj
    Reply

    >should be illegal

    Argh! Sorry, but I “violently” disagree. Well as “violently” as a little L libertarian can.

    Perhaps, I can illustrate the “dead end” and counter-productive nature of that reaction.

    We have laws against “age discrimination”, how well are they working? Ditto “sex”. Ditto “race”. Ditto, ditto, ditto.

    Using the “guns of gooferment” just ensures that it will be our collective feet that are getting shot.

    Let’s examine how well WW2 Wage and Price controls worked for today’s employees. We have the “benefits trap” that tie health benefits with employment by laws and tax policy that are inescapable.

    ERISA rules, make it more expensive to do business in the US.

    Departing from the original Constitutional method of financing the Federal Gooferment with excise taxes and tariffs allows the exporting of jobs overseas.

    Creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, (which by the way ain’t Federal, doesn’t Reserve squat, and ain’t a Bank), allows the Gooferment to monetize spending into debt and distort the marketplace interest rate. That creates “malinvestment” in the marketplace. And, the investor, entrepreneurs, the poor, the fixed income, and the worker suffers.

    So, please, immediately any thought of “illegality”. It will do nothing to solve, ameliorate, or even prevent the problem. Making something “illegal” just: drives it underground (i.e., age = overqualified), increases costs (i.e., EOE = dumb disclaimers on any job ad), and doesn’t solve the problem (i.e., resumes with gaps will still be dumped automagically).

    >Does being unemployed change your

    Yes, it does. It’s affects your whole attitude about life, your self-worth, and your outlook. Hopefully for the better. But not necessarily. Once you’ve been nuked, I feel you become a “turkey”. You’re never as self-confident as you were pre-unemployment. That may be good. That may be just “growing up”. That may be a spark to do bigger and better thing (e.g., you with Jibber Jobber). While you’re unemployed, some of your dikw (i.e., data, information, knowledge, wisdom) ages. Data ages badly; wisdom perhaps not at all. In the Technology arena, a month can be like a life time. (A funny story: I know one techie, who was out so long when his particular technology went out of fashion, that he went to sell cars. When that didn’t work out five years later, the technology pendulum had swung back and his tech was back in style and he picked up where he left off. Just lucky or evidence of the stupidity of large organizations. It was hard on him, but he survived.)

    >still a lot of ignorant thinking to change

    I think that contains the seed of what will happen. Don’t you think that turkeys will have long memories? What will be that company’s reputation in the future when it has to compete for talent? And, the pendulum always swings.

    And the HR type that initiated that type of restriction may not have a very long career in HR.

    The economists always point out that irrational discrimination or discrimination in socially unacceptable manner costs the company dramatically. “Irrational”, like “No blonds”, eliminates all Swedes. This means that their hiring pool is artificially constricted. If that company wants to hire a Swedish translator, they may have to pay more or be unable to fill the position. That company would be at a competitive disadvantage and would lose in the marketplace. “Socially unacceptable”, like “No “, will bring about a boycott by the minority and their sympathizers. (Note, the state transit racial segregation laws were vigorously opposed by white bus and train owners because they fear financial ruin. Prior to those laws, no one had to sit at the back of the bus.) The Free Market administers discipline quickly!

    “Eliminating the unemployed” will be subverted (i.e., everyone will have their own consulting company and internet side businesses), marginalized (i.e., folks will make them “anathema”), and eventually punished by the invisible hand of the marketplace (i.e., hiring the employed will raise their costs, they will miss “bargains”, and be at a financial disadvantage to their competitors).

    >You can tell this makes me mad

    Me2. I’d conserve your anger for the bigger “structural” problems that we Turkeys have.

    We, as a society, “we” collectively “waste” expensively a lot of “human resources”. From around age 15 to age 25, we confine workers to what is euphemistically called “school” from which they emerge with a bug debt, unrealistic expectations, and no ROI. From age 50 to 65, “we” again discriminate against the “older expensive worker”. From age 65 to 75, “we” again waste frivolously and expensively in “retirement”. With life spans lengthening and political, financial, and intellectual memes failing to recognize and adapt. we have BIGGER problems to solve.

    The silver lining is that: (1) such stupidity will be punished in the marketplace; (2) the unemployed will compete by forming their own businesses (as you know, I think were bound to become a nation of one man bands like the movie industry); and (3) Americans have rebellion, energy, and innovation in their genes and memes.

    We will survive. The turkeys will inherit the earth! So lets go peck them to death!

  • reinkefj
    Reply

    I did over look three ideas which I should have gotten in about unemployment and how it changes the individual.

    (1) It wipes out your savings.

    It does something else.

    (2) You never look at companies the same way again. Your motivation never aligns with the company’s again. Any company.

    It’s like the monologue by the character Colonel Jessep played by Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”.

    “Son, we live in a world that has walls, … … Because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want it all to be back the way it was. You hang on every illusion that it was all just a mistake.”

    Finally, one of the points I missed was that: (3) you still cling to the innocence that you deep down in your heart know it was all a mistake. Your name just wound up on the wrong list. You’re really not the turkey. But like we used to say in Delta Beta Mu a long time ago, you’re a turky because you being at the turkey farm is prima facie evidence that you’re a turkey and it was not a mistake. The sooner you learn that the better off you will be.

    So maybe you are “damaged goods”. Once you become aware of the perfidy of corporate life, you’ll never be that “good serf” that they want to work to death.

    Is that too “dark”, “bleak”, or pessimistic.

    I think we do become a nation of consultants and contractors. It’s self-defense. Against the “Man”, the corporation, and the gooferment.

    Man the barricades. The rebellion has begun? (As I timidly look to see if anyone is following the diatribe!)

  • LuEllen Buhrman
    Reply

    Sorry, but I have to agree with Jason.

    First, I have issues with the “we have too many laws already” knee-jerk response. If something is morally and ethically wrong (as I believe such hiring practices are), then there should be a law against it.

    Second, the Reaganesque “let the market sort it all out” approach is woefully inadequate and inequitable. The marketplace is far from being a level playing field and, moreover, market forces can take months or even years to effect change. So what happens to all the unemployed people while we’re waiting for things to trickle up, down and around? What about the damage down to the economy by the ripple effects of all of this unemployment?

    Due to the bleak employment outlook, I spent last year trying to make it as an independent contractor. Unfortunately, my city has an overabundance of freelancers in my field and there isn’t enough work to go around. Because of family obligations, I’m unable to relocate. I’d take out more loans and go back to school but I’m already in the black hole of “too much education.” If none of the employers in town will consider a person who’s unemployed, then my remaining options are welfare and a life of crime!

    Surely there are more people who believe, like Jason, that such hiring discrimination should not be allowed. I’m a cynic by nature and experience, but I still hope that at least some Americans also have compassion for their less-fortunate fellow citizens in their genes.

  • Adam Smith
    Reply

    If companies are free to “not consider the unemployed”, then the well informed public is also free to do everything they can to spread the word and organize a boycott against the assholes…

  • Adam Smith
    Reply

    So, as consumers, we can “not consider companies that will not consider the unemployed”…

  • Michael Hannigan
    Reply

    Anyone responsible for creating or advertising such a policy will eventually be terminated by someone with a little common sense. The only thing this policy says about the hiring party is that they are too lazy to take advantage of the enormous pool of skilled workers at a discounted rate. All they are doing is artificially constricting the workers from whom they can choose.

    Common sense tells us that when we have to choose among many options, a greater number of things to choose from will result in at least one of them conforming more closely to a given set of standards than otherwise.

    Also, supply and demand is a pretty basic principal, first taught in grammar school, I believe. No one in their right mind would arbitrarily take a supply and intentionally make it smaller against their demand than it would be if left alone. It simply doesn’t make sense.

    The only thing that makes sense with the logic of excluding the unemployed from consideration is that the person(s) doing it just don’t feel like performing the work to get the best deal. They aren’t doing THEIR jobs, and their arrogance and naiveté in such a climate, will ultimately turn the tables on them as they are replaced by those with more wisdom.

    Having hired many people, I would estimate that about half of those I’ve actually sought out to be on a team of mine were people that were recently terminated for a cause that isn’t relevant to their ability to perform the intended job duty at my company. For example, back in 2000, during the New York Times “porn scandal”, I waited until about 10 minutes after the news of the terminations there to call the IT Director and ask him for the names of those among the fired that were otherwise the best employees. Two of the best Engineers I’ve ever had work for me came from that call.

    So many people are ignorant to the fact that they are self-righteous idiots, it’s laughable. I get embarrassed for them when they tout their stupid ideas as something revolutionary, when in fact through them being naive, they are unwittingly undermining their own company. What’s more dangerous than that?

  • markm
    Reply

    After being unemployed for a length of time…and then being employed intermittantly…I began to realize that being unemployed was much better for my professional job growth…because I could learn so much more, about my field, by browsing the Internet, while unemployed.

    Working, can be a waste of time! Especially, in my case….when the heavy commute, ran through my gas, and tore my car down. I would have been better off, financially, to remain unemployed…

  • Troy Breiland
    Reply

    Unfortunately, the bias against the unemployed is a reality. Like it or not, most working people believe unemployed people are either lazy or incompetent. It’s part of human nature. If you are unemployed, choose a different title – write a blog and become an author or sign-up with a micro-consulting site and become a consultant. Don’t let anyone else define you.

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