Tue, Jul 26, 2011
Today’s New York Times story shines a light on the unseemly practice of discriminating against the unemployed. We at Monster strongly oppose this practice and advise our clients on the risks of discriminating against any individual. The article also prompted us to take a fresh audit of the site and , in doing that, we found that there are actually very few of these postings. With that said, we hope that companies clearly rethink their position against on any form of discrimination in hiring.
Monster originally responded to this issue earlier this year and while this post was written back in February, Monster’s position remains firm:
A contentious debate has surfaced recently over allegations that some employers may be discriminating against job seekers based on current employment status. Such employment discrimination, if it occurs, is likely a product of popular sentiment that those with a job are more qualified than those without, and an attempt to manage the volume of unemployed individuals applying for a given position.
Last week’s EEOC hearing brought the debate in sharp focus and outraged job seekers have hit the Internet in protest. We’re on the side of the job seeker.
Monster has strict guidelines prohibiting discrimination on the basis of, for example, race, sexual orientation, religion or gender in a job posting. If we identify a posting that violates these guidelines, we work with that company to immediately address the issue.
But discrimination based on employment status falls into a legal gray area. Regardless of whether this type of discrimination is legal or not, however, it is certainly unwise.
There’s a very practical reason to oppose this practice – it’s not good business. Success in today’s market requires hiring the best talent. Period.
Many of those laid off in the recent recession are victims of structural changes in our economy; they are not out of work because of any lack of skill or diligence. Systematically excluding this group of candidates is arbitrary and potentially leaves a significant portion of the talent pool out of the running.
It will be interesting to see the response from the EEOC on this issue and whether formal policies will be put in place to address this problem.
As the labor market continues to improve, employers owe it to their shareholders to identify and cultivate the best talent and remove obstacles for qualified candidates to join the workforce once again.