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Wed, Aug 31, 2011

Ideas & Trends

Updated: Monster Speaks Out Against Employment Discrimination

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UPDATE on August 31, 2011: We continue to closely review our site and are not aware of any job postings that exclude the unemployed. As before, we welcome our job seekers to notify us of any inappropriate job postings, and we remain committed to our proven process of working with our employer customers to address any job posting issues.

UPDATE on August 19, 2011: In light of the continued public discussion and comments on this blog post, we’d like to update a few points we think are being misrepresented. For years, Monster has had the highest standard in our industry regarding what we allow employers to post on our site. As we’ve stated below and in our earlier statement in February, we oppose discrimination in the hiring process. Per our standard practice, we reviewed our site and determined that less than one one-hundredth of one percent of the postings on Monster had any language excluding the unemployed. As of this writing, we are not aware of any postings on our site that exclude the unemployed. We will continue to monitor our site closely and address this and similar issues with our customers. We welcome our job seekers to alert us of any inappropriate posting using the red flag that appears above and below every job posting. We have been, and will continue to be, an advocate for our jobseekers.


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Published August 8, 2011:

It’s hard enough to be unemployed without the added obstacle of discrimination based on, ironically, being unemployed.  Companies that exclude the unemployed from hiring consideration are missing important realities about talent and how to find the best matches for their organizations.

Monster addressed this issue some months ago, but we think it is worth raising again in light of the recent increase in media and advocacy group attention on the issue.

As an advocate for job seekers, Monster opposes discrimination in any form.  Monster has strict guidelines prohibiting discrimination on the basis of, for example, race, 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. These policies are in place because the activity is illegal.

While we oppose discrimination against the unemployed on numerous grounds, we believe it is the responsibility of employers themselves, rather than Monster, to decide what they say in their job postings and how they want their company to be viewed.  We believe that any companies intentionally excluding this segment of the population from consideration are missing out on great talent and putting their reputations at risk.

Employers owe it to all their stakeholders to identify and cultivate the best talent and remove obstacles for qualified candidates to join the workforce once again. Many of those laid off in the recession are victims of structural changes in their company as a result of strategy shifts or economic conditions; they are not out of work because of lack of skill or poor performance.

Who among us doesn’t know a great person in this situation?  Systematically excluding this group of candidates is simplistic, arbitrary and potentially leaves a valuable portion of the talent pool out of the running.

Fortunately, we see only rare occurrences of this kind of exclusionary language contained in the job postings on our site.  Media reports highlighting Monster in association with this issue overstate the frequency of this occurrence, at least on our sites. While we cannot speak for other job search and recruitment sites, we at Monster know that ads with this type of language are limited to a tiny fraction of our overall postings.

Further, when we identify those postings, we reach out to the relevant employer and advise them of our view that this is poor recruiting practice.  The advocacy groups targeting Monster are doing a disservice to job seekers by deterring them from the world’s largest marketplace of job opportunity because of a small group of companies who are the exception to the rule.

How Monster is Meeting Its Mission

Since our inception, we’ve always been an advocate for job seekers.  Our mission is to inspire people to improve their lives through the world of work.  That’s why we created the “Keep America Working” tour of 100+ career fairs across the country.  We spent over $5 million to create opportunities for employers and unemployed people to connect face to face, at no charge to either.

Unlike others in our industry, our services are uniformly free for job seekers.

Today, we continue our commitment to help seekers through a range of public/private state and local government initiatives among many other services. We’ve created and host Power Seeker Workshops to help people hone their job-seeking skills; we participate in career fairs across the country; and we are forming strong working relationships at the state level.

In Ohio, for example, we created the employment clearinghouse website, OhioMeansJobs.com, which allows Ohio employers to post job listings for free.  OhioMeansJobs.com has already connected numerous Ohio job seekers and employers and provides a vital tool in strengthening the state’s workforce.  We want everyone who wants a job to have a great shot at getting one.

At the end of the day, everyone wins when great people get connected with great opportunities.  We will continue to advocate for every individual having a fair opportunity at employment.

Discrimination based on employment status is bad for job seekers, for companies looking for great talent and for the overall global economy.

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