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Identify Barriers to Employment

Updated on December 29, 2016
Has your job search hit a wall?
Has your job search hit a wall?


Are you frustrated in your search for a job? Do you feel you are facing more rejection than is warranted by the current battered economy? If so, please read on as I will outline a variety of barriers that may be hindering your search for employment or better employment.

In the United States (and probably many other locales), employers are wary of hiring people who are dishonest, not qualified for the position sought, have questionable reputations and at the worst, violent and a danger to the organization. In short, companies pay particular attention to avoid hiring anyone who may not work out, may tarnish their reputation or in the worst case, could potentially subject them to expensive legal prosecution.

Historical Perspective

In the old days, it was enough to verify employment and education and check references of potential employees. Then, the standard drug screen was introduced for the "drug-free" work place. Next, to reduce the plethora of problems and expense that are caused by hiring risks, most employers have instituted background checking and credit checking as a routine part of the hiring process. After all, would you like a convicted embezzler handling your investments? Or a poor credit risk approving bank loans?

To see if employees really have the skills desired, employers now use online automated testing using Prove-It! tests. For example, how good are you at using Office 2007? In addition, some employers attempt to verify that potential employees are honest or are an effective worker via multiple choice personality tests and/or work ethic tests. Are you willing to work late or after hours? How would you handle a co-worker that is failing to perform, select the correct answer from the 'a' to 'e' options listed.

Enter the modern Internet scene with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace among others. Employers are now interested in knowing what kind of online presence potential employees have. Is he or she a party animal as pictures depict on a Facebook page? Does he/she like flaming or posting caustic remarks to others in public forums? Does he/she support political causes the employer opposes?

If this sounds like "Big Brother", it potentially can be and is a practice I have seen escalate rapidly in recent years. In addition, many employers may run pre-background checks while they are merely shortening the list of candidates under consideration as well as a more comprehensive check made on the final candidate.

Barriers in Current Recruiting Methods

The problem resulting from these practices is that rejected applicants rarely know the reason they have been rejected, which could be any of the above with the possible exception of knowing your score on a Prove-it! test. Perhaps the employer really did find a more ideal candidate. For an employer to tell a candidate that they have been excluded from consideration for certain reasons might be construed as discriminatory or otherwise a legal violation, so why chance it?

In addition to leaping hurdles posed by automated screening tools, job candidates still end up interviewing with a human or humans who have prejudices and possibly other criteria than meets the eye. I am no lawyer or psychologist, but the fact is employers most often will not tell you where in the process they quit considering you as a candidate.


This trend shows no sign of slowing down given the enormous cost to any company who is suddenly the focus of embarrassing media attention regarding an employee. Hiring an employee with a dubious reputation can tarnish the image of the company. For instance, I wonder what Tiger Woods's endorsers are thinking at this moment.

Worse, legal liability against a company can be established if it fails to pre-screen an unsuitable employee doing mission-critical work. The costs skyrocket when a company is found to be negligent in hiring an employee who endangers the company's clients, other workers or even the public at large.

See also my other hubs on this issue, Overcome 5 Barriers to Employment.and Odd Jobs--Employment in the Interim.


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    • MMMoney profile image


      8 years ago from Where U Can Make More Money

      Very useful information

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      8 years ago from Aurora

      Yes, it seems to me that these are used as a tool to cut down the number of candidates, not a test of can you do the work in your own way. Good luck!

    • Bella DonnaDonna profile image

      Bella DonnaDonna 

      8 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I personally really dislike those Proveit tests. There are so many ways to do the same thing, why do you have to know ALL of them?

    • Johanna Smith profile image

      Johanna Smith 

      8 years ago from Fort Collins, CO

      I don't do facebook and myspace since I know you can trash your online reputation.

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      8 years ago from Aurora

      Thanks! It has been a bit more work than anticipated, but fun!!!

    • Dark Heart profile image

      Dark Heart 

      9 years ago

      Best of luck with your business,Laura.

      Nice Hub.

    • John  Lakewood profile image

      John Lakewood 

      9 years ago from Lakewood, CO

      I agree that the not knowing why you have been screened out is a problem.


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