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New Trends of Discrimination in Hiring

Updated on February 15, 2013

Discrimination in Hiring Still Exists and Persists

Discrimination in hiring still exists and persists today. The only difference between now and then is that the discrimination is much more sophisticated. Contrary to popular belief, discrimination by race, creed, sex, and age are all on the downside. Methods of conventional discrimination are far too costly for most employers to take the risk. That is to say, the following discriminatory methods certainly still exist, however employers are now coming up with more subtle strategies to execute discrimination. You may have been a victim to such discrimination methods. Here is a list of "new age" discriminatory trends starting to develop:

Discrimination against the unemployed: Makes little sense when you think about it, considering that unemployment is a necessary evil even for a healthy economy. Unfortunately, the unemployed in both Canada and the United States are seen as vermin by greater society. This stigma has pushed into the very hearts of employers. Employers prefer to hire someone already employed. Believe me, I have experience with this first hand, once you put on your resume you already have a job, the offers skyrocket. The consequences of this discriminatory attitude have been catastrophic. The unemployed remain chronically unemployed, withering away, while the employed merely shuffle jobs amongst each other. This discriminatory practice is seemingly constructing a society where up to 25% of the working age population may become permanently unemployed, leaving the 75% who are left to care for them either directly through family support or indirectly through taxes.

Possible remedies: Find a way to get a job, any job. A full time minimum wage job is golden, as this proves you're reliable enough to fulfill the responsibilities of what is often a difficult and inconsistent schedule (most minimum wage jobs in the service industry involve shift work). This makes you come across as flexible. From there, the sky is the limit; you can then fight for jobs double that wage. Chances are you'll probably find getting the better job much easier than getting the first job.

Unfortunately, many unemployed people can't even get a full time minimum wage job. Rebuttals such as "you're overqualified" run amok, which are code word for "we think you're too snotty to handle this dirty job princess." As an alternative, you can try to get a part time job. However, I recommend you find a part time job in walking distance from your residence; otherwise you risk actually losing money and opportunity by taking such a job. Getting to and from work costs a lot of time and money; this is time and money you could potentially use towards job searching. Though, if the part time job is a fifteen minute walk away, jump on it.

There's always volunteer work you could potentially use to alleviate the discrimination that you're unemployed. Though, you must be careful. When seeking volunteer work you need to make sure the position has three key attributes: First, the volunteer position must involve useful skills that could be potentially transferable to jobs you may wish to have in the near future. Two, the volunteer position must have respectable references a potential employer can contact. Three, it must be a valid volunteer position that fits a real need in the community. The last thing you want is ending up with a cheap sake for profit organization that just wants free labour.

Discrimination against the ghetto: Attention, your address could very well hurt you if you live in what is stereotypically known as a horrible neighbourhood. Whether the stereotypes are true matters not, if that's the perception this could be what is used to funnel you out of an interview when everything else is equal between candidates. Unfortunately, this reality is part of an ever growing trend of classism that’s destroying society. There exists no laws that prevent people from discriminating by socio-economic class.

Possible remedies: If you have a better off friend or family member living in what is seen as respectable neighbourhood, you may ask to borrow their address for your resume. You may also want to go out of your way to visit the place as much as possible; and sleep over every now and then to make it look like you actually live there.

Discrimination against height (for men): A timeless case of discrimination overlooked by society. I'm not exactly a short man, but I'm not tall either, and I know that tall men have a great advantage. For example, not a single president of the United States has been less than 6'0. At 5'10, the odds would certainly be against me if I wanted to start a career in politics.

Possible remedies: Not much can be done here. The best idea I can suggest is buying dark black combat boots and keeping them well cleaned and polished. They can be mistaken for a fancier dress shoe if you’re crafty. Make sure to cover up the laces and upper part of the boots with the seams of your dress pants. Make sure the boots are unusually quiet when walking; the last thing you want is the "soldier walking" sound effect that will give away your position. I have such a pair of boots that propels me over the landmark 6'0; and I have used them before in situations where I thought it would be advantageous to appear taller.

Discrimination against weight (for women): Common knowledge, if qualifications are equal, a skinny woman will always get hired over a fat woman.

Possible remedies: I won't come across as condescending; you know what has to be done if you feel you're being discriminated against due to weight. Be thankful that unlike the previous samples given, it's at least something you can work on changing immediately, even despite your metabolism possibly being weak.

Discrimination against the poor: Any evidence that could potentially be used on the spot that you're poor can and will work against you. If you have credit problems, they will be discovered and this will be used against you. If you've ever been on welfare, you'll be discovered and this could potentially be used against you.

Possible remedies: Take interests in subjects the wealthy tend to be interested in. Save money and always have at least $100 in your wallet; so you won't be the one asking people around when you come across a situation where you need to throw a twenty dollar bill. Stop watching television. If you do the following, culturally you may come across as wealthier than you actually are; and this could make all the difference.

Discrimination against health: If you have a history of illness, such as me, this is definitely a red flag to all employers.

Possible remedies: You're going to have to be very crafty with your resume to fill in the gaps. You're going to have to swallow your pride and accept that sometimes you have to do a little evil, in order to achieve greater good. Yes, I'm advocating you tell a few tactful white lies, provided the lie is reasonable and believable. If this is against your ethics, understand that by telling the truth you will be discriminated against by your previous medical conditions. You worked hard to overcome your illness, the last thing you need is some entitled employer keeping you down. Besides, in many ways I could argue you're doing your employer a favour by lying, as you're most likely the best qualified candidate. All skills being equal, a candidate who overcame a major illness would demonstrate a character of higher tenacity and perseverance than someone who didn't.

-Donovan D. Westhaver


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    • truthfornow profile image


      7 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      It is unfortunate that there is so many kinds of job discrimination out there in the world. With the growing numbers of unemployed, it is really a serious problem that employers are discriminating against them. Thanks for writing about this problem.

    • DonDWest profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


      It does make sense from an employer perspective I suppose (didn't make that clear), but from a macroeconomic perspective, it's horrible practice that makes no sense at all. It can come back to bite employers. Despite having a high unemployment rate, many employers are complaining about poaching. Poaching is when a competitor scouts out your company seeking the best employees in a given position. The competitor then offers that employee the same position, but for a few dollars more per hour.

      The result is that while I’m happy for the person who got a better job, and I’m happy to know employees can still be competitive, a person like you is still out of the job. And this time, the employer might be resentful to hire again because he or she just lost money off the employee who got poached.

      Overall, the harsh reality is that unemployed people are seen as less attractive all around. Whether it is to get a job, a date, auditioning for a game show, etc.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      I had not thought about discrimination against the unemployed before. I guess it makes sense, because employers want to choose the cream of the crop. Unfortunately, for the unemployed, me included, that means that those with jobs will already get chosen first. Thanks for a very informative hub; I voted it up and useful!

    • perfumenpromises profile image


      7 years ago

      very insightful and true! great hub, thanks!


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