Jump to Last Post 1-4 of 4 discussions (18 posts)
  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 11 years ago


    If you are unemployed for a long period of time, BEWARE!   According to employment ads, many employers prefer to hire people who are currently employed over people who have been unemployed for a long time.   This clearly does not make any sense at all.   

    The job situation is more precarious now that it has ever been.   Many unemployed people have been looking for jobs for long term and many companies are not hiring.   Other factors such as age and other protected class status makes it more difficult for some people to obtain employment.   Oftentimes, so many people give up ever looking for jobs because of the constant rejection.    Clearly, most people who have been unemployed for periods are often not at fault, it is the economy. 

    However, many employers refused to acknowledge this.   Many employers believe that the long-term unemployed have a poor and/or unstable work ethic.  They wrongly and mistakenly assume that if a person is unemployed, especially for a long time, he/she has something to do with this.  So this person is presumed guility and is not hired.    An unemployed person, especially a long term unemployed person, is viewed as a risk by many employers.   They simply do not want "the bad apple" so to speak.   

    So many unemployed people, especially those who have been unemployed a long time, are in a Catch-22 situation.  They want a job but NO ONE will hire them, looking at their work history.   How can a person work if no one hires him/her?    Please TELL me, somebody!    So the unemployed remain unemployed.   This is discrimination against the unemployed.    What many of these employers refuse to acknowledge that many people are unemployed through no fault of their own, particularly in these precarious times!   Companies/corporations do not want to hire long-term unemployed people and society wonder why there are so many unemployed people out there?  Logic has clearly flown out of the window!    What do you think?

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I think you are totally wrapped up in the problems of the unemployed and refuse to consider the reasoning or problems of business.

      As a businessman would you rather hire a person who has a proven work history, that is willing and able to work on a consistent basis or one that has not proven it?

      Long term unemployed can be either people that don't want to work or it can be people that are simply having a hard time finding work.  Of those having a hard time, some can be people that don't want to work bad enough to take a job that is "beneath" them and some will be people that can't find ANY work.  Of those that can't find any work at all, some will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and some will simply have no salable skills.

      Some (actually quite a few) of the long term unemployed, then, simply don't or can't find work because they will not be good workers.  They don't want to work, they aren't willing to to what is necessary to support themselves, they can't do a good job (no experience, poor health, etc.).

      The people already working at a similar job seldom have any of these problems, or they wouldn't have a job.  As an employer, depending on your business to supply you with bread and roof, which potential group of employees will you look at first?

      The only answer I can see is that the long term unemployed is forced into starting at the bottom once more, working jobs that are far below their potential and far below what they are, in other business climates, capable of earning.  This will inevitably result in the loss of cars, homes, toys, etc. and it's not "fair" (whatever that means today) but it is reality.  Part time work, short term jobs (hurting their prospects more) menial labor - these are all that's left for those without a proven work record.

      1. profile image0
        Chuck Foxposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        You're arguing generalities, and talking in specifics.

        There are many reasons to favor hiring the currently employed over the long-term unemployed, and work ethic is only one of them. There is also the fact that someone who is currently working will still be up on Industry trends, familiar with current Industry technology, require substantially less training and supervision than someone who has been out of the loop for years, and they will generally be sharper and perform better at the job.

        Unfortunately, with the current state of the economy, employment in this Country is largely a zero-sum game. Businesses have to compete, and taking a chance on someone who hasn't worked in years is a much larger risk than it used to be.

        It costs me (and by me, I mean my company) a great deal of both time, and money to train new people, and if someone doesn't workout, then that money is lost.

        As a business owner myself, my first responsibility is to my company and my existing employees. Helping the long-term unemployed is not the job of corporate America, nor can it be in the current economic and regulatory environment.

    2. Uninvited Writer profile image79
      Uninvited Writerposted 11 years ago

      Gee, the poor businesses...

      So basically if you can't find a job you are screwed, regardless of how much experience?  So many employers want exactly the skills they think they want and do not have the imagination to understand that most people can adapt very quickly without much training at all.

      I have been looking for a job every day for almost a year and a half and can barely get an interview. I am a hard worker, I have a lot of experience and I am up on the trends. Much of it comes down to my age. I have applied for many entry level jobs. I have applied to temp agencies, I have applied for part time jobs, I have applied for contract jobs.

      It's come to the point I have to create my own job as a freelance writer.

      I hope neither of you will ever be in the position of being unemployed or of losing your businesses.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        It is extremely hard now especially in these precarious times to look for a job.   I hand it to anyone who does it.   It is indeed hard out there.   Luckily, I am reitred and living on pension.   I sympathetize with you, Uninvited Writer.   

        There are many people out there who are unemployed through no fault of their own.  Likewise to those who have been unemployed for long periods of time.   Jobs are few and far in between, there are more, more, more people than there are jobs at the current time.    These people want to work and have dignified lives.   

        Many unemployed people's unemployment insurance is running out and oftentimes, there are no extensions.   Many are simply falling through the socioeconomic cracks.    It is extremely scary.    Many of these people do not have sufficient savings and often are forced to go on public assistance.    This makes me cry.   People are not cogs to be pushed around like animals,  they are human beings worthy of dignity.     

        As of result of constantly being rejected, there are some unemployed people who simply give up.  Their spirits are crushed.    It can be psychological dehabilitating to be constantly looking for work and being rejected time after time.

      2. profile image0
        Chuck Foxposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        @Uninvited Writer,

        If you honestly believe that much the reason you "can barely get an interview" has to do with your age, then we're having two different discussions. I'm talking about people who been unemployed for an extended period of time due to economic reasons, not because of their age. There are legal protections in place to prevent discriminatory hiring practices based on age, and you should look into them.

        As for companies wanting the "skills they think they want", I fail to understand your point on this; of course I want to hire someone who has the skills I'm looking for. It all comes back to "supply and demand" and not to be indelicate, or overly blunt, but it's a "buyers market" out there.

        To expect a company to give preferential treatment to someone, simply because they've been out of work for an extended period of time is just plain naive. The market determines the value of the worker (as it does with everything in a free-market society), and the market has placed a premium on the currently employed & recently unemployed.

        While I thank you for your well wishes, I have been unemployed (the downside of working for a politician is the lack of job security), and I've also had a business fail, so I am well aware of the unpleasantness (to put it mildly) of both situations.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Uninvited Writer can get assistance if there is age discrimination.   This is totally illegal.    I only know of agencies in the United States which investigate employment discrimination based upon protected class status such as age, race, color, ethnic/national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or perceived disability.   I really do not know Canadian agencies that investigate discrimination.   She should contact either local or governmental Canadian agencies that deal with unlawful discrimination.

          Those who are in their 50s and 60s have the hardest time finding jobs after they have been either laid off or terminated.   Companies and/or corporations are extremely loathe to hire those in their 50s and 60s because of costs and many employers think that these people will leave their jobs again as soon as they are old enough.    They would rather hire "cheaper" labor i.e. younger people who they can pay less.

          1. profile image0
            Chuck Foxposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I did a quick Google search and found the following:

            "In addition, private sector employers in Ontario are subject to the provincial Human Rights Code (‘Code’)[1] which enumerates age as a protected ground. Sections 1, 2(1), 3, 5(1) and 6 of the Code guarantee every person the right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, the occupancy of accommodation, the right to contract, employment and membership in any trade union:

            without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.

            Anyone alleging a violation can contact the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

            Here is the URL for the source article if more info is needed/desired.

   … anada.aspx

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Thank you, Chuck for being of help.  It is greatly appreciated.

            2. Uninvited Writer profile image79
              Uninvited Writerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Yes, but how do you prove it? Most of them don't come right out and say it. I went to a temp agency, did all the tests online and got very high scores. When I went for the interview the woman could barely look at me. Of course, you will argue that might now have been about age, and it might not have been, it might have also been my mild mobility problem. But I found it very suspicious.

              I had a much easier finding a new job when I was in my 40s.

              1. gmwilliams profile image84
                gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                That is true.  It can be quite daunting to prove discrimination.   I should know I used to investigate such cases.   Companies and corporations have their lawyers and they can play/talk a good game.    However, inadvertently, they can give away information which reveal illegal discrimination.   For example, if an interviewer and/or employer assert that he/she prefer someone without a lot of experience or they want new blood,  that could be mean that he/she wants a younger person.   It is mostly never oblivious, however durng interview, a prospective job hunter can tell if an interviewer is somewhat cold towards him/her that it probably is discrimination upon the reaction when the former first looks at him/her.

              2. The Fox Project profile image61
                The Fox Projectposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                I can't speak intelligently on Canadian policies, but in the U.S. since it's a civil matter, and not a criminal one, the burden of proof is much lower. All you really need to show is that it's "reasonable to believe that the violation is/has occurred", meaning that you don't really need a "smoking gun", you just need to show that it's more than likely that they are violating the policy.

                An example would be a large company, in a mostly African American community, with no African American employees. Is this "proof" of discrimination, no, but it's evidence that discrimination and racial bias is more than likely playing a role in hiring practices.

    3. psycheskinner profile image84
      psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

      I think most people know that long breaks in employment can make it harder and harder to get a job (unless they are for clear reasons like maternity leave).  That is why they will accept lower paid jobs or internships or go into education to avoid them. When they are unavoidable that is unfortunate but all you can do is make a clear explanation to the potential employer. Just like other 'black marks' like lacking a reference from your last job or not having held a long term position.

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I disagree only in that having a clear reason isn't much help.

        My wife was laid off in a major downsizing, and went to school for 2 years.  There was nothing available in her chosen field, and by the time that became clear she had been out of work for nearly three years.  Between that and being over 50 there just isn't anyone out interested in hiring her.  An average of 2+ applications per day for 2 years produced one interview - a headhunting firm that wanted a list of possible employees.

        My son was a househusband for years while his wife was out to sea with the Navy.  Good jobs were  hours away, and with 2 kids that isn't reasonable - the inevitable result was a series of short term work.  No one cares about the reason - the only thing they care about was that he has very little work history and what he has is poor.  No recent job - no new job, either.

        This isn't nice of business, even though there are indeed sound reasons for it.  It's just reality.

        My wife has given up - she will be a homemaker until retirement - and my son is reduced to looking for landscaping jobs (read "cutting grass") to try and get some history.  A mechanic in his own Navy history, a skilled framer responsible for running framing crews, skilled at manufacturing maintenance and responsible for running commercial power plants, he can't find work even cutting grass now after a year and a half of looking.

        1. psycheskinner profile image84
          psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Having a clear reason sometimes helps and sometimes doesn't.  It help me in getting my current job without a reference from my previous job, But employers vary a lot in how much thought they will put into really understanding their candidates. Some put in very little which is odd when you consider the value of hiring the person that is genuinely the best candidate, not just ticking the boxes.

          1. wilderness profile image94
            wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            True, some do.  In the lower paid jobs, though, the biggest concern is what they have to pay.

            In my son's case the biggest obstacle in our area appears to be the large number of illegal aliens.  They will work for sums that won't support an American citizen, can often be cheated out of even that small amount as they have no real recourse, and will work under conditions that no one else will simply because if they don't they will be turned over to the INS. 

            Step into the better paid jobs, skilled jobs, and suddenly the "competition" is dozens or hundreds of people that not only have the skills, but also have a great work record; he really has nothing to offer that others don't and can't offer the proof that he's a good worker.  Either way, he can't find work.

    4. A Troubled Man profile image57
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years ago

      There are organizations specifically in business to teach people how to get jobs today and it is very different from not that long ago. They place very high percentages (85%) on networking, how to initiate it and use it to your advantage. If all you do is put out resumes, you're sunk. They place only 5% success rate for that.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting premise!


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