Jul 30, 2012 02:08 PM EDT

Studies Show HR Departments Are Frowning on Unemployed


According to the Huffington Post a new research paper says that employers unfortunately tend to think less of an unemployed job candidate no matter how briefly they've been out of work. And typically the reason why the candidate is out of work also seems to be irrelevant to the employer.

"We found bias against the jobless, among human resource professionals as well as among the broader public, virtually from the outset of unemployment," said Geoffrey C. Ho, a doctoral candidate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Approximately more than 5 million Americans have been unemployed for six months or longer. Terribly this number will continue to rise as more and more Americans are laid off from work each day.

In one study that produced disturbing results, Ho, and his team asked 47 experienced HR professionals to review candidate's resumes that were identical except for one detail: Half of the resumes stated that the prospective employee was actually already employed and the remaining half stated the candidate had been out of work for only a month. Sadly, the "currently employed" candidates were determined to be better hires according to the HR professionals.

In a similar experiment conducted on students, applicants who've stated they had been laid off were in the same "no hire" category as the applicants whom stated leaving their jobs was voluntary.

The facts from these studies show a dire problem in the hiring process. The employed are not looking for new jobs as bad or as frequently as the unemployed, thus leaving a gray area in the job market. This gray area makes hiring a qualified candidate an even more tedious, difficult and time consuming task since the candidates that are qualified are also unemployed, and are being categorized by HR departments as almost "not being worthy of the position."

In 2010, in response to news stories about job listings that specified candidates "must currently be employed, lawmakers in several states proposed prohibiting employers from discriminating against the unemployed.

Biasness that is seen in the experiments conducted by Ho and his team were proposed to be banned by President Barack Obama in 2011.

According to the Congressional Budget Office the stigma of unemployment is increasing the national jobless rate by a quarter of a percentage point.

If this growing trend does not tend to decrease, the U.S. unemployment rate will begin to steadily increase at alarming rates.

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