Out of work for longer than six months can be a problem for professionals. The findings of the latest unemployment report makes it difficult for job seekers to explain why they are still unemployed. With the unemployment rate at 4.6% job seekers are now faced with a shrinking job market. Being unemployed for longer than 6 months is considered as long-term unemployed. The long-term unemployed could be facing added challenges that recently unemployed job seekers don’t have to deal with.
Are The Long Term Unemployed Being Treated Unfairly?
There is a growing trend among companies interested in only candidates who are recently unemployed. Some companies have posted jobs stating that unemployed need not apply. Not knowing how each company views the long-term unemployed our belief is that there is a perception that the long-term unemployed have some reasons contributing to their unemployment. You should keep your relevant skills sharp and explain what you have been doing during this period of unemployment to stay sharp and competitive.
So Is Being Out Of Work For Longer Than Six Months A Problem?
The answer to this question is no. It is not viewed as discrimination when all candidates are treated fairly. There are no state or federal laws that would consider the unemployed a protected class. It is not illegal to treat the long term unemployed different than the currently employed. Job creation is a hot issue in this country. We will begin to see discussions of legislation protecting the unemployed against discriminatory practices from employers.
What if the rejected candidates belong to other protected classes such as women, minorities and people over the age of 50? Our advice to employers is to hire the very best candidate for the job. With companies facing increasing competition and the need to remain competitive and profitable you should want to hire the very best candidate?
So Companies Have Tough Decisions To Make
As an employer any time you turn your focus away from hiring the best qualified candidate, you compromise your selection process. This is when you are opening your company up to discrimination claims.
Finally, it is the skills and experience that a job seeker offers your company is what will sustain and grow your business.