As you are probably aware, the rate of unemployment for the “long-term” unemployed is at an all-time high; 40% of those currently unemployed have been out of work for six months or longer according to DOL statistics. In his column Hiring is Broken, HR professional Steve Gifford has an interesting take on why we need to reconsider the bias against the unemployed in general and this subset in particular. I’ve written on this topic before (Discrimination Against the Unemployed), so I was interested to see what he had to say.
A Boston Federal Reserve study reports that hiring managers are much less likely to interview people who have been out of work for six months or longer. Steve gives three reasons why people think this way:
- The longer you’re out of work, the more atrophied your skills are. You’re not current on technologies, and would have too much of a learning curve. Let’s just hire someone with current skills.
- Herd mentality. No other employer has picked this candidate up, so there must be something wrong with them!
- Unemployed people are just giving up and being lazy about applying.