Job Search Discrimination Against the Unemployed
Job Search Discrimination Against the Unemployed
I had a year-long Triber ask me what I thought of an article about discrimination towards the unemployed.

He is a skilled, experienced tech person who has been unemployed for a year and curious as to what I thought about President Obama’s efforts to make the unemployed a protected class (which was successful in some capacity in some states in the US).

My answer?

I don’t pay attention to it and I think focusing on proving it or disproving it is a waste of time.

It won’t land a job seeker a job.

Look… Let’s say discrimination against the unemployed (not interviewing someone because they are currently not working because the employer assumes they have dated skills, are lazy or are unemployable in some way with out evaluating each person) is 100% real.

Let’s assume that we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it exists and is the sole reason why this Triber is not employed right now.

What does that do? How does that help?

Can you take that proof, that “win,” and go collect a paycheck somewhere?


All this proof does is justify a victim position – oh, poor you, not being able to find a job because of unemployment discrimination.

<stroke your hair… there there…>

You can’t even buy a cup of coffee with that sympathy…

Spending time researching it, proving it and justifying it simply wastes minutes that can be spent doing activities to LAND A JOB.

After a few emails back and forth, here was my final response:

“You have been on my list for about a year. Have you read my other posts? I always say don’t go through recruiters or HR. Third party recruiters are paid by companies to find specific talent. They get parameters from their clients who pay them and deliver candidates with those requirements to get paid. And yes, companies don’t want to pay a fee for unemployed candidates that they can get on their own. They want the hard to find, fresh to the market talent for the fee they will pay.

That’s not discrimination, that’s economics.

Luckily only about 10% of hires happen through recruiters. 70% of hires happen through networking.

However, you can reach out to 50-100 Directors of IT, who being IT people may see your potential & bring you in to train you for those positions that need a few days of training. An HR person is directed to find a certain set of parameters. An IT director will see potential.

I have been writing about that for the past year you have been on the list. Have you done some of the following:

How many Directors of IT have you reached out to directly?

How many IT networking events have you been to?

Of the IT directors you reached out to, how many of them have you reached out to more than one time when you didn’t hear back from them the first time?

If you did reach out to 50-100 Directors of IT, and didn’t land a job, did you find another 50-100 to reach out to… until you find a job?

How many school alumni have you reached out to in the spirit of networking?

Any school networking events attended recently?

Any time spent researching if unemployment discrimination is real is not productive. It feeds victimhood, my opinion. So I don’t have a comment and I’m not an economics expert. I know I have seen people be unemployed for 2 years get work doing the above and I have seen 17 year stay-at-home parents that have regained employment at the level they had before going out of the workforce to raise their family. And none of them found it depending on a recruiter.

Does unemployment discrimination exist? Probably. But your choices are (1) to accept that it exists and continue to reach out to the wrong people, research articles that justify your belief you are being discriminated against and remain unemployed. Or (2) even if it’s 100% true, say ‘screw it. I’m going to be different’ and stop doing the same tactics that aren’t working and quit researching articles that justify your victim hood. And then do what I mentioned above.

You only need to find one job. You don’t need to solve the unemployment problem.

So stop approaching recruiters, if it’s not working, and try new tactics.

Good luck.