Stuck in Job Search; This News Won’t Help


WOW!, with all capital letters and an exclamation point. I have nothing against people with a criminal record receiving another chance, but I was floored upon reading the following:

A survey from Bullhorn, a Boston-based maker of recruiting software finds that people who have criminal records but are holding down a job have an easier time impressing hiring managers than people who have been out of work for two years or more

The numbers in the "out of work for two years through no fault of their own" category are growing. To have that serve as another major strike in finding future employment seems more than unfair.

Forbes magazine has the following recap of the survey:

Among other questions, the survey asked respondents to rate, on a scale of one to five, who would be most difficult to place. Forty-four percent said someone who has been unemployed for more than two years would rate a 5, while only 31% said someone with a (non-felony) criminal record would be most difficult the place.

The rough total number of unemployed or underemployed people right now is 23.1 million. That includes discouraged job seekers, those actively looking for work (12.5 million) and the 8 million people who are working part-time but wish they had full-time jobs. The Bullhorn study suggests it’s far better to take a part-time job than to do no work at all.

The survey also reveals that the range of time that job seekers can be unemployed before recruiters and hiring managers start souring on them is between six months and a year, according to 36% of poll respondents. Seventeen percent said that being out of work for fewer than six months would also make it difficult to place someone in a job. One ray of light: Only 4% said it is simply difficult to place anyone who is unemployed, no matter what the duration.

The survey also asked about job-hopping, or staying at a job for less than a year. Recruiters don’t like to see this. Thirty-nine percent said job-hopping was the single biggest obstacle for an unemployed job seeker. Hiring managers also don’t like to see gaps in employment. Twenty-eight percent said they saw it as a big obstacle when evaluating candidates.

The survey offers one bit of encouragement for older job seekers: Respondents said a 55-year-old with a steady employment history was easier to place than a job-hopping 30-year-old with less than a year in one place.