Recruiters: criminals welcome, but not long-term unemployed

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Two candidates apply, both with a two-year employment gap. The former, it turns out, spent some of that time in prison, while the latter has just had bad luck. So who would you hire? All things being equal, it seems more managers would take the ex-con over the unpopular.

A new Bullhorn survey shows US recruiters found it was “easier for recruiters to place someone with a criminal record (non-felony) in a new job than it is to place someone who has been unemployed for two years.”

The recruiting-software company’s survey of 1,500 hiring managers and recruiters indicated that more than a third of recruiters believe “the single biggest obstacle for an unemployed candidate in regaining employment is having a history of ‘hopping jobs,’ or leaving a company before one year of tenure.”

The next biggest group (31%) said those who had been out of work for more than a year cause the most difficulties, while gaps in employment history was the third highest with 28% saying it was their top headache.

Other top findings include that respondents in their 30s are most sought after, getting fired is “severely damaging” to future employment prospects and having out of date skills make it hard to find placement.

Which of these apply when you’re looking for candidates? Would you rather hire someone with a criminal record than someone with two years of unemployment?

  • Wendy Rose on 2012-10-22 12:00:46 PM

    In our particular line of work, a criminal record would be a "no-go" for employment. When hiring for positions with a high degree of responsibility and authority to make essential decisions, we rule out those whose previous choices were so poor as to have caused them to be convicted of a criminal offense. In a time of high unemployment coupled with intense competition, a gap in employment is not as uncommon as it was 10 years ago.

  • Serenela on 2012-10-22 12:44:04 PM

    Agreeing with Wendy Rose. The results of the survey are a bit concerning. And yes, recruiters have to get their minds around the fact that the employment world is not what it used to be and that long tenures are, in many industries, a thing of the past.

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