NewsIn a startling new survey from SmartRecruiters, an acclaimed provider of free recruiting software, it was discovered that 82% of recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources professionals reported the existence of discrimination against the unemployed. In addition, more than half of all hiring professionals reported personal experiences dealing with such situations, revealing they often felt pressured by decision makers to dismiss a candidate based on their unemployment status.

“The tolerance for discrimination against the unemployed deeply upsets me,” said SmartRecruiters CEO Jerome Ternynck. “There is an unwritten rule that unemployed candidates just aren’t qualified. Our survey revealed that 55% of recruiters and HR managers have `personally experienced resistance when presenting qualified yet unemployed candidates to clients/colleagues.’ Not only is this bad business, it’s also unfair and needs stop right now!”

In response to this growing problem, SmartRecruiters has launched a Facebook driven campaign to raise awareness of the issue and, ideally, end the negative practice altogether. Entitled, “Unemployed, Please Apply,” the campaign title is a clever spin on the “Unemployed Need Not Apply” statement that can be found accompanying many job postings recently. While seemingly unfair to job seekers – including such a statement does not technically count as discrimination because unemployment is not a federally protected status like age, race or religion, although such practices are currently under investigation by the US Department of Labor, the EEOC and the National Employment Law Project.

“I am very disturbed when I hear that employers don’t want to even look at resumes of people that have been out of work for 6 months or just (are) unemployed,” said Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis at Facebook’s announcement for their Social Jobs Partnership with the US Department of Labor, N.A.C.E., State Work Force, and Direct Employers. “It’s as though people have created this problem themselves, and that’s just not true.”

As part of the “Unemployed, Please Apply” campaign, SmartRecruiters is asking businesses to visit their Zero Unemployment Movement Facebook page and pledge to interview at least one unemployed candidate for every job opening they have. In this way, SmartRecruiters hopes to help end discrimination against the unemployed.

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