Why The Unemployed Are Better Workers

unemployed hired good workers

It's unbelievable to me that some employers deliberately avoid hiring people who are unemployed.

Let me put this another way: Some employers won't hire you if you actually need a job.

There's an article posted on AOL Jobs right now, in which an employer explains 5 reasons why he won't hire the unemployed. I read it and it seems to me that the employer subscribes to every cruel stereotype about people who've lost their jobs.

I'll show you: I'll list each of the "reasons" the employer gave for not hiring the unemployed, along with my translation of each stereotype.

1. People who have a job are proven to be valuable.

Translation: If the unemployed were that good, they wouldn't have lost their jobs.

2. You can't be sure why the unemployed lost their jobs.

Translation: There must be something wrong with them (e.g., poor performers or bad attitudes).

3. An employed candidate has fresher job skills.

Translation: The unemployed haven't "kept up," so their skills are out-of-date.

4. The employed will adjust quicker to a new job.

Translation: The unemployed are "rusty" and have forgotten how to function in the workplace.

5. I have to watch the bottom line.

Translation: The unemployed aren't used to hard work and will take too long to get up-to-speed in a new job.

This list ticks me off! These negative perceptions of people who, in general, are jobless through no fault of our own are undeserved and inaccurate.

So I want to counter the employer's excuses for not hiring the unemployed with my own list of five factual reasons why employers SHOULD hire the unemployed.

1. The unemployed are exceptionally motivated to work.

Unlike employed people who may take their jobs for granted, we don't. We would cherish the opportunity to prove ourselves, work hard, be productive and earn money.

2. Offering a job to a person without one as opposed to a person with one is the right thing to do.

It's obvious. The person without a job needs one. The one who already has one doesn't. All other things being equal, the unemployed person should be given priority.

3. Many of us have utilized our time away from jobs to make ourselves even better employees.

Ironically, though we're viewed as rusty, we've been busy getting more degrees, learning new software and doing temporary, contract or volunteer work to keep our skills sharp.

4. In this difficult economy, job hunters have proven that we possess very desirable characteristics such as persistence, patience, resilience, flexibility and creativity.

To keep up the hunt despite repeated rejection means that the unemployed are balanced, stable and mentally healthy, all ideal traits for employees.

5. Our compensation expectations are realistic.

Despite our valuable experience, the longer-term unemployed are not prima donnas who demand what employers, also hurting financially, can't afford to provide. We're fair and respectful, and ask only to be treated the same way.

I hope that the employer in the AOL Jobs article will reconsider his negative views of the unemployed. Don't assume we can't cut it: It's not true. Give us the chance to prove ourselves!

Do you agree with my reasons? Do you have any to add? Share in the comments section below.

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Wake up America!

One of the few good things that we have left in our country is freedom of speech. I was surprised to read some of the perspectives of employers stating that some unemployed people were happy fo sit around waiting for checks. To some degree maybe there are people like this. I also believe this sterotype is harsh and cruel but respect the employers right to speak. On the other hand, I've been out since 5/31/12 and can promise you that the other 39 who were laid off with me are hating it and would take a fair job offer in a heart beat rather than sit by the computer every day hoping to make the right job connections. This is my second experience being out since July of 2010. I spent 20 years at my next to last employer and was purged out because of how much I earned. The employers always say that performance is part of the equation, but when you look around after the blood letting, the majority of the people standing after work force reduction are people with much less tenure and experience making a lot less money. They are usually the ones who bolt at the first offer they get from another competitor. Where is the integrity that our businesses were built on? There is no such thing as loyalty or transparency to employees. Today's employees are treated like disposable wipes! The unemployed are unfortunately treated worse. It's getting to a point in our society where there are the haves and have nots, a perfect formula for a rebellion. Our pinheads in Washington, the ones who are supposed to be making the educated decisions on how to run our county are cheating the public by not doing their jobs and standing up to corporations who ship jobs overseas and don't do anything to protect the rights of the unemployed. Enough is enough, it's time for the the people in D.C. to do thier jobs and get after companies that descriminate against the unemployed. Take care of the people in the US that pay taxes before shipping money abroad to pay for somebody elses wars. Charity begins at home!

March 25 2013 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don’t forget to add one reason why the employer won’t hire you is reference problem. I have previous employers and one person who was my boss is not working in company anymore. So the next employer won’t hire me. He or she prefer my old boss remains to work in company and can contact together to discuss about if my work performance is genius.

March 08 2013 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What I find interesting is that no one mentions that the employed are not always the best workers! How many of us know someone we worked with when we were employed that fit all of the characteristics the author mentions about the unemployed that we encounter with fellow employees while we were employed! One can not simply group a bunch of people together and label them. If the author wrote the article and changed it to be about race, religion or an ethnic group it would be illegal, wouldn't it? However, it seems to be OK to do it about the unenmployed as a group of people. It is some food for thought.

November 13 2012 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 18 2012 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve Cullerton

Been dealing with this BS for a few years now. Moved to Florida from NJ to a New Home, opened a business at great financial risk and 7 days a week time commitment. Employed 18 people. Then the economy killed it all in 2007.. lost home, the entire business, and have tried to get anything going since 2008. Impossible over 50 years old..

Employers have spat in my face on requesting an application, derogotory remarks galore. All after a successful 26 year career with AT&T and Lucent (who closed my department resulting in my layoff).

Unemployed people are lepers in this economy..
and males in Florida are not considered potential employees, have seen this time and time again in the fast food industry here.

Anyone here placing derogotory remarks regarding the plight of the unemployed should be taken out back, and given "a good talking to", if you get my drift. Not my kind of people.

Good article, right on the head, but we need more anger toward the employers.. don't support their businesses if they continue this trend, and let them know it.. A new social movement...

October 18 2012 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't you just hate it when you know exactly what the story will be just based on the Title?
I knew immediately that you could substitute "Why The Unemployed Are Better Workers" with
"Why Fat Girls are Better Lovers".
1. The unemployed are exceptionally motivated to work.
1. The Fat Girls are exceptionally motivated to Love
2. Offering a job to a person without one as opposed to a person with one is the right thing to do.
2. Offering to date a Fat Girl as opposed to a Skinny Girl is the right thing to do.
3. Many of us have utilized our time away from jobs to make ourselves even better employees.
3. Many Fat Girls have utilized their nights waiting by the phone to make theirs selves better dates.
4. In this difficult economy, job hunters have proven that we possess very desirable characteristics such as persistence, patience, resilience, flexibility and creativity.
4. In this difficult economy, Fat Girls have proven that we possess very desirable characteristics such as persistence, patience, resilience, flexibility and creativity.
5. Our compensation expectations are realistic.
5. Our compensation expectations are realistic.
Just saying...

October 18 2012 at 11:11 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hb341's comment

No douby coming from a male chauvenist PIG

October 18 2012 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have lost jobs because of other's jealousy. I took the time and effort to get additional training at my own expense. I was just too much competition. I was at one job where there were a lot of unethical and illegal things going on. I was trying to do the job the way the state requires and got fired for that. One boss told me I didn't write well enough, when lots of other people tell me I write very well. Many bosses are simply people who aren't good at what they do and they get promoted for it. Many women bosses are token females, there simply to keep other women from climbing the ladder. the employer stays out of trouble by putting token females in positions that are not all the way to the top. these women are used to keep other women from progressing, while they are being prevented from going further up the ladder. One boss told me that what I was doing did not fit with the job. The clients liked it and it was working. She was not qualified to do it.

October 18 2012 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My friend Scott is a "head hunter" fiilling jobs (usually $50,000 a year plus) for organizations. In the last 4-5 years he has stated that he has rarely hired an unemployed worker to fill a position. The organizations he has filled positions for have told him we would rather take a worker from someone else than hire someone who got laid off. Those who got laid off were chosen to be laid off for a reason. The oganizations that did allow him to hire an unemployed, he said the starting salary was about 1/2 of what the person who had a job would be offered.
I keep this in mind when I interview and negotiate a salary.

October 18 2012 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2012 Clark 2012

I am an employer in the construction industry in oregon. I have interviewed unemployed workers who were applying for a job i listed as a construction worker at $15.00 per hour . Most of the unemployed workers who were on unemployment benefits did not seem motivated to work and seemed more like they wanted to just relax and enjoy thier weekly unemployment checks.

October 18 2012 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was unemployed for over a year, I have no idea why people think I or anyone else does not want to work because we do not have a job? I have even been called lazy because I could not find work. I am 60 years old put myself through college; daddy did not pay my way. Owned businesses, houses and raised 3 children who I put through college, a recession and a divorce left me broke and no job. I have worked since I was 15 years old and there are those who think I am looking for a hand out, people take your eyes off of me and get them on yourself because you are clueless.

October 18 2012 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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