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Florida Search Firm: “No Unemployed Candidates Will Be Considered At All”

I have one thing to say to what follows (numerous times)... WTF

And a disclaimer: this ad we will talk about was posted on the search firm’s website, not Sony Ericsson who is the client.

OK, lets get into this.

The NBC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia 11 Alive has this story that aired a couple of nights ago, Job Listing: Unemployed Need Not Apply

It shows how the Florida based executive search firm The People Place (I am intentionally not linking to them) had a job description that included text:



UPDATED: Here is a screen shot of the ad:

The People Place Sony Ericsson No Unemployed Candidates 5

As noted in the story the description was later changed to “No Unemployed Candidates Will Be Considered”.

Like editing out “At All” makes it any better.

Seriously, WTF???

The posting has been removed from the The People Factor career page. Not shocked by that.

Click the story above to see their video and a screen shot of the job posting.

Issue #1

Why would you put that in the ad? My guess was that they are getting a number of unqualified candidates and they wanted to weed them out.

But no, it appears this is not the case at least according to this quote from the search firm:

“Looking to hire only currently employed applicants is a ‘growing trend’.”

So they did intentionally say it. Not because of lack of experience and not because of the number of inquiries but they want already employed candidates.

Issue #2

This is a trend? Really? Who are their clients?

I have been writing and speaking about how I fear that as the economy slowly moves forward and new jobs are posted that there might be a bias towards the already employed. Mainly that their skill set is still current.

But I have not heard in any of the circles that I travel an idea of only those employed being considered.

Issue #3

This is a glaring example of why companies need to keep track of how their search firms are representing them. We are an extension of the company at least in a marketing and PR sense. My guess is Sony Ericsson is not pleased to have been brought into this situation whether they actually said they wanted only employed candidates or not.

My hope is that the search firm (and speaking as a search firm guy) feels pressure to find the best candidates and in order to justify the fee those they are referring must already be employed.

While I get that line of thinking it is so short sighted it makes my head hurt.

This is another example of how Recruiters and HR staff (corporate and search firms) are poorly treating job seekers and as jobs are created those treating people poorly will find themselves not able to fill their positions.

Reputation is everything.

It may not be today or tomorrow but the day of reckoning is coming.



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Alyssa Gardina

One of my favorite oxymorons is that absolutism in all forms is always bad. But in this case, this firm is making far too many assumptions - and in this economy, that could really hurt their clients, their potential applicants and their business.

The sticking point I see is that it can't possibly be universally true that employed candidates have more current and relevant skill sets. I have plenty of friends who, during their time of employment, have actively searched out new educational opportunities and networking events.

Unemployment shouldn't be a factor in finding the most qualified employees. This whole situation is ridiculous.

Keith Privette

Wow what was the thinking here? Yes and currently employeed people just crossed that firm and potentially Sony Ericsson off their list. If you treat your potential candidates like this image if I am employed there? So with 68% of current employed people looking for new jobs, this is the last thing to be doing to dry up your candidate pool!

I think the day of reckoning are coming to a lot of companies and departments, but it will be too late and some really good company brands in the market place are going to suffer when the people that can leave do and believe me they are going to droves (pssst it is already starting to happen and companies are unaware because of the silos)

Jenn Z

My assumption of how it went down (based on years of experience talking hiring managers out of making assumptions):

Corporate hiring manager made a call to an agency and stated something they thought they wanted (no unemployed candidates) to a Recruiter that was not experienced nor thoughtful enough to coach the client effectively.

What a mess!

Steve Levy

As that great philosopher Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Gaye Lindfors

What a sad situation - I'm hoping that it was a moment of bad judgement or recklessness, and not an intentional, well-thought-out strategy. We must continue looking for the best candidate when we recruit or hire. And employers, you can't hide behind your search firms.

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