Frustration Friday: Hiring and Unemployment

As you may have heard, apparently some people trying to hire folks for open positions have decided that having a job is one of the major qualifications for getting a job with them. Yes, this is a case where the best qualification for coming to their company is apparently that you're currently employed and willing to leave. People that are out of work are apparently out of luck as well, leading to a strange Catch-22, and evidence that some HR departments don't know what the hell they're doing.

I've tried wracking my brains as to why any sane, rational human being would use this as a standard for hiring, and as far as I can tell it's like the Microsoft rule. You don't get fired for recommending Microsoft is a solution, and if someone you hire turns out to be a bad choice, then you don't have people judging you that you hired someone unemployable because you can say "hey, they had a job at the time!"

However, as you may guess I think this is incredibly stupid. So stupid that it rates both the Frustration Friday and a series of bullet points! So get ready for formatted anger.

So, why do I think this is incredibly stupid? Let me count the ways (and bullet point them, of course).

  • First of all, there's the disloyalty factor. Do you actually want to always hire someone willing to skip out on their current job? Have you investigated their background and see if they're prone to skipping jobs anyway?
  • Second, there is the question of competency. Have you ever thought of the fact that maybe they want to leave for good reasons, like the really really screwed up their current position?
  • Third, there is what I like to call "the you're an ass" factor.  Congratulations, nameless HR person, you've just made you and your company look like a bunch of insensitive clods. By deciding that you only wanted to hire people currently have jobs you have guaranteed you've pissed off anyone who's unemployed, and if you do hire them, they are going to trust you much less–with good reason. Nice job, nameless HR person.
  • Fourth, you have just opened your company to potential claimant discrimination suits! Nice job as well, say hello to the EEOC.
  • Fifth, you are in an unethical jerk.  You may just think you're doing your job, but really, do you buy that excuse?

So, yes, I think making current employment and a factor in hiring somebody a stupid idea on many levels.

I'd like to end this frustration Friday with some useful suggestions or wisdom. So let me reach out to all those HR people the decided employment should be a factor in hiring people.

Don't do it.

Steven Savage