The Unemployed Job Seekers Seem to Get the Worst Offers

Nancy Anderson
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If unemployment wasn't enough of a challenge already, ongoing and published research reveals job seekers who are out of a job are less likely to receive a good job offer, or any offer at all. Find out what the numbers say about the odds unemployed persons face across a tough recruiting and hiring landscape.

Less Attractive Job Offers

Research from Columbia Business School and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that more than 60 percent of job offers that unemployed professionals receive come with no benefits, including basics such as retirement and health insurance. In stark contrast, the number of benefit-lacking job offers for employed workers is more than 20 percent lower. Unemployed persons are also putting up with lower-paying job offers. According to the same study, employed professionals get job offers with hourly pay averaging 48 percent higher than their unemployed counterparts

Fewer Callbacks for Some Unemployed Job Seekers

Depending on a few factors, certain unemployed job seekers are at a big disadvantage. For example, when compared to short-term unemployed job seekers, workers who've been unemployed for longer than a year are less likely to receive a callback, according to MarketWatch. After filling out a job application, professionals between jobs are also less likely to be contacted if they meet one of the following criteria: getting close to retirement age or are still in the early days of their career. However, there is some good news. In spite of these hurdles, unemployed job seekers are applying to more jobs and making up for their disadvantages. As a result, more unemployed job seekers receive a job offer in a month compared to employed job seekers.

Why Are Employed Job Seekers Faring Better?

There may be prejudice at work, as some employers may judge a worker's value based partly on employment status. But there are other reasons employed persons are getting such good offers. First, employed job seekers are more likely to negotiate their job offer. One reason may arise from current job security, which puts them in the ideal place to bargain. To rival this, unemployed job seekers should try to get more than one option on the line. If they make the potential employer aware of their alternatives, they gain some bargaining power.

People who are employed also have access to better professional networking opportunities and word-of-mouth recommendation and recruiting. Unemployed job hunters can use cutting-edge job search sites and attend open networking events for a similar boost.

Whatever the underlying reasons, there's no doubt unemployed job seekers face some big hurdles during the job hunt. Do you have some ideas for how unemployed professionals can increase their odds of scoring a good offer? Share them in the comments below.

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Rafael M sounds like you are covering your bases. What about recruiters who specialize in supply chain management? What about through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook? You can find jobs through any of these social media sites. Keep your attitude and you find just what you are looking for. @Patricia H great attitude. That's going to take you a long way towards finding a new position. But, in the meantime, if you must have work, try doing some temp work so that you are showing work on your resume. That's the issue. The longer you are out of the workforce, the fewer responses you are going to get. So, even if the temp job isn't really in your area of expertise, you can still show that you are in the workforce. Could make all of the difference when it comes to getting the interviews. All the best.

  • Rafael M.
    Rafael M.

    I have been out of work for around 2 1/2 years since I get lay off. I attended Government job-hunt workshops, took on-line software courses and some local programs in my area which is supply chain management. I had some interviews but still remain confident to have a part-time job offer sooner. Any other advice? Thank you. Raffy.-

  • Patricia H.
    Patricia H.

    Hello, I am starting at that 1 1/2 years out of work, you just persist and never give up, start where you can look , read and apply . I am beliveing my career for the second half of my life is out there.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Karen W thanks for your comment. So sorry you are going through this. Have you by chance reached out to some of your former coworkers and asked about openings where they work? Maybe via LinkedIn? What about a recruiter who specializes in your industry? The unfortunate part is that you have been out of work for at least 1 1/2 years. That does hurt your chances. Hiring companies feel that your skills would not be up to date. I don't know what industry you were in prior to your Mom's illness but, if there are courses you can take in that industry to bring you up to date, you should take advantage of them. Show some activity on your resume. Also, a recruiter can cut through all of this and present you to the hiring company. Sound like you might qualify for Medicare to take care of your health needs. With that, $15/hr should work out - at least to get started. We wish you all the best.

  • Karen W.
    Karen W.

    Try having been at the top of your career ladder twenty years ago, making 60K at that time.
    Then my Mom had Alzheimer's and I had to quit. Thought I had enough money to live the rest of my life. Then my husband of 50 years decided to divorce me. I can still teach, facilitate, and do everything I ever did but in 1 1/2 years nobody has offered me more than $15.00 per hour with no benefits. Now on welfare.

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