A non-profit organization in our area is well known for its program to help unemployed individuals find work. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I read a job posting from this organization for an Executive Coordinator. The posting ended with a statement that any applicants who had not been employed continuously for the past six months would not be considered for the position.
In other words, while this organization continues to solicit and receive funds from contributors to coach job seekers on how to best find work, they themselves would not consider any of these job seekers, no matter how qualified, for employment.
This ad epitomizes a trend among employers around the country. They separate applicants into two categories: the Haves and the Have Nots. Those who currently have a job are considered for hire; those who do not are automatically excluded. One could make a case that having a job, any job no matter how menial, reflects a certain integrity and work ethic valued by prospective employers. However in an era when even the most menial jobs are difficult to come by, treating current employment as a prerequisite condemns the currently unemployed to become even more unemployable as the gap on their resumes continues to widen.