A new survey has found that hiring managers and recruiters believe it is easier to place a candidate who has a job -- but who also has a criminal record -- than a person who has been unemployed for more than two years.
Bullhorn, the recruiting software company, conducted an anonymous survey of 1,500 recruiting and hiring managers last month and asked them to rate the difficulty of placing certain candidates on a scale from 1 to 5. The company found that 44 percent of respondents rated candidates who had been unemployed for two years or more as a five: meaning "very difficult" to place. Forty-three percent rated those candidates a four, which indicated "difficult" to place.
But when it came to people with non-felony criminal records, just 31 percent of hiring managers rated them as a five, and 32 percent rated them as a four.
"As you try hard to claw your way out of unemployment and you don’t succeed, you become less employable," Vinda Rao, a marketing manager with Bullhorn, told The Huffington Post. "It's completely antithetical to how we'd want it to be."
Rao said that while the criminal record versus long-term unemployment paradox was a surprising and unfortunate finding, it highlights the fact that job-seekers should seek out any strategies they can to combat the negative stereotypes that come with being out of work.
"Take on part-time jobs if you can't get a full-time job. Do volunteer work. Just do something that seems like you’ve been learning new skills and doing something with your time," Rao said. "Anything you can do as an unemployed person to calm that stereotype is in your best interest."