Study finds unemployment hurts job prospects more than criminal record

Posted by Ben Weiss on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 @ 15:11 PM

By: Ben Weiss


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For many candidates looking for computer information technology jobs, having a crystal ball to determine what aspects of their background carry the most weight for hiring managers would be most welcome. Luckily, the good folks over at Bullhorn Reach – a provider of social media recruitment solutions - recently released the results of a study that shows what pain points are sending up the most red flags in the minds’ of employment gatekeepers.

Conducted in August 2012, the researchers surveyed a mixed bag of 1,500 recruiters and hiring managers and determined what factors are most likely to either accelerate a candidate through the hiring process or terminate him/her from consideration for an open position. Here’s a snapshot of the most important findings:

  • 70 percent of respondents said that candidates in their 30s were the most placeable.
  • 39 percent of respondents stated the most damaging behavior that a candidate can engage in is job hopping.
    • By contrast, 31 percent of respondents stated that prolonged unemployment was the biggest barrier to employment while 28 percent suggested the most significant obstacle is gaps in employment history.

How significant is unemployment?

36 percent of respondents suggested that being unemployed for six months to one year exponentially decreased a candidate’s chances of getting a new gig. And this makes sense as hiring managers may fear that the candidate has allowed his/her skills to rust or hasn’t adapted to cutting edge technologies being utilized at that organization.

And if candidates aren’t seriously heeding these results, they should also note the fact that recruiters stated it is easier to place someone with a criminal background than someone who has been unemployed for two years or more. That means that you could have knocked over the local convenient store and still have a better chance at landing a new role than a candidate who has been apathetic about his/her search. Sounds like a stretch, but the data doesn’t lie.

Concerned? The IT industry is waiting.

Whether a candidate is seeking full time or contact work, the IT industry is a beacon of stability. With half the unemployment catalogued for the nation as a whole, technology professionals are in high demand and largely in the driver’s seat of the hiring process.

For example, according to USNews Money’s list of the 25 Best Jobs of 2012, careers in computer programming, computer systems analysis, web development, database administration and software development were all in the top 10 based on stability, projected growth, salary and satisfaction.

And if a candidate fancies contract work, a recent study by OnForce found that 41 percent of the 533 independent technical professionals polled expressed more optimism about their job prospects, up from 39 percent who stated the same last year.

So, if you’re among the body of people concerned with unemployment making you unemployable, then now may be the time to migrate to the IT field or sharpen your technical skills to make you more marketable to prospective employers. IT is stable, it’s sexy, it pays well and can be deployed in virtually any industry. What are you waiting for?


Infusive Solutions Inc. is a niche technical recruiting firm within the Microsoft Partner Network dedicated to helping clients hire IT professionals and taking our candidate’s careers to the next level. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.


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