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TT&S Weekly

TT&S Weekly (9/24/12)

Topic of the Week  Hiring Manager Bias

Hiring Manager Bias, Executive Summary:

  • Unemployed: Use the time well
  • Job Tenure: Stay at least a year
  • Skills: Take all training you can
  • Why you left: Avoid firing if you can

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Hiring Manager Bias: And How to Overcome It

Wouldn't it be great if you could peek inside the head of the person interviewing you for a job to see their biases? This is especially difficult if you haven't looked for a job in a long time and thanks to a new study, you now can. Which reminds me of the NFL replacement officials. If you haven't heard the National Football League has replaced it's regular striped shirts with a rag tag group of former high school and college refs. Their inconsistent calls have created a media and Internet firestorm.
It may be next to impossible to predict the calls from the new NFL refs, but it's now easier to get inside the head of hiring managers since Bullhorn (a company that makes recruitment software) recently polled 1,500 of them. Here are three intriguing findings. Almost half of the recruiters are most concerned about hiring the long term unemployed, while only 31% are most concerned about hiring candidates with a non-felony record. The easiest age to get hired? In the 30's. Next easiest? Not the 20's, but the 40's. With the 50's and 60's very tough. But older people shouldn't get too upset, because a 50-year old with a steady job history is easier to place than a 30-something job hopper. Here are the top four concerns of those hiring and what you can do to allay their fears.
Unemployed. 36% of hiring managers have a bias against the long term unemployed. I talked with one recruiter who told me that she realizes that a lot of people lost their jobs during the recession. She says that's not the issue. To her the key question is what did you do while you were unemployed? Did you go back to school? Take a part time job? Volunteer? Or just hang out on the couch with Jerry Springer?
Job Tenure. 39% are concerned about job hoppers. Ever been stuck in a crummy job that you just couldn't wait to leave? Unfortunately it is probably better for you to stay in the job longer than you'd like so that you don't appear to be a job hopper to someone looking to hire.
Skills. 31% take issue with candidates whose skills are out of date. Take all the corporate training you can. Heck, even consider paying for training that your employer won't pay for. Your skills are the key to your getting hired in the future.
Why you left. 78% of hiring managers surveyed had a problem with an employee who had been fired. So if you think you could be fired from a job, try to negotiate with the company to lay you off, anything to prevent having a firing on your resume. Don't ever lie, but also try to avoid the "F" word in an interview.
Show that you used your time without a job intelligently, are loyal, that your skills are up to date and that you left on good terms and you'll become a replacement employee that everyone can depend on.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week


Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from Bullhorn

    Size Matters: The Length of Time Unemployed and Hiring

    • 4% of hiring managers say it is difficult to place anyone who is unemployed
    • 17% say that being out of work for fewer than six months makes it difficult
    • 36% say that it takes between six months and a year for this to become a problem.