Apple joins list of US companies pledging to end hiring discrimination against long-term unemployed

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
Apple is among some of the largest companies in America who have agreed to a new program from President Barack Obama pledging to avoid discrimination against job candidates who have been out of the workforce for an extended period.

Obama
President Obama shown with an iPad 2 in 2011. Photo via The White House


About 300 businesses have agreed to support the program, the White House says. Major corporations joining Apple in supporting the president's initiative include Walmart, Ford and General Motors, according to The New York Times.

In all, 21 of America's 50 largest companies, and 47 of the top 200 are said to support the push for overhauled hiring practices. Obama has cited long-term unemployed citizens as one of the largest issues currently facing the U.S. jobs market.

Chief executives from a number of companies that have agreed to help Obama's efforts will appear with the president on Friday. Not listed among those expected to appear is Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Employers have promised that they will not automatically rule out potential job candidates simply because the person has been out of work for an extended period of time. The federal government will also agree to the pledge for its own hiring policies through an executive order to be signed by the president.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52

    Hear hear! <toast>

  • Reply 2 of 52
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Just because they say that they won't discriminate doesn't mean that they won't. People in HR have a mindset that will be difficult to break. After all, if YOU were given a choice between someone who's employed vs someone who hasn't worked for a few years, who would YOU choose?

    qualification: if both candidates qualify for the job.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    Originally Posted by JCC View Post

    After all, if YOU were given a choice between someone who's employed vs someone who hasn't worked for a few years, who would YOU choose?

     

    The one who can do the job best.

  • Reply 4 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JCC View Post



    Just because they say that they won't discriminate doesn't mean that they won't. People in HR have a mindset that will be difficult to break. After all, if YOU were given a choice between someone who's employed vs someone who hasn't worked for a few years, who would YOU choose?

    But that's not really a good criteria -- for example, I was out of work for a few months many years ago and I spent those months brushing up on new skills. I didn't apply for any jobs during that time.  At the end, I was able to find a job using those new skills.  If I had applied for that job right after the previous job, I would not have been qualified for it and most likely would not have gotten it.

     

    My point is that just because someone has been unemployed doesn't mean they've been standing still.  You have to dig in deeper than simply looking at some dates on a résumé.

     

    Perhaps these HR people are doing a service here -- do you really want to work somewhere with people who are shallow enough to only look at some dates on a résumé and make a hiring decision without asking a few questions over the phone or email first?

  • Reply 5 of 52
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JCC View Post



    Just because they say that they won't discriminate doesn't mean that they won't. People in HR have a mindset that will be difficult to break. After all, if YOU were given a choice between someone who's employed vs someone who hasn't worked for a few years, who would YOU choose?

     

    I would look at both candidates qualifications. Somebody being out of work for a while really doesn't mean very much. Both candidates are going to have to be trained in some way for the new position. Moreover, it might be possible the unemployed person is going to be hungry and loyal. 

  • Reply 6 of 52
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Is Apple's joining the list of US companies pledging to end hiring discrimination against long-term unemployed the same as a politician saying "the buck stops with me" or "I'm responsible." or "Hold me accountable." Okay, what precisely does that mean? For Apple, how will a long term unemployed candidate know that if rejected for a position it was because a lack of experience in what Apple was looking for or whatever versus being unemployed for a while? For a politician that 'takes respoinsibility', outside of facing the next election that could be a few years down the road, what consequential 'punishment' is meted out?!

    To me this is all garbage, just feel good words.
  • Reply 7 of 52

    That's kind of the problem. I would hire the person who I thought would do the job best, was trainable (many companies do not want to have to train anyone), understood company loyalty (there's a tough one). Once when flying back from San Francisco I asked the passenger sitting next to me what his job was. He said he worked in HR. Then I asked him, "Do you ever lay awake at night wondering when YOU will get the pink slip?" He sighed and said "Yes."

     

    Lots of HR people I have been around seem to have tunnel vision and no imagination. They either abide by the so-called rules or make them up as they go along. I asked another HR person about "we'll keep your resume on file" tactics. I suggested they are filed and almost immediately forgotten about. He said it was true UNLESS right there at that time the candidate with a resume could fill a job that had JUST become open. It's more about expediency than it ever was about qualifications.

     

    One more thing, this corporate insanity about everyone having at least an AA degree is absurd. It should depend on the job being applied for. One person told me that a big aluminum company required an AA degree to work in maintenance areas such as painting. I asked, "Why don't you give them a reading test to see if they can understand what they need to know about painting?" He sat there dumbstruck with no answer. I went to college with guys who graduated and I wouldn't hire many of them at the various companies I ran because they just weren't fit. I had some great employees for years and not one of them, to my knowledge, had a 4 year degree. People CAN rise to the occasion. The Federal government hasn't been in a regular hiring phase for years so I don't know WHAT effect this proposal will really have.

  • Reply 8 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JCC View Post



    Just because they say that they won't discriminate doesn't mean that they won't. People in HR have a mindset that will be difficult to break. After all, if YOU were given a choice between someone who's employed vs someone who hasn't worked for a few years, who would YOU choose?

    I would hire a gay latino/black/asian woman cross so I could fulfill my diversity requirements. What better way to build an economy than to build companies with a priority on diversity rather than qualifications?

  • Reply 9 of 52
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Sounds like another very easily ignored anti-discrimination pledge.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     
    I would hire a gay latino/black/asian woman cross so I could fulfill my diversity requirements. What better way to build an economy than to build companies with a priority on diversity rather than qualifications?


    That is ridiculous. That might be a nice characteristic for a society but companies need qualified employees to be profitable. Best way to have diversified qualified employees is through quality public education.

  • Reply 11 of 52
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     

    I would hire a gay latino/black/asian woman cross so I could fulfill my diversity requirements. What better way to build an economy than to build companies with a priority on diversity rather than qualifications?


    And that's why you're an employee, not a boss/owner. Very different priorities.

  • Reply 12 of 52
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    The one who can do the job best.


    The one who can do the best job is almost always the person who's currently employed and not someone with rusty skills. So what's your point? The fact of the matter is unless you expressly require a quota for those who are long term unemployed, this pledge is less than worthless as the status quo is the status quo.

  • Reply 13 of 52
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SmileyDude View Post

     

    But that's not really a good criteria -- for example, I was out of work for a few months many years ago and I spent those months brushing up on new skills. I didn't apply for any jobs during that time.  At the end, I was able to find a job using those new skills.  If I had applied for that job right after the previous job, I would not have been qualified for it and most likely would not have gotten it.

     

    My point is that just because someone has been unemployed doesn't mean they've been standing still.  You have to dig in deeper than simply looking at some dates on a résumé.

     

    Perhaps these HR people are doing a service here -- do you really want to work somewhere with people who are shallow enough to only look at some dates on a résumé and make a hiring decision without asking a few questions over the phone or email first?


    The problem is that most of these large companies do exactly that because all of the pre-screens are done by software.  No one bothers to take the time to closely look closely anymore at the pre-screen. Dig deeper my bu$$...

  • Reply 14 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    The one who can do the job best.


     

    Well, temper that with the fact that I can likely hire the unemployed candidate for less money. If I get similar interview results from my team, I'll look next at how much each one will cost me, and when they'll be available. 

  • Reply 15 of 52
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JCC View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    The one who can do the job best.


    The one who can do the best job is almost always the person who's currently employed and not someone with rusty skills. 


    For once I agree with Tallest. Let's say I have a professional position to fill in my firm. Should I choose a mom who has a college degree but has been out of the work force raising children for several years, or someone who does not have a degree but has been steadily working? I would choose the one who can do the job best.

     

    There are just too many variables in play to say "almost always".

  • Reply 16 of 52
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,597member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     

    I would hire a gay latino/black/asian woman cross so I could fulfill my diversity requirements. What better way to build an economy than to build companies with a priority on diversity rather than qualifications?


    That's absurd.   Diversity and qualifications are not distinct characteristics and having a diverse team can improve company performance because there's a better understanding of more aspects of any market.    As just one small example, back in the MadMen days when there were few women working in advertising agencies in meaningful roles, men thought they could determine what women wanted.    

     

    Your statement indicates an assumption that it's not possible to find qualified gay, latino, black, asian, or female candidates.   That's just an excuse for racism, sexism, anti-semitism, agism, etc.    Yep, just keep hiring white, blue-eyed, male WASPs who are members of the "old boys club" and see if you can survive in a diverse world.  

     

    And most companies who I've worked for sucked at hiring anyway, especially if HR had a huge role, so if they were using their own definition of what "qualified" meant, it wasn't very successful anyway.     

  • Reply 17 of 52
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    For once I agree with Tallest. Let's say I have a professional position to fill in my firm. Should I choose a mom who has a college degree but has been out of the work force raising children for several years, or someone who does not have a degree but has been steadily working? I would choose the one who can do the job best.

     

    There are just too many variables in play to say "almost always".


     

    Again, it's almost never that kind of choice given to HR.  The software prescreen will always turn up people with similar qualifications, often you're choosing between subtle differences between the candidates.  And if one candidate has been unemployed for a long time that's automatically tossed by HR. Like I said, why bother when there are plenty of employed ones to chose from?

     

    There are literally hundreds of candidates that apply for most openings.  You're saying that an employer has to chose between a mom with a college degree vs one without? I don't think so...

  • Reply 18 of 52
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JCC View Post

     
    There are literally hundreds of candidates that apply for most openings.  You're saying that an employer has to chose between a mom with a college degree vs one without? I don't think so...


    I'm just saying there are reasons someone might be out of the workforce for an extended time other than being unable to find a job. It also really depends on the type of job that is being applied for. Certainly a position in IT would require up to date computer skills however a job in something like public relations might focus more on language and personality characteristics. 

  • Reply 19 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    zoetmb wrote: »
    That's absurd.   Diversity and qualifications are not distinct characteristics and having a diverse team can improve company performance because there's a better understanding of more aspects of any market.    As just one small example, back in the MadMen days when there were few women working in advertising agencies in meaningful roles, men thought they could determine what women wanted.    

    Your statement indicates an assumption that it's not possible to find qualified gay, latino, black, asian, or female candidates.   That's just an excuse for racism, sexism, anti-semitism, agism, etc.    Yep, just keep hiring white, blue-eyed, male WASPs who are members of the "old boys club" and see if you can survive in a diverse world.  

    And most companies who I've worked for sucked at hiring anyway, especially if HR had a huge role, so if they were using their own definition of what "qualified" meant, it wasn't very successful anyway.     

    I agree, and I'd bet the bank that a minority chose the music for these commercials.

    [VIDEO]
    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 20 of 52
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I'm just saying there are reasons someone might be out of the workforce for an extended time other than being unable to find a job. It also really depends on the type of job that is being applied for. Certainly a position in IT would require up to date computer skills however a job in something like public relations might focus more on language and personality characteristics. 


    I understand what you're saying but for the Fortune 500 companies the positions they have are extremely competitive.  What you're describing are the retail, etc. lower end positions.  Fortune 500 companies which Apple is clearly one of, requires skills up the wazoo and have typically shun those who don't have current, top-notch skills and those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period no matter the reason. I just don't see a way around this unless the gov't mandates a quota.

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