Does receipt of unemployment benefits change recruiter perceptions of candidates' personality, work relevant skills and employability?

Journal article


Suomi, Aino, Schofield, Timothy and Butterworth, Peter. (2022). Does receipt of unemployment benefits change recruiter perceptions of candidates' personality, work relevant skills and employability? Work. 71(4), pp. 1029-1041. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-205048
AuthorsSuomi, Aino, Schofield, Timothy and Butterworth, Peter
Abstract

BACKGROUND:Growing experimental evidence shows that unemployment benefit recipients are generally perceived negatively in terms of their personality and employability by the general public. Welfare stigma tied to unemployment or receipt of income support may disproportionately negatively impact individuals who have been out of work due to disability, or chronic health conditions. OBJECTIVE:The current study examined whether welfare stigma and/or unemployment stigma, translate to perceptions and hiring decisions made by individuals working in recruitment, potentially creating barriers to re-employment for those without work and relying on unemployment benefits. METHODS:We used a vignette-based experiment (N = 213) where participants working in recruitment rated personality and employment capabilities of characters who were described as employed, unemployed or unemployed and receiving benefits. RESULTS:Characters who were employed were generally rated more positively on employability and work-relevant skills, compared to the unemployed and unemployed benefit recipients, but these differences did not translate into a binary hiring decision (would you hire this person for the job). There were few differences in ratings of personality characteristics between the employed, the unemployed and those who were receiving unemployment benefits. CONCLUSIONS:These results add to knowledge about the determinants of welfare stigma showing that potential bias towards the unemployed and benefit recipients held by recruiters differs from that held by the general public.

Keywordsemployability; unemployment; personality; big five; vignette
Year2022
JournalWork
Journal citation71 (4), pp. 1029-1041
PublisherIOS Press BV
ISSN1051-9815
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-205048
PubMed ID35253667
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85129282014
Page range1029-1041
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Apr 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Mar 2021
Deposited28 Apr 2023
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDDP16014178
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