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Does receipt of unemployment benefits change recruiter perceptions of candidates' personality, work relevant skills and employability?
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-24, 03:33 authored by A Suomi, T Schofield, P Butterworth
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.
LocationAmsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication classificationC1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicinePublic, Environmental & Occupational HealthEmployabilityunemploymentpersonalitybig fivevignetteSTEREOTYPE CONTENT MODELWELFARE STIGMALABOR-MARKETSOFT SKILLSATTITUDESBIASDISCRIMINATIONDESERVINGNESSPERSISTENCECOMPETENCEChronic DiseaseDisabled PersonsHumansPersonalitySocial StigmaUnemploymentClinical Research8 Decent Work and Economic GrowthMechanical EngineeringPublic Health and Health Services not elsewhere classifiedPsychology not elsewhere classified