Could Your Name Be a Liability When Searching for a Job?

In What’s in a name? A job, maybe, published on the Economy Lab blog of the Globe and Mail, Tavia Grant reports on a recent study by University of Toronto researchers Philip Oreopoulos and Diane Dechief that tracked the number of callbacks received from different job candidates.  Oreopoulos and Dechief found that

“applications submitted by people with English-sounding names are 47 per cent more likely to receive callbacks than those with Indian or Chinese ones in Toronto, 39 per cent more likely in Montreal, and 20 per cent more likely in Vancouver.”

In addition:

“The researchers found that people with Greek, Chinese and Indian names are less likely to hear back from employers. ‘Even for applicants with Canadian education and Canadian experience … the result is concerning that there this a difference that’s generated from a name,’ Mr. Oreopoulos said.”

Researchers asked HR managers why they felt this situation existed; many admitted the possibility of unconscious discrimination.This unconscious discrimination unfortunately affects the real lives of people.  Studies of immigrants to Canada, for example, have noted a significant and persistent income gap between immigrants and native born Canadians, even when those immigrants have the qualifications for higher-paying work.

What does this mean to hiring managers reading this blog?  Perhaps the next time you review applications, you might  ask yourself:  Am I making sure that all qualified candidates are receiving full consideration?

About idmodelsandprocesses

Exploring, reporting, teaching, and advising on learning and communication for the workplace and consumers.
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