Do large employers treat racial minorities more fairly? A new analysis of Canadian field experiment data
journal contributionposted on 21.05.2021, 15:35 by Rupa Banerjee, Jeffrey G. Reitz, Phil Oreopoulos
Analysis of amended data from a large-scale Canadian employment audit study (Oreopoulos 2011) shows that large employers with over 500 employees discriminate against applicants with Asian (Chinese, Indian or Pakistani) names in the decision to call for an interview, about half as often as smaller employers. The audit involved submission of nearly 13,000 computer-generated resumes to a sample of 3,225 jobs offered online in Toronto and Montreal in 2008 and 2009 for which university-trained applicants were requested by email submission. An organization-size difference in employer response to Asian names on the resume exists when the Asian-named applicant has all Canadian qualifications (20% disadvantage for large employers, almost 40% disadvantage for small employers) and when they have some or all foreign qualifications (35% disadvantage for large employers, over 60% disadvantage for small employers). Discrimination in smaller organizations is most pronounced in considering applicants for jobs at the highest skill levels. As well, whereas the Asian-name disadvantage is overcome in large organizations when the applicant has an additional Canadian master’s degree, this is not the case in smaller organizations. It is suggested that large organizations discriminate less frequently because they have more resources devoted to recruitment, a more professionalized human resources recruitment process, and greater experience with a diverse staff complement. Experimentation with anonymized resume review may be an inexpensive way that organizations can test their own hiring procedures for discrimination.