Chinese people are routinely discriminated against in the labour market in Australia when applying to jobs with CVs.
In May 2020 University of Sydney researchers published their research ‘Racial discrimination and white first name adoption: a field experiment in the Australian labour market’ in the Institute of Labor Economics as a discussion paper.
The compelling and thorough experiment conducted by the paper’s authors by Shyamal Chowdhury, Evarn Ooi & Robert Slonim, demonstrated widespread discrimination against people with Chinese names in Australia when applying for jobs.
The University of Sydney researchers wanted to understand if there was any discrimination against people with Chinese names when applying for jobs in Australia.
The authors decided to use Chinese minorities to study in Australia because:
To test if there was discrmination, they devised a fascinating experiment.
They applied to more than 1000 jobs with a variety of fictitious CVs to various open positions in Australia. They applied to a wide range of both low and high skilled roles.
The CVs were split into 3 groups:
They then applied to more than 1000 roles, using these different CVs, selecting them on a random basis. Of course, the employers did not know the CVs were fictitious and screened them like any other CV.
The researchers then measured the interview callback rate they received across the 3 groups, and the results were shocking, if perhaps not entirely surprising.
This means that someone with a Chinese first name and Chinese last name has only ⅓ the chance of getting a call back to a job as someone with white first and last names. This is truly appalling, and should not be allowed to go on.
Of course, race is only one dimension that can be used to discriminate against candidates. The issue is that organisations typically start their hiring process by requiring candidates to submit a document that reveals their gender, ethnicity, age, religion and numerous other irrelevant factors. The traditional hiring approach is fundamentally flawed, and it’s up to all of us to change it and move to a more objective hiring approach.
Getting rid of CVs and adopting a skills-based hiring is a great step forward and a reasonably quick win.
We were very quickly quite surprised with the quality of candidates we would get from Alooba. We ended up hiring eight different analysts via Alooba in about a year's time, which is quite extraordinary for us because we actually have almost never used a recruitment agency for any role. It has been our best outsourcing solution by far.
Oz Har Adir, Vio.com (Founder & CEO)