Some eye-opening research recently issued by Rutgers and Syracuse universities finds that, even in the relatively enlightened, politically correct years of the Millennium, employers still have a tendency to discriminate against disabled job applicants. So reports Fast Company.
Companies in the study receiving some 6,000 fake resumes and cover letters were 26% less likely to show interest in applications that mentioned a disability. Perhaps not surprisingly, employers with 15 or fewer employees – making them exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act – were far less likely to pursue candidates with some type of disability than either large corporations or companies receiving government contracts, where discrimination against disabled job seekers was not evident.
A New York Timesreporter referenced in the Fast Company article, feels the study results help explain why, nationwide as of 2013, 74% percent of non-disabled, working-age adults were employed, while only 34% of adults with disabilities had jobs.
Aside from stated disabilities, career site Monster counsels job seekers who's resumes contain personal information unrelated to their job target (potentially identifying candidates’ ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, etc.). These can result in discrimination in the selection process even if the candidates are perfectly qualified for a position.
A second example from across the pond presents quite a different scenario. In an effort to avoid discrimination based on race or sex in the hiring process, 10 large employers in the U.K.’s public and private sectors have agreed to try recruiting based on “nameless” job applications. So reports the Economist.
Other European countries (virtually all faced with burgeoning immigrant populations) have also experimented with anonymous nominations in recent years, with mixed results. France made the practice compulsory in 2006 for firms with 50 or more employees. Studies conducted in Germany and Sweden found that nameless CVs resulted in better hiring opportunities for residents of minority ethnicities.
Other studies from Sweden and the Netherlands found that discrimination may enter into the process despite name-blind applications; only women, as opposed to minorities, benefited from anonymity in one Swedish study. A 2012 French study found that foreign-born job candidates and those from poorer districts were less likely to be called in for interviews – suggesting that other methods of ethnic discernment may supersede the anonymity process.
In countries where religious tensions are well-known (e.g., Northern Ireland), school names on a CV may indicate a nameless applicant’s religion. Similarly, a gap of a few years on a resume may suggest maternity leave and that the potential hire is likely female. Results in the U.K. remain to be seen.