Journal Article

Discrimination of Arabic-Named Applicants in the Netherlands: An Internet-Based Field Experiment Examining Different Phases in Online Recruitment Procedures

Lieselotte Blommaert, Marcel Coenders and Frank van Tubergen

in Social Forces

Published on behalf of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Department of Sociology

Volume 92, issue 3, pages 957-982
Published in print March 2014 | ISSN: 0037-7732
Published online December 2013 | e-ISSN: 1534-7605 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sf/sot124
Discrimination of Arabic-Named Applicants in the Netherlands: An Internet-Based Field Experiment Examining Different Phases in Online Recruitment Procedures

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This study examines discrimination of Arabic-named applicants in online recruitment procedures in the Netherlands. We develop and implement a new field experiment approach, posting fictitious résumés (n = 636) on two online résumé databases. Two phases of recruitment procedures are examined: employers' decisions to (1) view applicants' complete résumés after seeing short profiles and (2) contact applicants. The experiment covers both male and female applicants, three occupational levels, five sectors, and ten geographical regions, and consists of two waves. Results provide strong evidence of discrimination in the first phase (views). Résumés of Arabic-named applicants were requested less often, regardless of their education, gender, age, region, or sector, and for both websites and waves. Controlling for the number of times candidates' full résumés were viewed, there is less evidence of discrimination in the second phase (reactions). Yet, after two phases, the cumulative ethnic difference is considerable: Dutch-named applicants are 60 percent more likely to receive a positive reaction than Arabic-named applicants. We conclude that ethnic disparities in outcomes of recruitment procedures are substantial and arise already in the very first phase of the selection process. Hence, employers often do not even get to see Arabic-named applicants' résumés. Finally, discrimination is stronger in wave two, when the total number of views of résumés was lower, indicating lower labor demand.

Journal Article.  9489 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Sciences

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