‘Matthew, you’re hired. Good luck next time, Samir’

Name discrimination an issue in hiring process in country’s 3 biggest cities: Research report
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/22/2011

Jobseekers with foreign-sounding names are significantly less likely to receive callbacks after sending resumés to prospective employers than those with Anglophone names, according to a study from immigration research centre Metropolis British Columbia in Vancouver.

“We were holding constant the rest of the resumés so they all had Canadian experience, Canadian education, solid credentials, extracurriculars, et cetera but, even then — somewhat surprising to me — the names continued to play a significant role in someone’s likelihood of getting called back,” said Philip Oreopoulos, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and co-author of Why do Some Employers Prefer to Interview Matthew but not Samir?

The authors sent out about 8,000 resumés across Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver for various online job postings. The jobs required at least a bachelor’s degree and four to six years’ work experience. Some resumés had common Anglophone names, such as John Smith or Emily Brown, while others had popular Greek, Indian or Chinese names.