Measure discrimination in hiring to better avoid it

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Compared to Jeanne Durand, Mounia Abdelaziz would have had to send a third more CV to get her job. This lesson, drawn from the report “Discrimination and origins” made last week by the Defender of Rights, comes to quantify a feeling shared by all those who have already hesitated to change their surnames to apply.

→ READ. The Defender of Rights calls for the creation of a discrimination observatory

Origins and age are the two biggest factors of discrimination in hiring. “Gender discrimination, which penalizes women, is found more in the career than in recruitment”, explains Stéphane Carcillo, head of the Employment division at the OECD (1). Within the Economic Analysis Council (CAE), the economist and his colleague Marie-Anne Valfort published Tuesday, June 30, recommendations against discrimination on the job market.

Stop scanning CVs

The fear is indeed that with the contraction of employment, discrimination increases. And the situation was not already bright, because today as ten years ago, a foreign origin decreases by almost a quarter the chances of being recruited according to the observatory of discrimination.

However, the crisis linked to the coronavirus epidemic could be an opportunity to rethink recruitments. “Let’s stop telling ourselves that the CV does everything, militates Said Hammouche president of Mozaik RH, a recruitment and promotion agency for diversity. To hire a salesperson, for example, it may be better to put him in a situation rather than looking at whether he has done the “right” school! »

For Marie-Anne Valfort, of the Paris School of Economics, anonymous CVs are not effective. “It is very difficult to anonymize absolutely all the candidates, and this only postpones discrimination during the job interview. “ Instead, CAE economists focus on measuring discrimination and training to improve consideration of the problem.

A second wave of tests

The stakes are high. “A modest reduction” discrimination in terms of access to employment and remuneration would bring in 7% of GDP in 20 years, or 150 billion euros, they calculate. « Lhe discriminations in hiring are crimes and economic nonsense (…) It is a fight of social justice but also of economic development ”, said Marlène Schiappa, Secretary of State for Anti-Discrimination, announcing a new “testing” campaign.

→ IN FIGURES. The perception of discrimination at work in five figures

CVs with equal skills and diplomas but with different names will be sent to around 40 large companies, chosen at random, to determine whether they respond more easily and more favorably to French-sounding surnames. The results of a first test wave had been made public by the government in February 2020.

Seven large companies found themselves pinned down and denounced a biased methodology, with spontaneous applications sent to managers outside the recruitment circuit. Researcher at Gustave Eiffel University, Yannick L’Horty, who participated, defends this approach “Because it corresponds to reality, with spontaneous applications and word of mouth”. “Not to mention that managers often have a say in recruiting into their team”, continues the employment specialist.

An index for all discriminations

To review the articulation and the possible actions in their recruitment procedures, the seven companies are invited on Thursday July 2 to a half-day work at the office of Marlène Schiappa. “The idea is to look at their methods of fighting discrimination to bring an action plan and possibly see each other again later”, details Said Hammouche, in charge of this meeting.

→ INITIATIVE. A site to combat discrimination in hiring

To this logic of “name & shame” (name to cast a reproach), the economists of the CAE prefer them “name & praise”, that is to say display the good students. They want to set up a “diversity and inclusion” index for companies.

“The professional equality index which already exists is a good initiative but it only takes into account gender discrimination”, specifies Marie-Anne Valfort. The CAE note also recommends developing legal actions, while the rate of non-recourse against discrimination currently stands at around 80%.

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Train and assist in the hiring of seniors

If the elderly are less unemployed than the young, they remain significantly longer when they lose their job. The economists of the Economic Analysis Council (CAE) therefore recommend the implementation of assistance for the hiring of the unemployed over 50, paid by unemployment insurance.

They also recommend that the personal training account be uncapped. “The skills of older people are subject to a risk of obsolescence that experience only partially compensates for”, estimates the note of the CAE on discriminations. The training rate of French seniors is one of the lowest in the OECD countries.

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