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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    05 Jun '13 16:13
    A very interesting story happened to me in the last few weeks.

    I have an academic administration position. A few weeks ago, I posted an ad for a professor on a well known academic careers website.

    A few days later, among my applicants was a resume with the exact academic credentials I had set forth; one from a top school and one from a good school. The name on the resume was certainly Americanized, but with a surname that is popular in the African American community. The applicant's listed undergraduate school was a famous historically black college. The resume also lists experience in exactly the areas I remarked as "helpful" in the add.

    I was very interested in this candidate and so I did what I always do when I get an interesting resume: I looked for his cyber-presence. Nothing. No Facebook, no Linkedin, no Twitter; not even any evidence of him on a plain old Google search. I called the school listed under teaching experience and left a message trying to confirm employment. No response. I called the law school's registrar's office and was unable to confirm his JD.

    I now suspect that this submission was one of these studies to measure how black candidates are treated by employers, e.g.,

    http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html

    http://www.princeton.edu/~pager/annualreview_discrimination.pdf

    http://www.chicagobooth.edu/capideas/spring03/racialbias.html


    Now, unless I can confirm this fellow's credentials (if he exists), I have no interest in calling him back. Even if his credentials are real, lack of a cyber-presence is a red flag in itself as far as I'm concerned. Yet, if this is some sort of a study or fishing expedition, the fact that I am not going to contact him might count in some future academic article as just one more example of a qualified "black" candidate not getting a callback.

    My question now as to the validity of all of these studies is: How do they expect the get callbacks with fake resumes when doing basic internet checks before giving a callback is so easy and so routine?
  2. 05 Jun '13 16:31
    Good point. I suppose studies that use the reverse tactic (ethnic minorites who use "normal" names and get invited more often) are more credible.
  3. 05 Jun '13 16:37
    Originally posted by sh76

    My question now as to the validity of all of these studies is: How do they expect the get callbacks with fake resumes when doing basic internet checks before giving a callback is so easy and so routine?
    If the lack of internet presence was an issue then wouldn't there be the same problem with callbacks for typically white names with no internet presence and typically black names with no internet presence?

    If it was an issue where assumed white people were given callbacks without an internet presence where assumed black people were not then race definitely would still be an issue.

    If none of them got callbacks then they could conclude that there is something else at play for sure that they hadn't accounted for.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    05 Jun '13 16:53
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    If the lack of internet presence was an issue then wouldn't there be the same problem with callbacks for typically white names with no internet presence and typically black names with no internet presence?

    If it was an issue where assumed white people were given callbacks without an internet presence where assumed black people were not then race defin ...[text shortened]... y could conclude that there is something else at play for sure that they hadn't accounted for.
    That's a good point of course, but it just seems bizarre that this sort of experiment could work at all. For example, maybe employers who don't bother checking for an e-presence are lower eschelon employers who also happen to be more ignorant and thus also more racist. I do not see in their methodology that they correct for that possibility when applying their numbers to the general population.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    05 Jun '13 17:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    That's a good point of course, but it just seems bizarre that this sort of experiment could work at all. For example, maybe employers who don't bother checking for an e-presence are lower eschelon employers who also happen to be more ignorant and thus also more racist. I do not see in their methodology that they correct for that possibility when applying their numbers to the general population.
    The idea that "lower echelon employers" are "more ignorant and also more racist" sounds like a rationalization to hide the fact that you hadn't really thought this through.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    05 Jun '13 17:37
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The idea that "lower echelon employers" are "more ignorant and also more racist" sounds like a rationalization to hide the fact that you hadn't really thought this through.
    Okay, so please explain why the idea is invalid.
  7. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    05 Jun '13 17:39
    Originally posted by sh76
    Okay, so please explain why the idea is invalid.
    Do you have any evidence to support the idea that "lower echelon employers" are "more racist" than "higher echelon employers"? The whole idea smacks of elitist prejudice.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    05 Jun '13 17:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    A very interesting story happened to me in the last few weeks.

    I have an academic administration position. A few weeks ago, I posted an ad for a professor on a well known academic careers website.

    A few days later, among my applicants was a resume with the exact academic credentials I had set forth; one from a top school and one from a good school. The na es when doing basic internet checks before giving a callback is so easy and so routine?
    The first experiment was conducted in 2001-02 when it was quite hard to check someone's Facebook page. The third link is the same experiment as the first.
  9. 05 Jun '13 17:52 / 1 edit
    Anecdotal but we -- lower and middle management -- would never hire from traditionally-black schools unless forced to by upper management. As for us, the resume with the black school on it would immediately go in the trash no matter how good a fit otherwise. I do not know that upper management were less racist but maybe other motives for wanting to diversify.

    Earlier in my life, I remember working fast-food in college, and the resume of any black applicant immediately went in the trash. The manager's call. We had no black employees, though we did have one employee from Bangladesh.
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    05 Jun '13 17:59
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Anecdotal but we -- lower and middle management -- would never hire from traditionally-black schools unless forced to by upper management. As for us, the resume with the black school on it would immediately go in the trash no matter how good a fit otherwise. I do not know that upper management were less racist but maybe other motives for wanting to divers ...[text shortened]... he manager's call. We had no black employees, though we did have one employee from Bangladesh.
    Well that was a crappy thing to do. Why would you do such an ignoble thing especially when your superiors were hostile to it?
  11. 05 Jun '13 21:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    That's a good point of course, but it just seems bizarre that this sort of experiment could work at all. For example, maybe employers who don't bother checking for an e-presence are lower eschelon employers who also happen to be more ignorant and thus also more racist. I do not see in their methodology that they correct for that possibility when applying their numbers to the general population.
    I find the lack of an e presence in this era, and in an application for a high level job at least a red flag. If the applicant is on the younger side, it seems more of a red flag.

    I don't know about the lower levels being more ignorant or racist. I don't believe many companies are filling lower level jobs much via the internet. Big companies tend to move in lockstep, and have web based HR searches, not because this works, but because everyone else is doing it. The majority of hiring still happens at the local level, whether in manufacturing or retail.

    Few people are going to drive long distances, or relocate for a job with Walmart or Meijers.
  12. 05 Jun '13 21:38
    Originally posted by sh76
    A very interesting story happened to me in the last few weeks.

    I have an academic administration position. A few weeks ago, I posted an ad for a professor on a well known academic careers website.

    A few days later, among my applicants was a resume with the exact academic credentials I had set forth; one from a top school and one from a good school. The na ...[text shortened]... es when doing basic internet checks before giving a callback is so easy and so routine?
    Here's a thought. Why don't you call the applicant back and ask him for proof of his credentials?
  13. 05 Jun '13 21:52
    Originally posted by sh76
    Okay, so please explain why the idea is invalid.
    "Now, unless I can confirm this fellow's credentials (if he exists), I have no interest in calling him back. Even if his credentials are real, lack of a cyber-presence is a red flag in itself as far as I'm concerned. Yet, if this is some sort of a study or fishing expedition, the fact that I am not going to contact him might count in some future academic article as just one more example of a qualified "black" candidate not getting a callback."

    Seems logical, whether or not lower levels evaluate differently or the same. The suspicion that this isn't a real person could be verified by a phone call, and a few identity questions. I wouldn't worry about feeding a study, as these things are predetermined in any case.
  14. 05 Jun '13 22:25
    Originally posted by sh76
    A very interesting story happened to me in the last few weeks.

    I have an academic administration position. A few weeks ago, I posted an ad for a professor on a well known academic careers website.

    A few days later, among my applicants was a resume with the exact academic credentials I had set forth; one from a top school and one from a good school. The na ...[text shortened]... es when doing basic internet checks before giving a callback is so easy and so routine?
    "... lack of a cyber-presence is a red flag in itself as far as I'm concerned."
    --Sh76

    I have been acquainted with several professors (some of whom are now
    retired) who have no 'cyber-presence'--no social media accounts, not even
    E-mail addresses. In one case, a friend of mine never has used E-mail and
    has no interest in learning how. These professors tend to be older or have
    grown up in societies in which using the internet was uncommon.
  15. 05 Jun '13 22:36
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra to Sh76
    Good point. I suppose studies that use the reverse tactic (ethnic minorites who use "normal" names and get invited more often) are more credible.
    I know that a professional military historian (who works at a war college)
    prefers to be listed by her initials rather than her given name when she
    appears as the author of her publications. I suspect that she does this
    because she hopes to reduce encountering prejudice from the people
    who presume that women cannot be qualified to be military historians.
    If she had decided to become a social historian instead, then I suppose
    that her competence would not be questioned on account of her gender.