To get an interview, candidates with North African names send 1.5 times more CVs

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Posted on Nov 24, 2021, 6:00 PMUpdated Nov 24, 2021, 6:06 PM

2,400 job offers. Each time, four applications sent. All are fictitious and display the same skill level. Two are in the name of a candidate with so-called “English” sounding and two others with “Maghrebian” sounding. A man, a woman in each supposed origin.

The result of this study conducted by ISM Corum (an association that fights against discrimination) and the Institute of Public Policies is final: to receive the same number of positive responses, a person whose identity suggests a Maghrebian origin must send on average 1.5 times more applications than a person with the same profile and whose identity suggests a English origin. In other words, these candidates have almost a third less chance of being recalled.

This low rate of recall of applications of supposed North African origin is due to the fact that employers refuse them 20.5% more frequently than others, and ignore them 14.1% more often.

Even the most skilled trades

This is not the first study to throw a pavement in the pond. Research published in 2021 on 110 of the 250 largest companies concludes that there is a 20% gap in access to job interviews for this same population studied. Another research dated 2016 relating to 40 companies with more than 1,000 employees, highlighted that 12 of the 40 tested engaged in discriminatory recruitment towards these populations.

This new study, conducted under the aegis of Dares, which reports to the Ministry of Labor, shows that discrimination affects the entire labor market. However, the study published this Wednesday, November 24 tells us that there is an attenuation of the gaps in the rates of recalls as the level of qualifications increases. Discrimination is stronger in low-skilled trades, such as kitchen clerk or administrative employee, than those of executives or senior executives. Nevertheless, the differences remain significant between the two groups of candidates.

Another lesson: discrimination is much lower in trades which encounter recruitment difficulties: the gap in the recall rate is 26% in these so-called “high-stress” trades, against 34% in other trades.

Discrimination amplified by gender?

If in general, the factors of discrimination in hiring are multiple (in particular the gender), the authors point out that the weight of that carried by the supposed origin is by far the most important.

The study, on the other hand, does not establish any discrimination linked to gender among the supposed North African candidates. In other words, a candidate whose identity is supposed to be North African is not discriminated against more than her male counterpart.


To build the applications, CVs and cover letters were written by people with in-depth knowledge of each of the trades tested, so as to offer four applications on each job that are equivalent in their content and that are likely to interest recruiters. , without arousing their suspicion.


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