Unemployment as a screening device? : the effect of unemployment status on selection decisions among New Zealand recruiters.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The present study builds on overseas research on discrimination toward the long-term unemployed by investigating recruiter bias against the unemployed in New Zealand. While legislation exists to protect individuals against discrimination for being unemployed in New Zealand, this study examined whether unemployed job applicants were likely to be ranked lower and have fewer chances of being interviewed compared to employed candidates. A sample of 70 New Zealand hiring professionals were asked to read a job description and evaluate a sample of CVs of highly skilled employed, short-term unemployed (those unemployed for less than six months), and long-term unemployed (those unemployed for more than six months) job applicants. It was found that the short-term unemployed were more likely to be preferred to the long-term unemployed. However, employed candidates were not more likely to be preferred to either short- or long-term unemployed candidates. Gender of the candidate was found to influence the evaluation of the CVs, with an overall preference for male candidates. Although the results were not entirely as expected, they have implications in terms of support to the unemployed in the job search process.