A new study shows that French people with an immigrant background from the Maghreb face significant difficulties in the labor market, right from the first stage of recruitment. Entitled “Discrimination in the hiring of people of supposed North African origin: what lessons from a major study by testing?” ”, This survey, carried out under the aegis of the Ministry of Labor, also shows that discrimination is about twice as strong in low-skilled trades compared to skilled trades.
The results of a recent and large-scale testing confirm this. Discrimination in hiring according to supposed origin remains high and a major element of the labor market in France.
It is observed regardless of the characteristics of the trades tested. On average, at comparable quality, applications whose identity suggests a North African origin have a 31.5% less chance of being contacted by recruiters than those with a first and last name of French origin. To receive the same number of positive responses, a person whose first and last name is North African-sounding must send on average 1.5 times more applications than a person with the same profile, but whose first and last name are French sounding.
Indeed, in many countries, strained personal or collective relations tend to undermine social cohesion when certain individuals, because of their real situation or supposed “origin”, are less able than others to obtain a job corresponding to their qualifications. . “Employers refuse 20.5% more frequently applications whose identity is North African-sounding than those whose identity is French-sounding,” notes the study.
For everyone, employment is a fundamental lever for integration into society. Discrimination in a country therefore undermines the rule of law and political cohesion. It causes or fuels social discontent, and results in financial loss for businesses and the national economy.
Discrimination can be intentional. But it can also happen unintentionally. When access to employment or even to training is based essentially on belonging to certain networks, or on recommendation and personal links, for example, recruitment tends to be reserved for one profile and to exclude others, although that may not be the original intention.
Discrimination can also be the product of habit, rules, established practices, without ever being analyzed or contested within an organization, whether it is a trade union or an economic or administrative establishment. Or other.
If the discrimination linked to the supposed origin is strong and persistent, it is weaker, without disappearing, among the most qualified employees. These results do not vary significantly between women and men.
Numerous studies document the existence of discrimination in hiring due to origin in various spheres of the French labor market.
According to the study, discrimination against candidates with a Maghrebi immigrant background leads to a 20% gap in access to a job interview. Likewise, when two out of four candidates are called, those with a French-sounding name are privileged in 6% of cases compared to the two candidates whose name has a North African sounding (only 1%). Finally, when only one candidate is contacted (15% of cases), it is most often an application suggesting a French identity that has retained the interest of the recruiter – 11% of the tests – against 4% for candidates whose identity suggests a Maghrebian origin.
Such discrimination contributes to the existence of strong inequalities in the labor market, which can be costly economically and send people from minorities back to their categories.
In this context, private initiatives and public policies aimed at promoting diversity in companies have developed, such as the obligation imposed on companies with more than 300 employees by the law of January 27, 2017.
These developments are likely to have reduced discrimination in general, and perhaps more for some.
The study carried out by ISM Corum1 and the Institute of Public Policies (IPP) under the aegis of the Dares makes it possible to measure discrimination in hiring against people of supposed Maghrebian origin in a set of diverse professions. and to highlight possible differences according to several segments of the labor market and candidate profiles.
It is based on a large number of applications sent in response to job offers. It aims to be representative in terms of trades and sectors, and covers the entire metropolitan area.
The diversity of the professions chosen makes it possible to check whether there is a difference in the treatment according to the supposed origin according to the levels of qualification, the degree of feminization or the difficulties of recruitment.
Women so concerned
The study further specifies that women are as affected as men, regardless of the family situation indicated or not on the application.
Intended to measure the extent of discrimination in hiring against North Africans, a phenomenon pointed out by other surveys carried out in recent years, this new study, carried out between December 2019 and April 2021, with an interruption between March and June 2020 (due to containment), relied on the creation of fictitious applications sent in response to actual job offers.
Four applications (one female and one male for each supposed origin, namely French and North African), i.e. 9,600 in total, were sent in response to 2,400 job offers, relating to 11 job categories, covering the entire metropolitan territory. and including three age groups.
Of the 2,400 job offers tested, 1,516 gave rise to identical treatment by recruiters: all four candidates received no response, or all four aroused interest. The success of applications was measured using the recall rate, that is, the proportion of applications in which employers express an interest.