Religious Identification on Resumes Leads to Hiring Discrimination

Study: "applicants who expressed a religious identity were 26 percent less likely to receive a response from employers"

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DLCreed's picture

Apparently, this study was not conducted in the South.  Definitely not accurate in this neck of the woods.

JC's picture

I can tell you that the HR takes definite note of the school you graduated from and the address in which you live.  If you graduated from a Christian School or Islamic School, then assumptions are made about your religious position.  If you live in a certain zip code, then assumptions are made about your social standing.

Not saying it is right or wrong, just stating reality.

Robert Byers's picture

DLCreed wrote:

Apparently, this study was not conducted in the South.  Definitely not accurate in this neck of the woods.

From the second paragraph of the linked article: "For the experiment, the researchers sent out resumes to companies in the South from fictional recent graduates of flagship universities located in the South."

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

JC wrote:

I can tell you that the HR takes definite note of the school you graduated from and the address in which you live.  If you graduated from a Christian School or Islamic School, then assumptions are made about your religious position.  If you live in a certain zip code, then assumptions are made about your social standing.

Not saying it is right or wrong, just stating reality.


I work in the computer field, and have been doing so since 1988. My undergraduate degree is from BJU, with my master's degree from Clemson. I've worked at 6 different tech firms over the years, had offers made to me more recently from at least 3 firms, some of which were in California and New Mexico (i.e. outside the southeast), and interviewed at many more. I don't think I've *ever* received a question from HR or any of the other engineers who interviewed me about the fact I went to BJU or what that may mean about my political/social views.

Maybe that's because I'm in a field (embedded software/firmware development) that doesn't have enough candidates to start with, so they are less likely to worry about such things. Or maybe my experience is much more important to them. And I'm sure if I were looking for a job as a professor in some kind of pure science field, that would be much more an issue, whereas my views on evolution or social issues don't really affect a job in the computer field.

Obviously, I can't speak to any assumptions that were made by the interviewers about my education and background, and I haven't gotten an offer at every single place I've interviewed, but I can say that I've gotten no further questioning on it, and that it's been no hindrance over time to my getting job offers. If I've lost out on an offer or two because of it, I haven't really noticed.

Maybe things have drastically changed even within the past year.

Dave Barnhart

ChrisC's picture

dcbii wrote:
I work in the computer field, and have been doing so since 1988.
you can stand on 26 years of experience with education as a footnote in your resume. it will be a whole different ballgame for a new grad competing in an overcrowded field since education is going to be almost all there is on their resume. it shouldn't be a dealbreaker, but it's one more hurdle that could be the setback you didn't need.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

ChrisC wrote:

dcbii wrote:I work in the computer field, and have been doing so since 1988.

you can stand on 26 years of experience with education as a footnote in your resume. it will be a whole different ballgame for a new grad competing in an overcrowded field since education is going to be almost all there is on their resume. it shouldn't be a dealbreaker, but it's one more hurdle that could be the setback you didn't need.


I mentioned that it was very possible my experience overshadowed where I was educated (though from what I hear a lot of experience may not have that effect in a pure science field), and that my field is less likely to be picky since it's not overcrowded -- just the opposite in fact. And I agree that the educational part of the resume will be much more important for new grads who won't have much beyond internship experience. That's why my post title mentioned I was curious about how much this affects people.

However, since JC mentioned that HR definitely will draw some conclusions about an applicant's background and education if he or she is from somewhere religious, I still wonder how important that factor will be to HR if the candidate is otherwise excellently qualified. As you said, these days it will likely be a hurdle, but I'm truly curious how high that hurdle will be.

My daughter is halfway through a degree in Computer Science from BJU (her choice to attend there), and is currently interning at a software company this summer, albeit one that is certainly not opposed to BJ grads (i.e. it's in Greenville and has a lot of experience with BJ grads). Not sure if she will attend grad school or not, though she is considering it. I guess I may get to see first hand if she gets the third degree from potential employers about her education at BJU.

Dave Barnhart

Mark_Smith's picture

If a business is so opposed to Christianity that it would go to these lengths to not hire Christians, would you really want to work there?

JC's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

If a business is so opposed to Christianity that it would go to these lengths to not hire Christians, would you really want to work there?

That is a dilemma facing many Christians.  Do I tow the new 'anti-Christian mantra' and have a job, or do I accept unemployment?   

Lest you think I am overstating it.

1. Just last week in my Bible study group, a woodworking teacher at a girls high school recounted how this past week at their school was 'diversity week'.  This years diversity week focused on 'sexual diversity'.  In the staff meeting and newsletter, the teachers were told to encourage the girls to come out of the closet.  Every staff member was required to wear and display items of LGBTI symbolism.  At the all school assembly, teachers lined up to give their 'gay-friendly' testimonies to the school girls.

2. At the same time, 'Chaplains in schools' are being manipulated into being 'gay-evangelists'.  http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/06/16/4026248.htm

3.  Professional organisations are starting to 'dis-bar' those who do not tow an 'anti-Christian' line. http://sharperiron.org/filings/053014/29819

4. The list of companies touting their 'gay-friendly policies' as a recruitment branding exercise is becoming encompassing. http://www.proudemployers.org.uk

So while I agree we may not want to work there.  We need to help Christians to stand firm and still feed their families.