Sunday, June 28, 2009

DWP applies for jobs with fake CVs in dodgy experiment

Sometimes I don't know why I read the Sunday papers when they annoy me so much. This morning, according to the Mail on Sunday, the Department of Work and Pensions has been sending out fake job applications and fake CVs to real employment opportunities as part of an experiment to see if the companies are racist/sexist.

The basis of the screening is that they send in an application with, for example, the name Patel on it, and see if it get knocked back. The same applies in the case of putting a female name on it.
A DWP spokesman said the department had responded to 1,000 job vacancies using false identities but with very similar CVs to see if a person’s name was a factor in whether they were given an interview.

Typically, officials put in two or three applications per job, with one under a traditional Anglo-Saxon name and others using an ethnic minority-sounding name, The Mail on Sunday understands.

Applications under women’s names were also submitted to ‘keep it realistic’, the spokesman said.
This has to be the crappiest social experiment I've ever heard. Firstly, the DWP notes that the CVs are only "similar". This makes sense because they can't just put the same CV's in. However, the decision on who gets interviewed cannot, from that alone, then lead to the causal conclusion that it was "the name that won it".

Apparently, this is all to do with plans to bring in some legislation that means that prior to interview it will no longer be a requirement to put your name on the CV. Not a bad thing per se, although I can imagine where it might be a good idea to know such things, especially gender, if the job is one that has no choice to but to be gender specific.

I'm thinking here of say someone who will be a nurse giving bed baths in an old folks homes full of women, for example. You wouldn't be wanting men to apply for that post now would you? The thing is though, this idea that you can assume that a CV with a foreign name on it that is knocked back is because of the foreign name remains bollocks.

Social 'science' at its very worst.

No comments: