The Effects of Cognitive Bias and Employment Equity Policy Interventions in the Hiring Process
There has been considerable debate in Canada over whether or not the Employment Equity Act has been successful in achieving its objective – to achieve a more equitable labour market by removing systemic discrimination against Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, women, and visible minorities. Over 30 years since its inception, employment outcomes have improved for some groups but not all – most notably First Nations people. This research draws upon cognitive bias theories and an online decision experiment to examine Canadian recruiters’ decision-making in the early stages of an applicant screening process. The study investigates the potential for subconscious biases in recruiter decision-making, and whether or not different employment equity priming interventions influence recruiter decisions. Results suggest evidence of preferential hiring for minority applicants when participants were primed to focus on employment equity and/or diversity. Implications for Canadian policy makers, researchers, and organizations are discussed.
DegreeMaster of Public Policy (M.P.P.)
DepartmentJohnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
CommitteeFulton, Murray; Coates, Kenneth; Schmidt, Regan; Mou, Haizhen
Copyright DateMay 2018