Swedish Study Confirms Foreign Name CV Bias

Oliver Gee, The Local, April 3, 2013

Researchers have found that job applicants with Swedish sounding names are 50 percent more likely to be called back for an interview than people with Arabic names, based on a randomly generated experiment with CV and cover letters.

“We’re not so surprised because we knew there was a lot of discrimination in the labour market,” Lund University PhD candidate Rickard Carlsson told The Local.

“We were more disappointed that appearing warm and confident was not enough for job seekers to avoid discrimination altogether.”

Carlsson and his colleagues carried out a study in which over 5,500 CVs and cover letters were randomly generated and sent out to job announcements. Rather than just sending out the same letters with different names, the team randomly generated a mix of experiences and character traits, assigning a mix of fictional Arabic and Swedish names.

“We chose Arabic names because they are treated the worst. They’re in the poorest position when it comes to stereotypes in Sweden, and we were specifically targeting characteristics of warmth and competence. Arabs are often thought to have neither.”

The study revealed that the letters with the Swedish names had a 50 percent higher call back for interview when compared to the Arabic names.

“Of course, I have to emphasize that there can be bad luck in reality when it comes to getting job interviews, but there is a clear difference. But even so, it’s important to give the message that it’s not hopeless. If anything, foreign job seekers can learn from this,” Carlsson said.

He added that employers don’t take traits for granted, and that foreigners shouldn’t hesitate to disprove stereotypes in their letters.

“For Swedes, this random test shows just as much that a poor personal letter may get them through the door on the merit of their name…just as much as it shows that Arabs don’t get through based on their name.

“You need to safeguard yourself, understand there is a discrimination, and just try harder with the letter. It’s in no means pointless to apply for a job. Tell employers that you play football in your spare time, carefully explain who you are and fight the stereotypes with your letter,” he told The Local.

Carlsson explained that stereotypes don’t just affect the Arab community, with Germans often thought of as cold, and Greeks as less competent.

He added that employers should try to be more objective in their recruitment process, and that society needs to work to reduce the stereotypes.

While Carlsson said that unusual cases occasionally crop up such as the Romanian student in Uppsala who found greater success when he changed his name to sound more Swedish, such incidents are just a small snapshot that don’t paint a complete picture of Sweden’s discrimination problems.

“A truly randomized experiment really increased the field and allowed a fuller scope of what’s actually happening,” he said.

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  • bigone4u

    I taught the phenomenon described in the story during my whole career as an economics professor. It’s called statistical discrimination and it’s rational, not racist.

    There really are national and ethnic characteristics, which may not be shared by all in a particular group. But finding the right employee for the job is costly and time consuming. There are also significant costs associated with picking the wrong person, such as negative effects on productivity and conflict. To keep the costs of an employee search down a rational employer will apply group average behavior to an applicant, since the applicants true nature cannot be known with certainty.

    Thus, here in the USA an employer who rejects applicants named Shaniqua or Tyrone may simply be a race realist. Shaniqua and Tyrone are names suggesting a black applicant. Since blacks have an IQ of 82 and since the employer cannot cheaply administer an IQ test the employer uses the name as information. Shaniqua may have a genius IQ, but the employer cannot know that, so he rejects her job application. Likewise, a rational employer might want to take a strong look at an applicant named Goldstein under the assumption that Goldstein is Jewish, and thus has a high IQ. It’s interestin.g to see that the Swedes act rational too, in spite of enormous government pressure to hire Arabs. (Sorry for the classroom lecture but I love economic theory.)

    • The__Bobster

      Shaniqua and Tyrone are names suggesting a black applicant. Since blacks have an IQ of 82 and since the employer cannot cheaply administer an IQ test the employer uses the name as information.

      The tests are cheap to administer. It’s the Griggs decision that causes a problem.

      • bigone4u

        Right, I used to teach the Griggs decision too. Testing has to relate to the job duties or its use is illegal.

      • Crystal Evans

        I saw something once where a black woman used her initials on her resume and got more interviews than when she used her made up name. Also another indicator of a black applicant is that they went to a black college and got a degree there.

        • Liberalsuck

          The point is, why should any company have to hire someone they don’t want to? Why shouldn’t white people be free to have their employees all be white or a historically white college be all white? We’re not telling blacks they can’t keep their colleges or churches or companies all blacks. Quit telling us to do what they won’t do. When are most whites in positions of power going to be strong and stand their ground? All it takes is one and it will spread like wildfire.

        • Morris LeChat

          so she got more “interbyeews” and when they saw she could not speak English correctly and was dumb as a post, her using just her initials to get the interviews proved fruitless

    • Crystal Evans

      I do not blame them. I would not want some Muslim woman wearing a niqab, which is the full face veil working for me. If one showed up for an interview dressed like that, I would have to interview her or she would file and EEOC complaint against me for refusing to interview her because of her attire. But I would not hire her.

      • bigone4u

        Alcoholism can screw up everything we think we know. I was on a university interview committee once. Fifty applicants were sifted through by the higher ups and the three most qualified selected for an expense paid campus visit. One of the three applicants was a woman. The woman looked great on paper but was sour during the two day interview process, criticizing everything about the school and being ugly during her interview. We speculated she was using her application to extract a raise from her current employer and did not want a job with us, but you always worry about an EEOC complaint. One of the two males had a great interview and looked like a young Romney but he kept talking about his Mormonism and how he wanted to live closer to Utah, which we were for him. The second male had a so-so interview but emphasized over and over that he would do whatever he was told. He was the one hired. The administration made the pick. There was no overt discrimination against Mormons but I know his religion made them uncomfortable. The male the administrators picked turned out be an alcoholic who sneaked away every afternoon to a bar while claiming to be in the library doing research. He was very poor at doing the job anyway and so they fired him. Hiring is fraught with difficulties even when you hire those you are comfortable with.

      • StillModerated

        Thank you Mrs Mohammed. Don’t call us we’ll call you! I gave the job to my neighbor’s niece. She needs to start paying back her student loans.

    • Paleoconn

      Not convinced about the Jewish IQ bit.

    • Elli

      Whenever I see these studies I wonder if they compared Shaniqua Rashad’s resume with Angela Washington’s, and Tyrone Jackson’s with Charles Jackson’s.

      How about Dmitri Andropov’s resume with David Anderson’s? Athousa Spiropoulos’s with Alexa Sprague’s?

  • a multiracial individual

    As always with liberals, “Do as I say, not as I do”

  • Sad but true.

    Whites all over the world are racist. It’s a white disease. It’s sad but it’s true.

    • 1proactive2

      You’re wrong. In our case it’s called “common sense”.

    • IKantunderstand

      Not only that, but there is no known cure! Well, actually there is a cure. Remove all non Whites from our lands, voila!, no more racism. See how easy it is to cure a disease?

      • Sherman_McCoy

        And a most apt analogy!

    • Robert L. Thomas

      Then why does every other racial group want to live around us?

      • Crystal Evans

        Because they want what you have.

      • Morris LeChat

        to suck us dry. They can not create what we create, they can not sustain what we create. When we notice this, we are racists. So we are racists, what that means is we are aware enough to notice obvious differences.

        • Hage

          No Whites steal, they were babarians and living like Africans until the advent of the Roman empire, sorry!!

          • Unperson

            No Whites steal, they were babarians

            “Babarians”? What are they? Followers of Babar “le petit elephant”?

    • MBlanc46

      Except for the Japanese. And the Chinese. And the Afro-Americans.

    • TeutonicKnight67

      I wish that were true. We need to be MORE racist the world over. And there’s nothing sad about white nationalism.

    • Paleoconn

      It’s pretty racist to generalize like that. You’re not racist, are you?

    • HamletsGhost

      Liberals all over the world are stupid. It’s sad but it’s true.

      • StillModerated

        Now just hold on there, Hamlet, that remark could open the door to offending a lot of stupid people! What do they call people who pick on the IQ challenged? Retardists? Stupidists?

    • Katherine McChesney

      How can it be a disease if it’s common sense? I live around a few blacques. Their behavior seems to be quirky. That’s because they do thing differently than my White brothers and sisters. Whites in my building generally follow the rules. Blacks ignore them. They will intentionally ignore posted rules and cry racism when confronted. Also, black children who visit their grandparents will run wild through the building destroying property and throwing their trash around. The White children stay with their families and are well behaved. I don’t think I’m racist if I prefer to be around Whites rather than be exposed to black behavior.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      And blacks are worthless all over the world. It’s a black disease. It’s sad, but true.

  • Well, what about the chances of a swede getting hired in Yemen, Oman, or Saudi Arabia itself?

    • MBlanc46

      It’s hard to imagine any Swede wanting to work in one of those hell holes unless he’s in the oil industry.

    • Crystal Evans

      Saudi Arabia might hire him on a short term contract. They are looking to deport foreign workers and replace them with Saudis who were educated in the west.

  • Sloppo

    I believe the problem could be the perception that many job positions in Sweden are only suitable for people who happen not to be inbred morons who believe “humanity’s highest example” was a pedophile pirate who practiced, excused, and encouraged dishonesty and mass murder.

  • brengunn

    It would be strange if this type of thing didn’t happen. It’s basically trying to tear down millennia of tradition in one generation. There is even an argument that it is right for jobs to be offered to a native before they are offered to anyone else, though that is not the modern way. Now it is expected that someone just off the boat be treated the same as someone who’s family has been resided in Europe since before records began.

  • Heardnebba

    There is an ethical solution to this deplorable, unconscionable discrimination. Repatriate all non-Swedes to their country of origin.

  • The__Bobster

    “We’re not so surprised because we knew there was a lot of discrimination in the labour market,” Lund University PhD candidate Rickard Carlsson told The Local.

    “We were more disappointed that appearing warm and confident was not enough for job seekers to avoid discrimination altogether.”


    What drives arseholes like Rick? Why do they think that ragtops have a right to Swedish jobs?

  • Erasmus

    BFD. I hope the Swedes give preference to their own kind. I bet in Arab countries interviewers give bias to Arab sounding names.

    • brengunn

      Of course, and in all other regions, too.

  • Rhonda Goldberg

    Can we ever wipe out white racism? Is it even possible? Sweden is ripe for strictly enforced affirmitive action programs and deep submersion techniques for diversity and enrichment treatments.

    • LIMD

      Can we ever white out Jewish racism? Is it even possible? Israel is ripe for barring non-Jews from their country and taking in billions a year from predominately white nations while encouraging whites to race mix and become minorities in their own lands.

  • Erasmus

    Who wouldn’t think an employee named Karl Johannsen was a better fit for a job in Sweden than someone named Abdul-Jamal Jalalabad?

  • StillModerated

    “We chose Arabic names because they are treated the worst. They’re in
    the poorest position when it comes to stereotypes in Sweden, and we were
    specifically targeting characteristics of warmth and competence. Arabs
    are often thought to have neither.”

    Or the mohammedans can change their names, get clever, become real Swedes and convert to another religion. Nah, they’re too lazy, being a Christian can be hard work.

    • Mr Bork

      Sweden is not an idea state with a diverse population like the USA but a real state populated by a homogenous people with shared ancestry and history. An arab will never be considered a swede and neither will his locallly born offspring.

      • Paleoconn

        The USA is most definitely NOT an idea state, sir! How dare you! The diversity of the original founders and the vast majority of the population until the 1960s was restricted within White Europeans, and mostly North White Europeans at that. German, Irish, Scot, Anglo-Saxon, Swedish…Of course there was the black slave population too, but to call the traditional USA diverse would be akin to calling a stew that has one whole rabbit and one whole horse in it a ‘half-rabbit half-horse stew’, to quote Peter Brimelow from Alien Nation.

        • StillModerated

          The settlers of the Tidewater/Piedmont from the Potomac to the St Mary’s River were over 90% English. Few Scots, few Welshmen, and few Irish. Further North like Pennsylvania and New York is still to this day predominantly German.

  • Cannot Tell

    One argument that I typically make to my liberal friends about the dangers of mass non-white immigration to Europe is that Middle Eastern and African immigrants are more likely to be unemployed. Unfortunately, now that this study has emerged I can already hear their response that the higher unemployment rates of immigrants is largely based on racial discrimination.

    • Derelictus

      Uh yes, but to the extent that that’s true (unemployment is due at least partially to racial discrimination), that just FURTHERS your argument that the races just can’t mix without conflict. It’s a disservice to import huge numbers of foreigners into a homogenous country with the false promise that they’ll be automatically accepted with open arms. It’s a never-ending cycle of resentment, discrimination (justified or not), socioeconomic separateness which leads to jealousy, hate, ethnic conflict etc. Multiculturalism doesn’t work, at least not on the level that the powers-that-be like to pretend it does.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    As a person of roughly 1/4 Swedish descent, I weep in rage when I think of what treachery has done to once fair and progressive Sweden.

    There’s a reckoning to be had. Blood eagle to the simpering traitors responsible for this pollution.

    • saxonsun

      Could be karmic payback for all those Viking raids on Britain.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        Yeah, about a quarter to a half of my peeps were those guys too. Love that new History channel series “The Vikings”, but indeed a shame such close cousins treating each other in such abominable fashion.

        Oh well, that was then, this is now and my hope is that the sickening perspective of white genocidal diversity will end such fratricides, eh?

        Speaking of Saxons, ever read any Bernard Cornwell? Good stuff too.

        See you in Valhalla, brother!

  • JDInSanDiego

    When I started my career in engineering in 89, my officemate, who was a Princton grad, was called down to the personnel office. He was given a stack of applications and told to go through the pile and pull out all the applicants who were minorities. Those were the people who were eligible for an interview.

    • Liberalsuck

      Other than a Spanish or Asian sounding name, how could he differentiate between ‘black’ and ‘white’? Yeah, I know there are blacks with obvious names like ‘Shaneqia” or “DeShawntae” and so on, but how could they tell?

      • Paleoconn

        Many of them self-identify knowing the advantages that entails.

      • JDInSanDiego

        I didn’t want to give away too much personal info above but the employer is the government and they give you the option to check a race box if you want to. Anyone applying for a gov job would want to take the minority “handicap.” We often joke at work that we should send out identical resumes with our real names and Spanish names on them just to see the response.

  • MBlanc46

    Sweden for the Swedes.

  • Bobbala

    There’s always the black, hispanic and muslim paradises where racism and prejudice are extinct … No line for admission. Escape the evil white oppression.

  • Lancasharia

    Maybe, if the employer is female, she doesn’t want to be confronted by a potential rapist. In Sweden and Norway last year, nearly all reported rapes were committed by immigrants on native women. The vast majority of immigrants just happen to be Arab or African!

  • Maaku

    After 20+ years as a headhunter, any resume with any trace of Black goes in the trash, I have learned the hard way , I stay far away from them

    • Hakro807

      It would be interesting to know what have made you so aware of black applicants.

    • anonymous

      Even black conservative Jesse Lee Peterson on air said he didn’t even want to hire blacks. He said something like, “If I see a resume with a black name on it, I throw it in the trash.”

  • LHathaway

    what a surprise. researchers have discovered what they set out to find. .

    Why don’t they ever investigate the effects of affirmative action and diversity policies?

  • Headline News, “People seek to employ people they will naturally get on with and feel comfortable around shocker”…. lol. What a surprise. In other shocking news, the Pope has been found to be a Catholic, and bears really do poop in the woods.

    How dare they not rabidly employ Arabs and Blacks! What an outrage! Discrimination!

    But of course, “discrimination” is a positive word that ‘they’ have turned into a negative word. To discriminate used to mean having the ability to choose, to make an assessment that is preferable to your interests.

    If I had my own business I would have my preferences as to who I felt I could work with, who I would feel at home around, who would be an asset to my company. Everybody does it. I do not see many English people staffing Pakistani owned corner shops or takeaways.

    Birds of a feather tend to stick together. That is human nature. These people try and squash natural instincts and they are rather sick in the head for doing so.

    Being a nationalist, I have no qualms at all in saying if I had a small business I would discriminate on who I chose to employ and which CV’s I passed over. I would give it to a Briton every time, no question. Nor do I think I should be expected to do otherwise. It is up to me, or should be up to me, who I associate with.

    I remember the “left” leaning groups doing similar studies here in Britain. I guess they use the same tricks in all White nations for the same purposes.

    It just shows that no matter how subliminal it may be, Europeans, if they had a real choice, would not have the kinds of societies that have been imposed upon them. We are getting pretty bad in England, but I also weep for the Swedish, for what has been done to them.

  • Unperson

    “Researchers have found that job applicants with Swedish sounding names are 50 percent more likely to be called back for an interview than people with Arabic names”

    Swedes are only 50% more likely to favor fellow Swedes over complete strangers recently parachuted in from backwards trouble-spots, and who have unpronounceable names, alien customs, usually low skills, and religious beliefs that range from mildly hostile to outright exterminationist? And this 50% rate of preferring to go with their own kind supposedly confirms the Swedish people’s horrible, unforgivable, morally unacceptable “bias” against outsiders? In a racially homogenous region that has no history of being “A Nation of Immigrants” [TM]? Sounds to me like our Scandinavian brothers and sisters are not biased enough.

    In France, Marine LePen’s Front National proposes preferential treatment and first-class status for the native-born white French. And that is the only kind of “bias” our white countries should be practising.

  • Hakro807

    I’m not surprised of the finding of the study, immigrants have a hard time on the rigid Swedish market. Truth to be told we’re fairly cold and hostile against most strangers, even native Swedes. On the other hand, we’re also trustworthy and considerate, so I guess it’s not all bad.

    But discrimination can be justifiable. I know a great Egyptian guy, warm and social, married with a Swedish woman. Competent in his field and with plenty of experience. Still can’t find a job..

    But he doesn’t speak the language fluently yet, despite living here for five years. Yes, he does speak well, but I always have to be on my toes to make sure he really understand what I’m saying. It’s not a problem for me, but I could see it being a problem for a potential employer.

    • Liberalsuck

      You said he was married to a Swedish woman. Shame on her for doing that.

    • Unperson

      If five years was long enough for your Egyptian “friend” to meet, pursue, and marry one of your country’s women, then it’s long enough for him to get fluent (or at least competent) in your country’s language. This Arab import may very well be, on the personal level, the “great guy” that you describe him as; but he’s obviously more devoted to getting sex from Swedish women than to making himself more understandable by Swedish men… or more employable to Swedish companies.
      This alone shows where his priorities are: finding a white bed partner is more important to him than finding a job. He didn’t move to your desirable first-world nation “in search of a better life”, he moved in search of a better (i.e. blonder) wife.

    • Paleoconn

      The Swedish woman is supporting him, that’s a pretty good deal for Mohammed. He may be a great guy, but I’d like him more if he stayed in Egypt.

    • StillModerated

      Well, I’ve beaten my breast over this nice guy’s plight, yet somehow I won’t get my heart to bleed for him. I must be Swedish, and not a liberal.

  • Liberalsuck

    What’s with these liberals and cultural marxist types doing ‘experiments’? They’re always staging events and only on white people in an underhanded attempt to screw us out of our wealth, our heritage, or freedoms, etc.

  • Token Finn

    I’m sure the public sector is compensating for this by instituting either stealth or official affirmative action, which makes muds look good and whites look bad. “They’re doing jobs you don’t want!”
    In some parts of Finland at least, they’ve admitted to doing just that, so it would be strange if it did not apply in Sweden.

  • Paleoconn

    People get call-backs based on how good their experience and educational background look on a CV. Could it be that many of these Arabs’ resumes just weren’t very interesting?

    I like how the reporter throws in alleged discrimination against Germans and Greeks. See folks, it’s not just the brown ones who suffer, other Whites are victims too. haha Sneaky. Personally, I don’t buy that Germans have difficulty getting jobs anywhere.

  • Morris LeChat

    filial loyalty and devotion are virtues, not crimes

  • Seek

    Amazing! People, by nature, trust their own kind more than they do others. Stop the presses.

  • Token Finn

    Afrika för afrikaner, Asien för asiater, Vita länder för ALLA

  • anonymous_amren

    So… the study sent out FAKE resumes with FAKE levels of experience and FAKE character traits that Arabs are unlikely to actually have in the real world. And the employers correctly judged that those Arab resumes were full of lies and exaggerations, so half the time they didn’t call the lying fakes in for an interview.

    I’m not convinced there is any real discrimination against equally qualified candidates happening in this study.

    I would support Sweden not hiring Arabs, but that’s not what’s happening here. Just liars being detected as liars.

  • Ella

    Have Arabs ever thought of altering their names to make it more “Swedish?” In the past many Irish and Germans “Americanized” their names for business and employment reasons. You have to understand the country you live in if you want success like it or not.

  • pcmustgo

    I didn’t discriminate against Blacks and other non-whites many times in my life. I often regretted it. They often exploit any interaction with whites as another chance to get revenge/lash out/disrepsect/abuse/”cry racism” and humiliate whites.

    That being said, I’ve seen whites behave like jerks on the job too. I think offices are full of abusive, bullying, non-cooperative behavior.

  • June

    Several years ago my wife was a faculty member at the University of Alabama. For quite some time her department served as a host for graduate students from the University of Stockholm who were required to do one-year internships to complete their degrees. She says that without exception, the Swedes were extremely fluent in English, kind, well-mannered, outgoing and very competent. The father of one of these students was a government official who visited for several weeks. We took him and his family to a Civil War battle reenactment and they had the time of their lives. They all loved Alabama and expressed gratitude for the experience. Unfortunately they all returned home but we made several very good friendships and have stayed in touch over the years.

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    Perhaps they don’t want to risk hiring the person who assaulted their daughter for being blonde!

  • jay11

    I wonder if these libs want to force Arabs in Arabic speaking countries to hire non-Arabs in their businesses. Do Turks give Arabs jobs, or do they prefer Turks? Do chinese companies prefer to hire other chinese, or would they jump at the chance to hire Nigerians? These libs are so without intelligence it is hard to comprehend sometimes.