North African name ‘still hurts job chances’ in France

Jobseekers of north African origin still face widespread discrimination in France, with a survey released on Monday showing 30 percent of big businesses preferred candidates with French-sounding names.

North African name 'still hurts job chances' in France
Photo: Nguyen Vu Hung/Flickr
Between April and July this year, a consulting firm commissioned by the labour ministry tested 40 businesses in six cities employing more than 1,000 people.
The firm sent out 3,000 applications for 1,500 jobs advertised by the 40 companies.
In each case, the employer received two applications for the same job describing people with similar backgrounds, experience and qualifications.
The only significant — but sometimes decisive — difference was in the applicants' names.
The survey found that to a greater or lesser degree, 12 of the 40 companies discriminated against candidates with north African sounding names.
When it came to interviews, for example, 47 percent of candidates with traditional French names got interviews, but only 36 percent of those with North African names were called in.
Yet the survey noted that in 71 percent of cases both candidates received the same treatment, whether it be positive, negative or just no response at all.
The government also cautioned that the sample was too small to generalise for all French companies.
But Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri said they nevertheless undermined the French republic's promise of equality.
“These tests, of an unprecedented scale, clearly show a striking inequality of treatment in hiring,” she said.
Manuel Valls, who last week stepped down as prime minister to launch a bid for the presidency, has spoken out about discrimination against citizens of foreign descent.
The Socialist party heavyweight has denounced what he calls “spatial, social and ethnic apartheid”.
Anti-racism campaigners in France have for years campaigned for laws forcing employers to accept anonymous resumes that leave out details which might lead to discrimination.
A recent poll carried out by Harris Interactive for a federation of anti-racist groups suggested that more than 70 percent of people in France, Germany and Italy backed the idea of anonymous resumes.

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Paris homeless man gets job after CV goes viral

A homeless man, who became the talk of the web after handing out his CV on the Paris Metro, has been rewarded for his efforts after landing a permanent job.

Paris homeless man gets job after CV goes viral
Handing out CVs on the Paris may be the best way to get a job. Photo: Chris Yunker/FLickr

Unemployed people in Paris might want to take a leaf out of the book of one courageous homeless man.

The man, who circulated his CV on Metro carriages throughout Paris, has seen his gamble pay off after being offered his first permanent job in two years.

The former member of the French air force handed out his CV on lines two and five of the Paris Metro in the hope someone might take a chance on giving him a job.

Although he put in plenty of legwork himself, he was given a helping hand via social media.

The man, who has been named as Lionel and has declined to be photographed, grabbed the attention of social media sites when an image of his CV was shared thousands of times on Twitter last week.

Lionel, who has no fixed abode, said he was unaware of the internet buzz around him because he has no access to the web.

First news spread that he had landed an interview and then on Thursday he revealed he had been successful and had been offered his first job since 2013.

He will begin a three-month trial period at Unéo, which specialises in offering health insurance to those in the army.

He will work for the tele-marketing team and starts on Monday.

“I want to prove myself,” the man told Le Parisien newspaper. He also wanted to “thank all those who supported me” and whoever posted his CV on the Facebook community group Wanted #Bons Plans.

A source from Unéo said: “We are proud to be able to participate in his reinsertion to professional life.”

The company said they had heard of his story via Twitter, but denied he had been shown any favouritism.