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Discrimination in hiring processes experienced by half of job hunters


Global HR and payroll company Remote surveyed 1,250 hiring managers and business owners across the UK, US, Canada, Germany, and France to learn more about the role of diversity and inclusion in order to avoid discrimination in today’s hiring processes.

Inclusive hiring practices are crucial to the success of any organization. They have a significant influence on whether an organization is able to attract and retain top talent, foster a positive work environment, and create a rich company culture. When there is discrimination in hiring processes, organisations risk missing out on a key source of innovation and creativity. However, by prioritizing diversity and inclusion, they can ensure that they are able to tap into the full potential of the workforce and create a more inclusive environment for all.

49% of job hunters have experienced discrimination in the hiring process for a new job, and 52% said they have witnessed it

Remote’s survey asked workers across the world whether they’d ever experienced or witnessed discrimination in the hiring process. Nearly five in 10 (49%) said they had experienced it themselves and more than half (52%) of applicants said they had witnessed it.

See below the discriminatory experiences of job applicants split across the US, France, the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Country % of employees that have experienced discrimination in the hiring process
United States 56%
France 54%
United Kingdom 50%
Germany 48%
Canada 36%

Out of the countries surveyed, the United States has the highest percentage of job hunters who have experienced discrimination in the hiring process at 56%.

Across all countries surveyed, discrimination occurs more against male applicants than female applicants, with 44% of female applicants reporting discriminatory experiences compared with 52% of male applicants. Young people appear to be the most vulnerable to (or most observant of) workplace discrimination, with two-thirds (69.23%) of applicants between 18-24 have experienced discrimination in the hiring process.

55% go on to experience discrimination in the workplace after the hiring processes

Remote’s investigation discovered that discrimination becomes more prevalent after the hiring process ends, with 55% of employees reporting that they have experienced workplace discrimination and 59% saying they have witnessed it.

See below the discriminatory experiences of employees split across the UK, Germany, France, the US, and Canada.

Country % of employees that have experienced discrimination in the workplace
United Kingdom 59%
Germany 59%
France 55%
United States 54%
Canada 46%

At 59%, the United Kingdom and Germany are the countries with the highest percentage of employees who have faced discrimination in the workplace.

Offering workplace flexibility is the most common practice to promote diversity and inclusion in the hiring process

Remote asked employers which practices they use to promote diversity and inclusion in their hiring processes to explore the most commonly used methods. The table below shows their top five responses.

Practice used Number of employers who responded %
Offering workplace flexibility 23%
Acknowledging holidays of all cultures 21%
Providing awareness training and implementing diversity and inclusion policies for HR or People teams and hiring managers 20%
Implementing scorecards to support managing bias during the hiring process 20%
Advertising roles through new channels that target diverse candidates 19%

When it comes to attracting diverse employee candidates from different backgrounds, workplace flexibility is the most popular offering for employers. Just under a quarter (23%) of hiring managers and employers internationally stated that offering workplace flexibility was their company’s most common approach.

The most common business benefit of hiring diverse talent are widening the talent pool and improving employee productivity

Remote asked employers and hiring managers to outline the ways that hiring diverse talent had a strong positive impact on their workforce.

The majority of employers and hiring managers have benefitted from access to a widened talent pool and noticed a positive impact on employee engagement and performance. Other benefits included increased creativity and innovation amongst employees.

The top challenge employers face in making workplaces more inclusive is managing the concept that diversity means different things to different people

Managing inequitable inclusion is the biggest challenge that UK employers and hiring managers face, with 36% listing this as the difficulty they face the most. Inequitable inclusion refers to the concept that diversity means different things to different people.

This is closely followed by communication issues relating to language barriers, slang, colloquialisms and cultural misunderstandings (35%). The third most common challenge is finding the time to train employees about different ways of thinking and approaching a scenario (34%).


You can see the full study and methodology

About Remote

Remote’s mission is to open up the vast potential of the world for every person, business and country. We envision a world where every person and business truly belongs in the global market.


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