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Discrimination in hiring North Africans in Quebec: the worrying results of a study

Discrimination in hiring North Africans in Quebec: the worrying results of a study

Quebec, renowned for its cultural diversity, nevertheless seems to confront its new North Africans arrivals with a major challenge: access to the job market.

A recent study from the University of Montreal, conducted by Brahim Boudarbat and Claude Montmarquette, reported on by, highlights subtle but persistent discrimination against immigrants from the Maghreb.

The experiment carried out by the two researchers reveals a disturbing reality. When selecting CVs, North African candidates are much less likely to be called for job interviews compared to their Franco-Quebec counterparts. A difference which shows a first discriminatory filter based on ethnic origin, well before the meeting in person.

Oddly enough, the recruitment process seems to even out in the final stage. Once the recruiters meet the candidates, the chances of hiring North Africans align with those of Franco-Quebecers.

Faced with this problem, researchers have tested different approaches to reduce discrimination. Raising recruiters’ awareness of employment equity or diversifying the ethnic origin of recruiters, however, did not have a significant effect. Likewise, training in human resources management and diversity does not seem to have a significant impact on recruitment practices.

This study highlights a crying need to rethink recruitment strategies in Quebec. In a context of labor shortage, it is imperative that employers and recruitment professionals adopt more inclusive practices. Collaboration with organizations such as the Conseil du patronat du Québec could prove crucial to developing transparent and equitable processes.

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