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Job discrimination based on heritage?

Hard time getting callbacks

newkidontheblock
post 26.Oct.2016, 12:33 PM
Post #1
Joined: 26.Oct.2016

Hello,

I am relatively new to Sweden. Moved to Stockholm about half a year ago. I live with my Swedish sambo and so far have been working in a high position within marketing, primarily tackling Nordic territories. I used to work abroad for a Swedish company and most of my colleagues were Swedes. I am still working for the same company but on remote, and continue with my duties.

That said, I don't speak Swedish (but actively learning).

Now, it came time for me to look for a new job, to settle more into my new surroundings - to adapt to my new city fully. I am noticing that I am not getting ANY interview callbacks, and people aren't even trying to search me up on Linkedin (link included in CV). Recruiters barely respond - those who met me do, those who haven't no. I network extensively and have many recommendations, mostly from Swedes. Here I am talking primarily about direct applications to job postings for which I don't have a connection or side entry.

I have checked contents of my resume with many local people, I have vast experience and appropriate education, and nobody can really pinpoint what is the issue of complete disinterest. Most of these positions are also posted in english and require english as a main language (resumes are also in english), even though some do note knowledge of Swedish as well (so I understand some rejections).

The roles I am going for are higher or on my current level, but I have good experience and am mostly aiming at the jobs that I am currently doing.

With constant improvement on my resume (I always try to adapt it and make it better), I am starting to wonder if I am being completely looked over based on my heritage.

I have a slavic background and a Slavic name (eastern european). Now I have started including my sambo's last name (swedish) to give it more familiarity, but at the end of the day I have a very typical eastern european name, and despite my knowledge of Swedish business landscape and experience, I am really starting to feel something might be affecting the callback or someone even giving my resume a look.

I have read several studies confirming this and also articles where people changed their names and ended up getting interviews then.


I just wanted to get feedback how do you guys feel when it comes to discrimination? I noticed Americans, Brits and Germans etc, get more recognition unlike us who come from Slavic/Balkan areas. I find it completely unfortunate and downright frustrating.

And to note, I have rights to work, PN, and all that jazz, as a EU citizen.

Just any thoughts about how to go about this?
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newkidontheblock
post 26.Oct.2016, 01:42 PM
Post #2
Joined: 26.Oct.2016

And one thing to note:

I lived and worked in several first world countries and never had this much of an "issue". I know this is a quite tight and closed off society, where speaking Swedish is important (and not enough either), but I am really trying to get a sense if I am just overthinking this, or is it really something "in the name/heritage".
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Gjeebes
post 26.Oct.2016, 02:07 PM
Post #3
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

Welcome to Sweden. Land of the feminist government and the humanitarian super-God, where gender-equality, safety, and the under-dog (in general) are all more important than common sense.

But seriously, you might just be on to something. We of course anticipate the predictable "no, no, never in Sweden, Sweden is golden" crowd to arrive at this thread and give all the (scripted) reasons why what you suspect just-can't-be-true...but I would guess you are not far off the mark.

Change your name on your application materials, and give it a go. I'd bet 2 cans of last year's rotten herring, you will be getting more action that way. If you are challenged due to lacking language skills, just indicate you had parents who saw so many great Swedish films, and listened to sooo much ABBA, that they just had to give you one of those exotic Swedish names. I could suggest Jerker, for a first name; they'll eat it up.

Sad, isn't it? All the BS talk of open this and equal that, yet this place is about as religionist, racist, sexist, xenophobic and nepotistic as it gets.
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Bsmith
post 26.Oct.2016, 03:13 PM
Post #4
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

Would that be pronounced "Jerker" with a hard J or "Yerker"?
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Hisingen
post 26.Oct.2016, 03:51 PM
Post #5
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 26.Oct.2016, 01:07 PM) *
- - -All the BS talk of open this and equal that, yet this place is about as religionist, racist, sexist, xenophobic and nepotistic as it gets.

Well since you are still here it either cannot be that bad, or you are enjoying a spell of self-flagellation. Don't know which. Perhaps you will enlighten - - - .
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Gjeebes
post 26.Oct.2016, 07:23 PM
Post #6
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

QUOTE (Bsmith @ 26.Oct.2016, 03:13 PM) *
Would that be pronounced "Jerker" with a hard J or "Yerker"?

More like Yerker, but always fun to forget and proceed with a hard "J"...you know...those darned foreigners will never get it right!
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Savage
post 26.Oct.2016, 07:36 PM
Post #7
Joined: 11.Mar.2016

QUOTE
Well since you are still here it either cannot be that bad, or you are enjoying a spell of self-flagellation. Don't know which. Perhaps you will enlighten - - - .


B,
Again, why don't you tell people on here what brought you to Sweden laugh.gif
And your desperate need to talk online in English via numerous sites in a way that almost seems to try and self justify the choices you made.
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Hisingen
post 26.Oct.2016, 10:35 PM
Post #8
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

Well, my choice was freely made. In contrast to some, who only feel they must constantly denigrate anythiing that is Swedish - in the cause of so-called journalism. Did you do an Assange and jump bail perchance??
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 26.Oct.2016, 11:55 PM
Post #9
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

Job discrimination based on heritage, exists...everywhere...

In reality who would hire a person that is not of his/her group, when their own people are needing jobs too...
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wallace1837
post 27.Oct.2016, 08:34 AM
Post #10
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

From OECD it exist everywhere ( https://data.oecd.org/migration/foreign-bor...nemployment.htm ). Lets see what is the magnitude in some countries.

ratio = Unemployment foreign born/Unemployment native born
At ratio one no one has advantage.
At ratio above 1 the foreign born are more likely to be unemployed.
At ratio below 1 native born are more likely to be unemployed
At ratio 2 the foreign born are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to native born.
You get the idea.


2014 DATA from OECD
USA: Unemployment foreign born 5.8%, Unemployment native born 6.5%, ratio 0.89
Canada: Unemployment foreign born 7.8%, Unemployment native born 6.7%, ratio 1.16
Greece: Unemployment foreign born 34.5%, Unemployment native born 25.8%, ratio 1.34
Spain: Unemployment foreign born 33.3%, Unemployment native born 22.8%, ratio 1.46
Iceland: Unemployment foreign born 7.6%, Unemployment native born 4.8%, ratio 1.58
Finland: Unemployment foreign born 16.8%, Unemployment native born 8.3%, ratio 2.02
Sweden: Unemployment foreign born 16.4%, Unemployment native born 6.2%, ratio 2.65
Norway: Unemployment foreign born 7.9%, Unemployment native born 2.9%, ratio 2.72

In conclusion it discrimination may exist everywhere, but Sweden is pretty good at it!
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newkidontheblock
post 27.Oct.2016, 09:04 AM
Post #11
Joined: 26.Oct.2016

@gamla

"Job discrimination based on heritage, exists...everywhere...

In reality who would hire a person that is not of his/her group, when their own people are needing jobs too..."

I would hire people as I have hired people from all cultures, heritage and backgrounds. Based on their capabilities and merits. At least I would talk to people and not bin their resumes based on name.

@wallace: As someone who lived also in US and UK, I definitely felt the difference than here, just based on response rate.

At the end of the day, maybe what confuses a lot of people is that Stockholm presents itself (and is considered) as a metropola, an urban diverse city. In reality is quite a tiny place (as Sweden as a whole), where pretty much everyone gets to know one another over time and it turns into a very exclusive club. My home town is of this size and I find a lot of similarities.

With persistence this can be broken down, as people get to know you (no other way), and by having locals vouch for you until you are part of the system.
I just wanted to get a sense more if I was reading this right. It seems to be the case. It is so so unfortunate, but indeed, it is like many societies in the world. I guess, given the perceived "progressivness" of this country one would really expect better.
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LLHope
post 27.Oct.2016, 09:19 AM
Post #12
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (newkidontheblock @ 26.Oct.2016, 12:33 PM) *
Now I have started including my sambo's last name (swedish) to give it more familiarity, but at the end of the day I have a very typical eastern european name, and despite ... (show full quote)
Big mistake. All of those people who claim that changing their last name makes a difference, rubbish. If they had any intelligence they would know that FIRST name is more telling than surname. A Swedish sounding first name implies at least 1 parent is Swedish, regardless of family name.

Swedish recruitment can be very specific. If you are trying to go via recruitment agencies then you need to understand that there is a lot of competition between agencies, once a process is agreed it can be expensive, and because of the combination of price charged and competition the agencies are very very afraid of passing to their clients selected candidates that do not exactly meet the requirements (which indeed means they are very specific about what is required and often miss the best candidates for the client) as the risk is losing future business.

They also often place ads for positions that are not available yet, to get in potential candidates to their database, which is then used as a sales tool ... look we have xxxxx number of such skilled/experienced candidates in this field.

Also, despite what you have heard about Swedish law protecting jobs so people stay in companies for decades, yes in many respects, but the reality is that within the EU, workers in Sweden are the most "mobile" (change jobs/companies often). A lot of competition, you need to make yourself more visible and stand-out through creative cover-letter, personality etc... the cv they wont even bother to read, sometimes not even before the interview you wink.gif

QUOTE (wallace1837 @ 27.Oct.2016, 08:34 AM) *
In conclusion it discrimination may exist everywhere, but Sweden is pretty good at it!
That is not a conclusion that can be drawn from those figures. First, foreign-born is a very misleading term, in Sweden whenever the media an politicians want to try and put a positive spin on how wonderfully educated immigrants are that come to Sweden they use the term foreign-born. This eve includes Swedish citizens born outside of Sweden, and all the, indeed educated, immigrants from developed countries (e.g. USA, EU etc...), whilst trying to imply it is the asylum seekers from the less educated areas of the world. Secondly, you need to break the data down into levels of education and available jobs at those levels before you can even start to talk discrimination! unsure.gif
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newkidontheblock
post 27.Oct.2016, 09:41 AM
Post #13
Joined: 26.Oct.2016

@llhope

The change name was meant for the whole name, not just last name BUT I don't feel like lying therefor I don't want to change my first name which is not my legal name. Adding a surname of my partner is the closes thing to a grey area I can do, without being completely dishonest as I don't want to fraud anyone, and since we are in sambo officially, it is one of those things that wouldn't cause too much of a frowned eye.

I have been around the block work wise, and have quite a lot of experience. I am particularly talking about roles that it is quite clear they are hiring. And it's not just through CV how someone connects, there is cover letters, LinkedIn and such - but the bottom line is, I am seeing a CLEAR lack of responsiveness overall, which is usually not the case. And not just from recruiters, even from companies when it comes to rejection letters and such.

And again, for me, I always have seen a different vibe when it comes to an American or a Brit (or anyone with anglo-saxon background) searching for a job, than when a Slav (and/or Balkan) is searching for one. It is almost as people from my area are perceived as less valuable or our work experience as well, even if it's from the same area and or level of work.

It is quite unfortunate.
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wallace1837
post 27.Oct.2016, 09:42 AM
Post #14
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

QUOTE (LLHope @ 27.Oct.2016, 08:19 AM) *
That is not a conclusion that can be drawn from those figures. First, foreign-born is a very misleading term, in Sweden whenever the media an politicians want to try and put a ... (show full quote)

I would like to see those data (breakdown by education level, citizenship, etc.) too. But as far as the OECD data shows, using the same yardstick for different countries, Sweden is really good at discrimination. I will happily change my mind when I see data independently collected that shows that the OECD is wrong. In the meantime, this is the most reliable comparison that I have to make inform decision.
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Savage
post 27.Oct.2016, 10:31 AM
Post #15
Joined: 11.Mar.2016

If you do a search on this forum, with just the term "discrimination" in the field subject.
You will get over 3 whole pages of results.

its not a new subject and has been covered extensively.
You can either argue with posters online and get nowhere or take proactive steps, knowing your comments on here will not make the smallest bit of difference. If you know the variables, have the brains, you will understand the reality and take steps in your future to avoid such issues.

As no amount of blond hair dye will change perception.
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