As If it Weren't Hard Enough Already: Breaking Down Hiring Discrimination Following Burnout

44 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020

See all articles by Philippe Sterkens

Philippe Sterkens

Ghent University

Stijn Baert

Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Claudia Rooman

Ghent University

Eva Derous

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract

Hiring discrimination towards (former) burnout patients has been extensively documented in the literature. To tackle this problem, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms of such discrimination. Therefore, we conducted a vignette experiment with 425 genuine recruiters and jointly tested the potential stigma against job candidates with a history of burnout that were mentioned earlier in the literature. We found candidates revealing a history of burnout elicit perceptions of requiring work adaptations, likely having more unpleasant collaborations with others as well as diminished health, autonomy, ability to work under pressure, leadership capacity, manageability, and learning ability, when compared to candidates with a comparable gap in working history due to physical injury. Led by perceptions of a reduced ability to work under pressure, the tested perceptions jointly explained over 90% of the effect of revealing burnout on the probability of being invited to a job interview. In addition, the negative effect on interview probability of revealing burnout was stronger when the job vacancy required higher stress tolerance. In contrast, the negative impact of revealing burnout on interview probability appeared weaker when recruiters were women and when recruiters had previously had personal encounters with burnout.

Keywords: hiring discrimination, burnout, statistical discrimination, taste-based discrimination

JEL Classification: J71, I14, C83, C91

Suggested Citation

Sterkens, Philippe and Baert, Stijn and Rooman, Claudia and Derous, Eva, As If it Weren't Hard Enough Already: Breaking Down Hiring Discrimination Following Burnout. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13514, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3660260

Philippe Sterkens (Contact Author)

Ghent University

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Stijn Baert

Ghent University ( email )

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/stijn-baert/

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uclouvain.be/en-309318.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=6832

Claudia Rooman

Ghent University

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Eva Derous

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands
+31 10 408 9588 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9009 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eur.nl/fsw/psyweb/homepage/eva_derous.htm

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