Survey Reveals Extensive Antisemitism in Hiring

Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor

December 2, 2022

There is an extensive amount of antisemitism within too many organizations, and much of it is considered acceptable, according to a new study by Resume Builder. Even more troubling is that participants in the survey were all hiring managers and recruiters.

In a survey of 1131 U.S. hiring managers, 33% said that antisemitism (defined as prejudice against Jewish people) is common in their workplace (14% very common; 19% somewhat common). When asked how acceptable antisemitism is at their company, 29% replied that it is acceptable in their company (17% very acceptable; 12% somewhat acceptable).

The results showed not just anti-Jewish discrimination in organizations, but also among hiring managers themselves. For instance:

  • 26% say they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants;
  • 26% make assumptions about whether a candidate is Jewish based on their appearance;
  • 23% say they want fewer Jews in their industry; and
  • 17% say leadership has told them to not hire Jews.

Reasons given for not moving a Jewish candidate forward in the hiring process reflect long-standing antisemitic tropes and stereotypes, including:

  • 38% saying Jews have too much power and control;
  • 38% saying Jews claim to be the "chosen people;"
  • 35% saying Jews have too much wealth; and
  • 22% saying Jews are greedy.

Other reasons include beliefs that Jews are an inferior race and are less capable.

In response to what she called "disturbing data," executive recruiter and career counselor Stacie Haller said companies need to not only be aware of the presence of antisemitism in their organizations but to also take meaningful steps toward combating hate and prejudice.

"Antisemitism in the workplace starts at the hiring process with individuals who do not want to hire Jews because of bigoted stereotypes, but that is not where it ends. Given that nearly one-third say antisemitism is common and acceptable in their workplace, it's evident that antisemitism extends way beyond the hiring process," Haller said.

"Organizations need to commit to oversight, training and having meaningful conversations about antisemitism," she said. "Removing prejudice and ensuring the workplace is equal, fair and accessible for all is not an easy challenge for organizations to tackle, but it's absolutely essential."