Publication Details

Almeida, S., Fernando, M., Hannif, Z. & Dharmage, S. C. (2015). Fitting the mould: the role of employer perceptions in immigrant recruitment decision making. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26 (22), 2811-2832.


Human capital theory presumes that skill-accredited immigrant professionals can access positions in the labour market to match their skills and qualifications. It implies that employers have little power to influence the labour market outcomes of immigrant professionals. Using social identity theory, we examine the influence of similarity effect in recruitment decision-making involving immigrant information technology (IT) professionals in New South Wales, Australia. We assess how decision makers (N = 331) hiring IT professionals need to associate and identify with people that resemble themselves in some way more than those that do not, can influence their perception of the immigrant candidate's fit into their organisation. Particularly, we examine how the level of exposure to diversity, the decision maker's origin and the diversity of clientele can moderate the assessment of the candidate's fit to the organisation. We also assess how attire, name, accent and any overtly expressed religious affiliations influence employer perceptions. The findings indicate decision makers with lower levels of exposure to diversity or working in organisations with mostly Anglo clients tend to be more concerned of the fit regarding the Indians, South-east Asians and the Chinese. They were also more likely to be negatively influenced by the non-Anglo personal attributes.

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