Paired testing and mystery shopping are two methods that can be used to reveal pre-application discrimination in the hiring process. Paired testing is when two individuals with similar qualifications apply for the same job and the employer’s response to each is compared. Mystery shopping involves sending in an applicant with a fake resume and seeing how they are treated differently than other applicants. Both of these methods can help to identify any potential discrimination before the application process even begins.

Matched pair testing

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Matched Pairs Test is used to detect discrimination. The focus is to determine the presence of disparate treatment in the supply of goods and services during the sales process. Traditionally used to determine discrimination in housing and mortgage loansthe research methodology involves the use of pairs of testers or mystery shoppersrepresenting test and to control cells. Control cells generally comprise notprotected consumer classes and test cells comprise protected classes of consumers under the Fair Housing Law. For example, the control cells comprise non-minority or male mystery shoppers, while the test cells comprise African-American, Hispanic, or female mystery shoppers. The mystery shoppers in each pair (for example, African American and White) conduct tests separately, but each receives matching or very similar profiles. Profiles typically contain financial, demographic, and classification (gender and age) characteristics of the shopper. Buyers of each pair perform the same query and ask for the same information. The only difference is the treatment of the test, for example the ethnicity or gender of the mystery shoppers. Before performing the mystery shop, mystery shoppers are trained on how to conduct mystery shops, the use of the profile and how to record information regarding the treatment and information they will receive. After completing the mystery shop, shoppers record their experience and information received in a questionnaire. Information entered in the questionnaires is entered into an electronic database and test and control shopper experiences are compared.

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