According to a new Canada-wide study from Simon Fraser University, applicants with ethnic-sounding names are less likely to get a call back from potential employers.

Researchers sent thousands of resumes to online job postings in Canadian cities for the study, which was conducted by the Metropolis British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Diversity.

The results showed that employers favoured resumes from applicants with English-sounding names over ethnic and international-sounding names. Researchers said the discrimination greatly affects an immigrant's ability to succeed in the labour market.

"We found that there is significant discrimination by name, ethnicity and city of experience," says Krishna Pendakur, co-director of Metropolis. "Employers in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver significantly discriminate against applicants with common Indian and Chinese names, relative to English names."

The study found that Canadian-born people with English-sounding names are more likely to get a call back for a job interview than internationally-born people, even if the two applicants have the same job experience.

The least discriminatory Canadian city was Vancouver, while Montreal was rated the most. Researchers said employers justified name and immigrant discrimination based on language skill concerns, time limitations and wanting to avoid "bad hires."

In order to combat name-based discrimination, researchers suggest employers mask names when sifting through job applicants and make interview choices based on skills and experience.