THE DIVERSITY CONFERENCE 2000

National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights


Ms Judith Booth
Deakin University, Victoria

The Recruiter and the Indian Information Technologist

Abstract
Critiqueing 'cultural fit' in the Australian workplace: a case study of Indian Information Technologists interviewed for the Y2K project.

'Cultural fit' is an expression used by recruitment consultants when seeking to place overseas-trained professionals into professional employment in Australia. A crucial decision to be made by recruiters in the short-listing process for corporate clients is "How will the candidate fit into the workplace?" In this study I critique the notion of 'cultural fit' through focusing on a case study of Indian information technologists who are recruited for the Y2K project. The data is in the form of ten videotaped interviews in Bangalore and the recruiter commentary on those tapes in Melbourne. I take an interdisciplinary approach drawing principally on the research traditions of workplace linguistics, the discourses of Critical Linguistics and Interactional Sociolinguistics. Taking into account Bourdieu's notion of 'cultural capital', I argue that there is a need for both overseas-trained professionals and recruiters to widen their cultural repertoires. The study will have training implications for management and course providers to migrants.

Presentation Type
30 min paper


University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

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