Recruiter sends ‘prejudiced’ reply by mistake

The applicant – a nurse – was called ‘another Nigerian’

Recruiter sends ‘prejudiced’ reply by mistake

A nurse who tried applying for a new post at the UK’s National Health Service, after she reportedly contracted COVID-19 on the job and recovered, has received what appears to be an email response from a recruiter singling her out on the basis of her race. In the exchange, the applicant can be seen having attached a document, which was presumably her CV, to the email. The recipient may have intended to relay the file to a colleague, but the reply ended up back in the applicant’s mailbox.

Although the message was brief, it had specifically mentioned the candidate’s race. “Another one but again Nigerian,” the recipient said in what may have been an accidental reply to the applicant. A screengrab of the exchange, which the nurse’s daughter shared on social media, in part reveals the recruiter’s stance towards people of colour. The response drew criticism online.

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“My mum has just worked as nurse throughout the pandemic, a year after qualifying. Got COVID at work. She recovered (we thank God) and went back to work. She’s now decided to apply for a new role in a different setting and this is what was sent to her by the recruiter,” Twitter user @sxde said.

“I believe this was clearly not intended for us to see, but it confirmed what is being said behind the scenes. This is unprofessional, prejudiced and incredibly discriminatory language which is against the NHS and Nursing code of conduct.”

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The post generated support online and prompted two local units of the NHS to apologise. In a tweet, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said: “This is a truly distressing message and we are sorry that something like this has been shared with your mother. Be assured this is not our organisation and it does not reflect the values we hold dear. We’ve raised with the right organisation asking they contact you immediately.”

NHS Coventry and Warwickshire CCG condemned the recruiter’s action, saying it does not “reflect our values or those of the NHS” and asking to get in touch with the family to “investigate urgently”.

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