Improving sexual orientation data coverage by increasing willing disclosure in recruitment

Last registered on December 21, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Improving sexual orientation data coverage by increasing willing disclosure in recruitment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004537
Initial registration date
October 14, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 15, 2019, 9:51 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
December 21, 2020, 10:44 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The Behavioural Insights Team

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
The Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
The Behavioural Insights Team

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2019-09-11
End date
2020-04-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Disclosure rates for sexual orientation data are often lower than for other demographic data such as ethnicity. It is important to increase willing disclosure of sexual orientation data to ensure that employers can identify potential biases in their recruitment processes and implement appropriate adjustments to make them fairer. We are testing the impact of messaging on increasing willing disclosure rates of sexual orientation data during recruitment. In a 4-armed randomised controlled trial, applicants starting a job application see either the current form or three alternative simple messages that aim to address different key potential reasons for non-disclosure. These are 1) mistrust in the secure handling of their demographic data, 2) the belief that disclosure would harm the application, and 3) not understanding the purpose of providing such data.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Nicks, Leonie et al. 2020. "Improving sexual orientation data coverage by increasing willing disclosure in recruitment." AEA RCT Registry. December 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4537
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We are implementing the trial with an online recruitment platform. The platform asks applicants to provide demographic data as soon as they register to apply for a role. The intervention is different versions of the introductory statements at the beginning of the form. Control is the current version of the form, and the three intervention arms address different key reasons for non-disclosure: 1) mistrust in the secure handling of such data, 2) the belief that disclosure would harm the application, and 3) not understanding the purpose of providing such data.
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-12
Intervention End Date
2019-12-06

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcome measure: the probability an applicant discloses sexual orientation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Disclosure is where individuals have not selected 'prefer not to say' or opted out of the entire form.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary 1: probability of opting out of entire disclosure form
Secondary 2: probability of disclosure for all other diversity questions
Secondary 3: distribution of responses to sexual orientation question
Secondary 4: probability of job offer
Secondary 5: probability of submitting application
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
1: Applicants have the option to opt out of the entire form, so this is probability that they do that
2: Applicants are asked about gender, age, ethnicity, disability, parents' university education and whether they were eligible for free school meals. We will also look at whether disclosure rates change on these other characteristics
3: This involves looking at whether the intervention changes the proportion of applicants disclosing different types of sexual orientation - it might be that the intervention increases rates of minority or majority disclosure
4: We are keen to measure and ensure that there are no harmful consequences for candidates
5: Similarly, we want to ensure there are no harmful consequences on the likelihood that applicants submit their application

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The trial is a four-armed online randomised controlled trial (RCT) randomised on 25,000 unique individual applicants.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Using the online platform's automated randomisation functionality.
Randomization Unit
Unique applicants
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
n=25,000
Sample size: planned number of observations
n=25,000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
6,250 control, 6,250 mistrust intervention, 6,250 belief it harms application intervention, 6,250 value not understood intervention
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 06, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 09, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
24,581
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
24,581
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Control = 6,103, 'Mistrust' = 6,092, 'Belief it harms application' = 6,200, 'Value not understood' = 6,161
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials