Airbnb discrimination against Indian candidates

Quora eNHU01
May 14, 2018 376 Comments

I've heard a lot of horror stories about Airbnb discrimating against Indians eg not hiring any Indians, not giving strong Indian candidates interviews, having one intern out of hundreds in a summer batch and not converting him into full-time.

I'm neither Indian nor Indian descent and had a positive interview experience with Airbnb in the past. Are these horror stories grounded in truth?

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TOP 376 Comments
  • Airbnb slackbot
    If I had to guess, it probably has something to do with the fact that a majority of the interviewers are Chinese.
    May 14, 2018 37
    • Microsoft / Eng
      NotDoable

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
      NotDoablemore
      Well if they are talking in private place, that is a lot better than publicly displaying racism where everyone can see.
      May 16, 2018
    • Expedia Kennewick
      You’re not suggesting that private racism is better than public racism are you?

      Racism out of ignorance can be tackled if the person spouting it really wants to understand the impact of their words and thoughts. Racism in private creates a vacuum that breeds additional ignorance.

      Let’s say Airbnb was full of racists (which I don’t believe for a second). Wouldn’t you rather know that before you walk in the door? Does one Chinese person, prepping another for an interview in Chinese, automatically make it racist?

      If this is a problem, let’s pass laws requiring all public speech is performed in English so we can all feel better about people talking about us in public.

      Bottom line: Airbnb is not a racist company. Airbnb probably has racist employees just like every other company in the world.

      Airbnb’s (perceived) unbalanced democratic are probably due to geographic location and social circles more than any real conspiracy.
      May 16, 2018
    • Airbnb Jing Yang
      slack bot do you have any concrete proof then. If you do, then hand it over to the legal team
      May 18, 2018
    • Airbnb slackbot
      There’s nothing illegal about this?
      May 18, 2018
    • Genentech Snowmansf
      Indians are colonized by British for a long long time. But they still have strong accent how can Indian guys laugh other people has accent?
      May 19, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    NotDoable

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
    NotDoablemore
    Why is this a big deal? At most of tech companies, Indians are majority even more than white Americans. When will you stop complaining? Other races/nationalities are already discriminated heavily by Indians and this is ridiculous.

    You may see some Chinese or Russians favoring their own people here and there but it is not as blatant as Indians when it comes to hiring and promotion. Just ask honest opinion to your non Indian peers. I hear this a lot from all nationalities so this is not just my personal observation.

    As a result, we have so many less qualified leaders and engineers. If you truly believe Indians have better qualifications than others, just look at their linkedin profiles and check which schools they went to. Most of my peers from other nations or US graduated from top state colleges etc and most of Chinese folks have PhDs from good US universities. Most of Indians don’t have degree from US and hardly PhDs. Most have masters from like top 200 colleges in US at best or some unknown colleges in India.

    I sometimes feel like these folks will never stop complaining about discrimination until 100% is Indians. Before complaining, just look in the mirror whether you have been hiring and promoting fairly. Your unconscious bias will naturally see more advantage from the people of similar culture so I get that. However, it has gone too far in my opinion and complaining about it is like white people in 1900s complaining that black people are not hiring enough white people at one of their farms.

    Please stop this ridiculous nonsense and being greedy to take over everything without proper qualifications before you actually make other people start turning against you. Despite all this, I have never seen any other nationalities not hiring Indians. Even Chinese companies hire lots of Indians.
    May 14, 2018 53
    • Expedia Jake Oh
      Who said anything about absolute? Think of it this way: not all Sikhs wear turbans but nobody is surprised to see a Sikh with a turban. Not all Indian girls have a dot but nobody is surprised to see it. Not all South Indians distrust Gujarati but you wouldn’t be surprised if they were whispering behind his back.

      The interesting thing about Indians is that even they start privately complaining when there are too high a proportion of other Indians in a group. I’ve never observed this behavior from any other ethnic group.

      The weird thing, AttiDude, is that you’re right: I think Indians assimilate better than Chinese (the next-largest immigrant group) but they can be a gossipy bunch when one of the group does something deemed inappropriate by the rest.
      May 26, 2018
    • Microsoft AttiDude
      Actually my reply was @hedgeit because it seemed stereotypical and with shallow thinking.

      JakeOh : both of our assessments match - we as a whole can improve but hey, that applies to all groups
      May 26, 2018
    • Google hedgeit
      Shallow? It does not explain all the back stabbing I experience from Indians colleagues and now you blame me shallow?
      Oh well obviously it is not your issue so I am the shallow guy. Your bullets points are not wrong but they are not everything. How would you explain the enterprises middle manager positions exclusively occupied by Indian? Is it because of the lack of manager talent? Duh
      May 26, 2018
    • Microsoft AttiDude
      If you really experienced back stabbings those people are a**holes - don’t blame an entire country for it !
      May 26, 2018
    • Oracle lareeee
      Speaking from my experience, at least where I am, most managers who are Indians have much less happy ppl under them, compared to Chinese (2nd), and lastly whites.
      I believe it's mostly because of cultural difference and thus unconsciously they'd only be able to retain Indian folks and as the fallout create an exclusive all Indian group.
      May 26, 2018
  • Airbnb / Eng pillow
    I haven’t heard any stories, but can give you what I see. My direct team has two (out of 6-ish), my small part of org a bunch, and overall I feel we have a good mix. I mostly feel blacks being underrepresented, but still better than other companies I worked for.
    May 14, 2018 21
    • Groupon Fxcy34
      @Notdoable either you are socialist (beilve hiring should represent population distribution and not merit)or racist jealous (don't like Indians making it to tech CEOs)
      May 16, 2018
    • Facebook WeOut
      You are all stupid.. no further remarks
      May 16, 2018
    • Amazon Fygyfyyg
      Seen only 4-5 in many tens of thousands in Amazon
      May 16, 2018
    • Cruise Automation / Eng ✉️
      I think not enough black people have exposure to cs
      May 17, 2018
    • Microsoft TrixR4Kidz
      Education system is not as important as parents. Honestly, underrep minorities need more tiger moms. Plenty of poor indians, asians, arabs, africans (not same as black) broke through... schools matter but not as much as parents bro...
      Jun 11, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon Izzypop
      Oh please. Oriental is offensive? People saying everything is offensive is offensive to me.
      May 16, 2018
    • Apple YMxz02
      If only we had data to back up your claims
      May 16, 2018
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Cruise Automation / Eng ✉️
      I feel like every unicorn-type company has a lower proportion of Indians.
      We don't have that many either, and most of them we do have are citizens or born and raised here.
      May 17, 2018
    • Amazon Cul8ralg8r
      Most Indians are on H1b and they prefer stability over massive growth for this reason. That’s would explain why they’re attracted to companies like MSFT/Intel/Google vs unicorns.
      May 21, 2018
  • Airbnb / Eng
    Spinner

    Airbnb Eng

    PRE
    500 Startups
    Spinnermore
    We use core value interviews to weed them out
    May 14, 2018 13
    • Salesforce H57ffgF1
      It's like WhatsApp, right? So Mass sharing is perfectly possible. People can just copy from one group to another
      May 15, 2018
    • Expedia Kennewick
      Why do you assume it’s just a Chinese thing? I went through a period of time that I changed me interview questions for every Cognizant interview because the recruiter kept debriefing them and sending the questions to the next candidate. Some people can make you doubt an entire group but you can’t fall into the trap of believing, “all of X does this so I can’t trust them”
      May 15, 2018
    • LinkedIn KingKong12
      The problem with Airbnb right now is that they have limited set of interview questions and what Chinese people are doing is mass sharing those questions on WeChat along with the answers which the Chinese interviewers at Airbnb are looking for because they will not accept any other answer even if your solution is optimized as well. So in short Chinese get the edge because of their brothers at Airbnb mass spreading their limited interview questions on WeChat. And I am sure if Airbnb adapts the interview like Google, you will see a big reduction of Chinese leetcode monkeys cracking their hiring process
      May 16, 2018
    • Expedia Kennewick
      Doesn’t seem so bad: if they fill up one company with people that couldn’t ordinarily pass an interview, there’s less chance of running into these underachievers someplace else.

      Alternatively, you get a job there and look like god by comparison
      May 16, 2018
    • Pinterest winzip
      If you look at the engineers hired into Airbnb, it's way more Chinese than others.
      May 16, 2018
  • Google still
    No. Airbnb reached out twice.
    May 14, 2018 5
    • Microsoft / IT SuperUser
      and nothing happens after that..
      May 15, 2018
    • Google yue
      I didn't want to interview then. So nothing happened afterwards.
      May 15, 2018
    • Facebook Jackup
      Then you cant be an alibi, you disqualify
      May 17, 2018
    • Google yue
      Point being they are called for the interview. So not discriminated against.
      May 17, 2018
    • LinkedIn / Eng Melina
      I have scheduled onsite right now
      Jun 13, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    NotDoable

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
    NotDoablemore
    Let me tell you why AirBnb doesn’t have as many Indians as Microsoft. They don’t have big dev center in India to bring people with low pay unlike Microsoft which is enjoying heavy dose of transfer. They were start ups until recently so they don’t have many visas to sponsor for and usually takes green card holders. Or maybe... they are good at finding local talents you guys laughing at all the time! Last time I checked, most of them are NOT from China. Those who look like Chinese are actually American borns!! Or their parents are mixed or from other parts of Asia!!’ Yeah that is possible because they are frgging popular. Many talented US engineers want to work at start ups (until a few years ago) and that is the result. Same thing at Uber, Pinterest, etc Get out of your bubble, and make friends outside of your circle and have broader view; otherwise, I am pretty sure you will hire mostly Indians in the future and will still think you had been objective without any bias.
    May 14, 2018 6
    • Google Beebeebee
      This☝️. The root cause.
      May 16, 2018
    • PayPal / Eng NeatCoder
      Some anonymous guys rants and stereotypes Indians and Google comes to self realization. 🤦‍♂️.

      People (not just Indians) cannot be generalized.

      IMHO, many of the Talented Indians prefer established big firms to startups primarily because of immigration issues.
      May 16, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      NotDoable

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
      NotDoablemore
      @NeatCoder, just like you replied out of frustration on generalization and my comment was left for a similar reason. This is just massive racism against Chinese with absurd generalization based on guessing. Ironically, the real racists are calling others racists. Read the comments here or OP’s baiting comment that calls for racist attack. Think about how this is different from white people did many years ago.
      May 17, 2018
    • Salesforce / Eng 7473636272
      @NotDoable “calls for racist attack”? “racism against Chinese”?

      This thread didn’t start off with any accusations against Chinese or any other identity of people in general. The one Airbnb poster on this thread brought up anecdotal evidence of Chinese interviewers, and that’s been where discussion of the issue began.

      For all we know this could be a result of other discriminators/biases in Airbnb’s recruitment process. Or maybe there is no discrimination at all and that Indians haven’t applied to Airbnb in enough numbers for anything statistical to be concluded with here.

      IMO you shouldn’t bring up rhetoric of everyone in this thread definitively pinning this issue on Airbnb’s employees of Chinese background. That’s plain wrong to both the Chinese and to the other lurkers in this thread who are trying to rationalize the alleged discrimination (who you’ve name called as “racists” in your above reply).
      May 18, 2018
    • Airbnb Jing Yang
      So true
      May 18, 2018
  • Pinterest nbyv12
    All my Chinese friends that have joined AirBnB in the last year said they use an online question bank of all of AirBnB's questions and the descriptions of the questions and solutions are done using Chinese culture references so that any non-Chinese person using Google Translate can't understand it. That's why there's a huge influx of Chinese people joining the company. AirBnB should change their questions.
    May 15, 2018 3
    • Uber putz76
      Lol
      May 16, 2018
    • Microsoft UwXN33
      Lol
      May 16, 2018
    • Microsoft mmkkjik
      I think nowadays, the requirements for these questions are usually that one cannot easily find them online. It usually means you cannot find it in leetcode. The secret Chinese question bank isn’t well known, if it does exist, people use them probably because they are harder to find on the internet.

      I found many Indian colleagues pushing non leetcode questions. They also prefer questions with “open” answers. In others words, they prefer speech and vocabulary tests instead of coding tests. May be it is because they found themselves in disadvantages when contested in coding.
      May 30, 2018
  • Splunk Blahxbh
    In general San Francisco based companies have fewer Indians than those in South bay.
    May 14, 2018 3
    • Amazon St.
      This could be a real cause. Indian Americans tend to cluster in communities together, sounds like maybe in South Bay and Airbnb is in the city.
      May 15, 2018
    • Marvell 55blue
      Defin more Indians live in the South Bay, Fremont, and Tri-Valley than SF or even northern peninsula. They can take BART into the city though.
      May 16, 2018
    • Cruise Automation / Eng ✉️
      Yup.
      Coincidentally, SF is also where the unicorns tend to be based too
      May 17, 2018
  • Twitter Hvg
    Funniest thing at my Airbnb interview was when at the culture interview the guy said the company is diverse. Every single engineer that interviewed me was Chinese. Culture interview was two whites. Lunch was Chinese. Nuff said, I almost laughed.
    May 16, 2018 5
    • Groupon Fxcy34
      Lol...that's a fucked up situation. Someone should sue the company for discrimination. I am sure some folks would have created an internal memo (I suspect Chinese) to exclude Indians
      May 16, 2018
    • Airbnb slackbot
      The company is diverse when you don’t consider engineering and other companies.
      May 16, 2018
    • Groupon Fxcy34
      May be. But others don't discriminate. The point is #apllicants is huge, May be as big as #chineese applicants.
      May 16, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      NotDoable

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
      NotDoablemore
      If you have to sue because of too many Chinese, you will have to sue a lot more companies because of too many Indians. Companies like Microsoft and Qualcomm have much more Indian engineers than American engineers. The trend is only accelerating. If you have a brain, just think about green card queue and VISA issue and link that to why only few engineers work at start up like companies. Did you ever think maybe Indians prefer big tech companies over smaller web service companies? Have you ever thought the Chinese interviewer could actually be an American who was born and studied in American college? I am worried if many of these people are my co workers as my brain will take the beating. Hope it is only Blind folks who leave comments.
      May 17, 2018
    • Groupon Fxcy34
      And you are also assuming that Indians are not Americy Indians :) I don't have a problem that there are so many Chinese but the fact that Indians (incl American Indians) are discriminated in the hiring process.
      May 18, 2018
  • Netflix / Eng ricewater
    It's simple. They do leetcode hard for every candidate. And Chinese are much better than Indians if it becomes a top coder competition. Just check IOI, ACM etc.
    May 16, 2018 4
    • Google hedgeit
      Likely true.
      May 16, 2018
    • Microsoft LIMkoW
      code competition is in general an IQ test. China has more people and better living standards than India therefore more smart people, and less can find job here which implies higher bar. the lower quality Chinese in US of course much more intelligent than lower quality Indians.

      You cannot say this for high quality Indians, but they usually do well in life so they blame others less.
      Jun 15, 2018
    • Airbnb BsUc57
      I went to high school In the Bay Area and this is not true, literally everyone, Chinese and Indian can do leetcode hard
      Sep 1, 2018
    • Microsoft Xhisia
      One store is 10% more expensive than another, that’s a huge difference, but technically, they both can provide the same service.
      Sep 1, 2018
  • Google Beebeebee
    I am in the Google San Francisco office and I realize there are rarely Indians in this location, while there are thousands in the Mountain View office. This explains something - Indians just don't live in the SF downtown.
    May 16, 2018 10
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Broadcom Ltd. uKwp26
      Lol.. that’s funny, so how many Indians have fake degrees? Sundar Pichai? Satya Nadella?
      May 18, 2018
    • Google hedgeit
      I have seen many in especially in tier 2 companies like Broadcom.
      May 18, 2018
    • Broadcom Ltd. uKwp26
      Whatever dude, you’re so presumptuous, this is similar to Trump asking Obama’s BC
      May 18, 2018
    • Broadcom Ltd. uKwp26
      And whatever you mean by tier2 BS, Google was shitting in pants when broadcom was going to acquire qcom. Don’t say 2nd tier BS. There’s no SW without HW.
      May 18, 2018
  • Uber RajRondo
    I can confirm that they are limiting the amount of asian and Indian male candidate pool. Diversity is strong there
    May 14, 2018 4
    • Airbnb slackbot
      No, they don’t. They simply try to interview more people of other races.

      They use the same policy as the NFL (for hiring head coaches) when hiring managers and above. That is, they must interview a diversity candidate for a role before they can fill the role.
      May 14, 2018
    • Uber RajRondo
      This is ridiculous. It’s a travel website and not the NY Jets
      May 14, 2018
    • Tableau B@B@r@cu$
      The Jets employed Rex Ryan for five years so clearly Bowles even interviewing Bowles was an improvement.
      May 14, 2018
    • Uber Mandingo1
      Rex Ryan took them to a game from the super bowl. Bowles did no such thing.
      May 15, 2018
  • Facebook Googlerr
    Indians don't like startups anyway They prefer mature giants like ms oracle.
    May 15, 2018 33
    • LinkedIn / Eng Umgak
      Lol at this point I can't tell if you misunderstood me again or are just plain crazy. Please keep this up though.
      Jun 13, 2018
    • LinkedIn / Eng Umgak
      Wow. The dirty delete. I'll take that as an apology.
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Microsoft Xhzjsidnnd
      Are you 12.....
      Jun 13, 2018
    • LinkedIn / Eng Umgak
      I'll admit that I have growing up to do... but you're just making this so easy!
      Jun 13, 2018
    • Microsoft Xhzjsidnnd
      yes, 12 years old always win because you hold them accountable for nothing, just like what you are doing here. And if they cannot win a fight, they just try to say some shit they believe is hurtful to their opponents and declare defeat on behalf of their opponents when running away. And they try to use capital letters to scare people as well.
      Jun 13, 2018
  • Amazon SugerDaddy
    felt like a revenge since Indian has tendency to hire Indians once they are in one org
    May 16, 2018 0
  • Lyft / Eng LtYy78
    Well, Indian folks just calm down. I was in Amazon and I remember how our team is occupied by Indians. (we used to have about 10 eng and it was pretty diverse and after a year we grew to 20, 90% of eng are Indians. You are also doing discrimination and helping non-qualified candidate get into the team.
    May 17, 2018 6
    • Microsoft stock-er
      What math gives 90% Indians in team increase of 10 of 20? U need to have 18 Indians to get that ratio. For which u need 8 Indians before u grew. Which is not diverse.
      May 17, 2018
    • Microsoft LIMkoW
      You didn’t consider the turn over rate at Amazon and Indians push others out to bring their own people in. I have seen this many times in my career. They bring in people directly from India using L visa and exploit them because it is harder for these people to switch job.
      Jun 15, 2018
    • Microsoft LIMkoW
      sometimes Indian managers who favor Indians are just insecure since they are not very high quality people. They reach the position because they want it so badly and their culture puts status on top of everything. You can tell this by how fast they update their linkedin when they get promoted. I have seen lots of White and eastern Asian people turning down opportunities to be managers, not a single time I saw an Indian person do the same even if they are bad at it.

      They also usually have a wife at home and no hobbies so they have nothing else to pursuit.
      Jun 15, 2018
    • Microsoft stock-er
      I have seen Indians turning down or returning to ic.. I don't think you can stereotype this.. I have seen others (non-Indians) fighting to be promoted, too.
      Jun 15, 2018
    • Microsoft LIMkoW
      Immigrants are in general more aggressive than locals, but I do find people having different preferences for things they pursuit. Stereotype may be wrong, but sometimes useful.
      Jun 15, 2018
  • Apple / Eng Marijuana
    I know multiple Indian folks at Airbnb, both US Citizens and immigrants, who were my classmates at my BS CS at a top-5 US university.

    They don’t hire fobby awkward Indians.
    May 16, 2018 1
    • Google hedgeit
      Fob is a hate word
      May 17, 2018
  • Groupon Fxcy34
    I got rejected on all my applications (tens) in past 3 years...for data science and Product roles. I was able to get offers from FANG companies though
    May 16, 2018 12
    • MuleSoft txCi08
      @notdoable and according to what reason you see that startups don’t have immigrants.
      May 16, 2018
    • Google hedgeit
      Why did you switch to Groupon?
      May 16, 2018
    • Groupon Fxcy34
      I changed a role and Groupon worked for me
      May 17, 2018
    • Google hedgeit
      In this context of the post Indians are not asian, you probably know.
      May 17, 2018
    • Cruise Automation / Eng ✉️
      Airbnb has always been pickier than FANG
      May 18, 2018
  • Amazon dk
    Come work at Amazon. We welcome everyone and my team and most of my managers are also Indian. Let the racist company suffer from bad talent
    May 15, 2018 5
    • Apple / Eng WaTpwBZkwy
      Lol
      May 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng ChiLe
      Lol
      May 16, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      NotDoable

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
      NotDoablemore
      Having many Chinese is racist company. Having many Indian is not. Wow. Just tell this to your non Indian coworkers and see what they say to you or read their face. Have you ever thought you might be a racist? Probably not according to your logic.
      May 17, 2018
    • Broadcom Ltd. uKwp26
      ‘dk’ was inviting OP, who claimed non-Indian. Also said, everyone is welcome.
      May 18, 2018
    • Google hedgeit
      So .... a company is not racist because most managers are indians?
      May 23, 2018
  • Broadcom Ltd. uKwp26
    Unfortunately, it’s suicide for everyone under a Chinese manager. If you can’t speak mandarin, then you don’t even know what your Chinese manager is talking.
    May 18, 2018 2
    • Airbnb Jing Yang
      Indian manager will fuck you so hard in the back even you understand everything he says
      May 18, 2018
    • Broadcom Ltd. uKwp26
      Now I don’t understand what You are saying
      May 18, 2018