Inflation of good ratings?
A study by the Personal Management Service (PMS) GmbH in Berlin, which evaluated 1100 employment certificates of employees of all sectors, occupational groups and age groups in anonymous form, shows:
Employers now spend three times as often "very good" ratings as 1994 did, while in the same period the number of "satisfactory" grades has halved, and the proportion of "good ratings" has also shrunk significantly (by around 12%). Even "sufficient" reports are much rarer today.
Better notes, better performance?
However, this does not necessarily mean that employees now perform better than they did before 15 years ago. The study also examined the credibility of the performance assessment. For example, 137 testimonies lacked information about the specialist knowledge, performance aspects or behavior, or they differed significantly from the overall assessment. Even formal deficiencies or the lack of a thankful formula made the testimony less credible. Only 963 certificates without serious deviations were therefore statistically evaluated.
This shows that it is becoming more and more important to read intensively "between the lines" in the case of employment certificates in order to be able to understand the actual performance assessment of a job applicant. However, this is increasingly difficult for both employers and employees, because many people entrusted with certifying do not know enough about the certificate code. Experts also criticize the absurd waste of time that accompanies the creation and assessment of work certificates.
Working Articles: A lot of time, high costs!
Because informing yourself is also time-consuming and costly - but necessary. For clumsy or ambiguous statements can quickly be misunderstood as criticizing the employee's achievements.
On the other hand, many employers are very cautious in praise of the green clover. After all, they are under an obligation to prove their bad achievements. Since in Germany approximately 30.000 processes led to allegedly untrue or incorrect work products before the German labor courts, this could be expensive.
Neutral job description instead of work certificate!
Some personnel experts are therefore convinced that if the trend towards ever-improving testimony persists, it is ultimately only a matter of time before they lose their power as a test of performance.
Instead of a work certificate there could be a neutral job description. This is exactly what personnel experts discuss.
The 10 main arguments in brief
An overview of the main argument for job references.
- Operating costs: The most important argument of contra: The creation of work certificates and possible clarification of disputes is associated with an excessive administrative burden.
- Impersonal: Job references are in many Company automatically generated by the EDP - and thus have little meaning.
- Negligence: To many companies the administrative act is only annoying - mistakes are pre-programmed!
- Ignorance: Many do not know the certificate code - even here, mistakes are pre-programmed!
- Over the top: Many workbooks contain exaggerated praise, because the employer wants to avoid a legal dispute. This makes you worthless for an objective assessment!
- Extra effort: One of the most important pro-arguments is the amount of work that companies would have to operate without tools to properly assess applicants.
- No alternatives: There are hardly any serious alternatives to the work certificate - at least none that require less effort.
- Missing references: In Germany, it is completely unusual for former employers to be used for the assessment. Therefore, the certificate is often the only meaningful document!
- Motivation Factor: Getting away safely in the workplace is an important motivation factor for many employees!
- expertise: Personnel should know the certificate code - this belongs to their craft kit!
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