246 "problem cases" got a job
Christine Lüders, head of the anti-discrimination office, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of the pilot project "Anonymised application process", which was carried out in cooperation with the Institute for the Future of Work and the University of Viadrina Frankfurt.
She is convinced that one has "hit a nerve". Overall, 8550 applications were viewed anonymously by eight participating companies. About 1290 Applicants were given the opportunity to take part in an aptitude test or to schedule a job interview.
246 of them were actually taken on a job. Three of them were presented to the invited press during the press conference at the closing of the project as prime examples of the anonymous application process: a mother of two, a disabled person and a woman with a migrant background.
Success is diversity: meaningfulness of the study questionable
However, the significance leaves much to be desired considering the already aligned corporate culture of the participating partner companies: In addition to three public authorities, the large corporations Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, L'Oréal, ProcterundGamble and the gift service provider mydays took part in the study.
Already at the press conference for the start of the project in August 2008, representatives of these companies affirmed that they wanted to pursue a heterogeneous recruitment practice that followed the diversity approach. The HR manager Tamara Hilgers of mydays confirmed: "Equal opportunities and diversity have always been part of our corporate culture."
Corporate spokeswoman Edda Dietrich of Procterund Gamble emphasized that diversity and integration were "key to business success". Since only eight of the companies originally contacted by 30 took part in the study, it is even questionable to what extent this anonymisation step meets the nationwide personnel policy.
The issue was also strongly discussed abroad
Although other countries - such as France, Belgium or the USA - are already familiar with these recruitment methods, their effectiveness is no less questionable: In France 2005-2006, when I was in Paris, became the subject of Anonymous applications eagerly discussed.
At that time, the unrest in the Parisian outskirts had escalated. A few months later, the students rebelled against the CPE bill (Contrat Première Embauche Initial Employment Contract).
This had actually been a law for equality of opportunity, but it could have brought young adults into a precarious situation because of radical right of dismissal on the part of employers. This was later rejected and replaced by a new bill.
France: "If you want to finish someone, he will do that!"
The French daily Libération reported extensively on this issue of anonymised 2005 in November Casting, A first hurdle could be overcome by anonymisation, but in a telephone preselection still stigmatized candidates would be screened.
One college graduate who was temporarily employed on an anonymous application process concluded, "This is a good way to get job interviews, but if you want to get someone ready, then he will."
Integration is not anonymous
The need for sustainable integration is undisputed. However, the question remains whether anonymity really helps in an application process. Does not the gap between highly educated applicants and the low-skilled still expand?
In addition, the characteristics of an applicant are only really experienced in a personal conversation. And successful collaboration depends not least on whether the "chemistry is right" and the candidate fits into the team. And these criteria are ultimately the deciding factors in the choice of personnel.
Proposal: Women's and integration rate instead of anonymous procedures
So I asked myself: can anonymised applications act as a second supporting pillar in addition to a quota system, as is the case with women, for example. Can anonymous procedures adequately replace old application patterns? Or do the measures envisaged so far require a fundamental renewal?
My suggestion: If we are already discussing the women's quota, why do not we make it an equal integration rate? This is - admittedly - only the beginning of a possible solution. But does not it ultimately hit the nerve as well? What is your opinion?
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