Netherlands: Anonymous job applications aren't helpful

Anonymous job application do not bring about a different acceptance policy, according to the Manpower employment agency. From an experiment with 761 applicants it appears that ethnic dutch and immigrants are assessed in the same way. Job-seekers of non-Western background were more often rejected due to lack of experience for the position in question.

The employment agency had for the past half year assessed applications for the job of consultant or branch manager over the internet twice: once with the name, sex, age, birth place and marriage status 'invisible' and once where it was visible.

The employment agency announced in June of last year that it will test out anonymous applications because a study showed that almost 80% of job-seekers believe that it helps everybody get a more fair chance to bid for a job. 40% of employers were also positive about anonymous applications and 29% thought to use it in their organization. Additionally there were positive experiences in an experiment by the Nijmegen municipality.

96 of the 761 [12%] applicants in the Manpower experiment had a non-Western background. According to the employment agency, a striking number of them, about 47%, had to be rejected due to lack of commercial experience and relation to the position. Among candidates of Dutch or other Western background, that was the case for 26%.

According to a spokesperson of Manpower it seems as if the non-Western candidates were younger on average and therefore probably often had too little experience. She could not say how big the difference in age was. The effect of anonymous applications was not studied in relation to the other personal characteristics such as age and sex.

Manpower accepted twenty of the applicants from the experiment: one person of non-Western background, and 19 Dutch. According to the employment agency there's no point in continuing with anonymous applications since they have no effect.

Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)

See also: Sweden: Immigrants have harder time getting interviewed for jobs, Belgium: Anonymous job applications

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