Dutch employers should experiment with anonymous job applications to see if that leads to a more diverse workforce, says Alexander Rinnooy Kan, chairman of the government’s socio-economic policy think-tank SER.
SER is made up of employer, union and lay members.
Experiments in France, where job hopefuls were assessed purely on the grounds of employment history have lead to the recruitment of more women, older people and members of ethnic minorities. ‘Preconceptions are often abandoned if people actually get the chance to tell their story,’ ANP reported Rinnooy Kan as saying. All the options should be considered when trying to eradicate discrimination, he said. Research has repeatedly shown that people with foreign names or who are older are less likely to get invited to interviews.
Rinnooy Kan was speaking at a Labour party (PvdA) meeting, called to outline the party’s election pledges to tackle discrimination. The party called for fines of €8,000 to be imposed on employers who discriminate against potential workers on the grounds of race, age or sex and said the government should act as a good example by only doing business with firms which have taken steps to broaden their workforce. In addition, companies should include what steps they have taken to make their workforce better reflect society at large in their annual reports, Labour said.
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