Stopping ageism in the job market: blind resumes are back on the scene

He had been working since he was 22, and when he turned 49, Ramon (fictitious name) was out of a job. His company, a chain of perfumes, did ERE, leaving the workforce in a skeleton, and Ramón having to look for work at a troubled age; He is no longer young, but he still has 20 years of working life. For months, he has been fielding offers that fit his profile like a glove, but they have rejected him outright. He suspects that there is no other reason than age.

Ramon’s suspicions now have empirical evidence beyond unemployment statistics. A research conducted by the Iseak Foundation commissioned by the Basque Government confirmed through a field experiment that the possibility of receiving a response to a job offer from the age of 45 is practically half of that of the age of 35; That is, it is necessary to send twice as many CVs.

The experiment, the first in Spain, involved sending 1,600 applications for 800 real job vacancies in the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona. 2 on each offer, from fictitious candidates with almost inseparable training and trajectories, according to Sara de la Rica, professor of economics at the University of the Basque Country, one of the people responsible for the study, who explained that the results were final. . “It took a long time to prepare the profiles. It’s a very clean experiment and the trend is very clear,” says de la Rica, who argues that “there is no other possibility” other than age that explains the differences.

The results confirm what has already been deduced statistically: over 45s have a much tougher job market. Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz’s proposals to change severance pay also based on natural age, not just length of time with the company, are aimed at “ending ageism,” as the minister herself explained last fall. .

Limiting layoffs attacks the problem from one extreme, but from the other extreme, the hiring problem, economist de la Rica suggests more vigorously promoting anonymous or blind resumes that do not indicate age. The professor understands that many employers do not believe they are biased against older workers. They unintentionally discriminate, believing that, for example, an elderly person is worse at handling computers or social networks. “Blind CVs serve to remove unconscious bias,” he says to this effect.

Tell that to Ramon, who a few months ago was overseeing 20 stores across Galicia and just met a hiring manager who refused to sign him because he was looking for “someone for a long-term project.” The one under 50 did not fit.

Blind resumes have already been used to prevent other forms of discrimination, mostly based on race or gender. In France, for example, they were required by law for companies with fewer than 50 employees from 2006 to 2015, but the norm that imposed them had no regulatory development, so the declared obligation was never effective. The last Socialist Party government buried the event.

In any case, the anonymous CV is only an initial filter and in the final interview the cards remain on the table, as CCOO’s Confederate Secretary of Trade Union Action Marie Cruz Vicente points out: “We have always followed the blind CV. But he knows what his limitations are. […] The legal representation of employees must participate in the selection process [para garantizar] that adequate questions will be asked and that they will not create inequity’. This is also the case with gender discrimination, as Vicente recalls.

Uxia Pinheiro, head of selection for the multinational engineering sector, believes that the world of human resources has undergone some changes in practice in recent years. “On LinkedIn, you don’t have to provide a date of birth or a photo,” he points out as an example. Veteran profiles are in demand at her current company, but she remembers her time at ETT when she received inquiries from employers looking for ever-young nursing assistants. “Unfortunately, ageism exists,” he laments.

“You can understand the desperation of the elderly,” adds Professor de la Rica, who believes the country cannot turn its back on older workers given the population pyramid. “Almost half of the workers are over 45 years old. If they lose their job and we don’t want to hire them, let’s see what we can do,” he warns. Meanwhile, Ramon continues his search. He is not yet desperate, but he is starting to think about self-employment. “But if we all did it, it would be a lot of business,” he jokes. The next time a potential employer comes across your resume, I ask one thing: “Read it anyway.”

Source: El Diario





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