Application dossiers should be limited to the skills and attributes applicable to a particular work profile during the pre-selection process. Electronic application processes provide ideal conditions for this. It’s possible, for example, to not report sensitive diversity characteristics like age, ethnicity, gender, or marital status at all or to file them separately from details about skills, qualifications, and motivation at first. Numbers and personal preferences are absent from an anonymized CV as an indirect marker of age. Work samples should be registered and analyzed independently from the rest of the application dossier as much as possible. Additional details, such as a name and a picture, may be added later. Personal interviews may have already taken place at this stage.
In conventional application procedures, diversity characteristics such as gender, age, nationality, or marital status are often still recorded directly. The names and images of applicants often lead to (potentially incorrect) assumptions regarding qualities that are unconsciously interpreted and used in the decision-making process but are unrelated to the job in question.
Furthermore, the initial pre-selection of dossiers is often a result of time constraints, leading to rash decisions based on external factors. However, even later in the selection process, subconscious assumptions and prejudices may cause some diversity groups to be (unintentionally) disadvantaged.
Anonymized application procedures help minimize the influence of unconscious stereotypes in the recruitment process and can help fill vacancies with the most suitable candidates. This measure will contribute to greater success and diversity in the workforce in the long run.