Anonymous job applications did not make staff more divers, Arnhem municipality says

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looking for a job. Picture: Twitter/@TheBaxterBean

The municipality of Arnhem is halting an . According to the city administration, the experiment did not yield any demonstrable added value and showed that relatively few people with an immigration background responded to external vacancies at the municipality, De Gelderlander reports.

The experiment was the result of a motion by the PvdA and Verenigd Arnhem in 2015. They worried that people may be rejected for a job based only on their names, and not their qualifications. The experiment ran from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016, and was then extended by another year. In the experiment, the names on job applications were blacked out. 

In the first period the municipality had 13 external vacancies. 553 people applied for these vacancies, including 38 people with a immigration background. One person with an immigration background was invited to interview, but was rejected.

In the second period the municipality had 23 vacancies. 739 people responded, including 60 with an immigration background. Six persons with an immigration background were invited to interview, and one was employed at the municipality. 

While the experiment is now being halted, the municipality will continue to provide training that increases awareness of prejudices about the origin of applicants. The municipality is striving for a diverse organization that is a better reflection of Arnhem society than is currently the case, the office of mayor and aldermen said to the newspaper. This does not only include ethnic diversity, but also diversity when it comes to sexual orientation and disabilities. 

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