Women less often approached by job recruiters than men, even with widespread staff shortages

Waiting for a job interview
Waiting for a job interviewPhoto: opolja/DepositPhotos

Women are approached much less often by recruiters looking for staff than men, even with the tightness on the labor market and staff shortages in multiple sectors. The same holds true for sectors in which many women work, such as healthcare, Financieele Dagblad reports based on a study it commissioned from Intelligence Group.

Intelligence Group keeps track of how often employees, students and unemployed people are approached with an offer of a job. 43 percent of men said they are approached at least once a quarter, compared to 31 percent of women. "We don't know why that is", researcher Geert-Jan Waasdorp said to the newspaper. 

Robert van Veggel, director for recruitment company Steens & Partners in Zuid- and Oost-Nederland, is baffled by the results of the study. "Every recruiter just wants to fill in roles and make the customer happy. It really doesn't matter if that is a man or a woman", he said. The only explanation he can think of is that women want to work part-time more often and are therefore left out of people contacted for permanent positions.

But according to researcher Waasdorp, that argument falls flat, because the profiles don't show in advance whether someone is looking for part-time or full-time work. "In any case, we know for certain that this is not a coincidence. Of the 33 professional groups we distinguish, 11 has a significant difference in favor of men. There is no field where the opposite happens."

Last month State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs and employment presented a bill to tackle discrimination on the labor market. Companies caught discriminating will be fined, and the reason for the fine will be made public. A study commissioned by the Ministry showed that employers discriminate considerably less than in 2015, but discrimination still occurs, especially against applicants with a migration background.