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Helsinki now accepting "anonymous" job applications

The City of Helsinki is starting a trial of anonymous job applications. The intent of the process is for the employer to focus solely on the skills and experience of job seekers, rather than on gender, age or origin.

Nainen tietokoneen äärellä.
Being anonymous may equalize the chances of applicants. Image: Yle

In practice, applications are sent with all the normal information included by email to the City's job recruitment system. Once on file, personal information such as name, age, gender and marital status are purged. Nationality and native language are also hidden. During the hiring process, anonymity is preserved right up to the time for a personal interview with the applicant.

"We want to find out whether this procedure will give different results than our traditional recruitment practices do,"says City of Helsinki HR Director Hannu Tulensalo.

It is hoped that anonymous job applications will equalize the chances of all applicants.

"Our starting point is to hire the most versatile and skilled personnel, and people with varying backgrounds," Tulensalo adds.

The anonymous job application process is being run as a pilot in the hiring of a new project chief for the City of Helsinki's Youth Department. Later, the practice may be implemented in other departments.

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