Sandra Zemke's dream of equal opportunities in the recruitment process

Sandra Zemke's dream of equal opportunities in the recruitment process

Have you ever been eliminated in a recruiting process because you have a foreign name, you are too young or old, or your photo doesn't look serious? No? Then you are in luck! Far too often, applications are put on the rejection pile based on prejudices. Reason enough for us: there need to be anonymous application possibilities, people need anonyfy! Find out more about how Sandra Zemke, CEO of anonyfy, got the idea to revolutionize recruiting and anonyfy's founding story.

I will never forget the day a friend called me and asked me for advice. After 60 applications, still no interview invitations. "Sandra, what am I doing wrong?" A fair question. In my professional career I have read many job applications - and of course I have written a few too. Her application seemed solid to me: woman in her 30s, professionally experienced and well educated. At first glance, there was no obvious reason for the many rejections.

Is it her surname after all?

The search for the cause continued. Is it the photo, is it too beautiful? After all, the Israeli study by Ruffle/Shtudiner shows that attractive men definitely have advantages in the application process - but attractive women tend not to. And then this: "Sandra, I think it's because of my name." With these words she caught me cold as a white, privileged, German-born woman - and in a way she didn't. Because yes, they do exist, the "Michael gets the job, Murat doesn't" cases.

Small deception, big aha!

Was her name really the reason for all the job rejections? We were able to find out quite easily: One job opening, one applicant, one real name and one German name. And lo and behold, Ms Müller got an invitation, but her real name did not. I was amazed: after all, there is even the Federal Government's Anti-Discrimination Agency, which is supposed to protect applicants from prejudice (or worse) racism in German HR departments. Obviously with little success.

Equality through anonymity

After this shocking experience it was clear to me that something needs to change, I want to change something. Qualified applicants - no matter what their background, gender or age - must get the same chance. I needed a solution, something that would make people think internationally and make diversity visible in companies: I founded anonyfy. A platform that anchors anonymous applications in organisations and thus makes fair recruiting possible.

I want companies to no longer pass up the chance to find the best candidates to create the best teams - and thus not be as innovative and successful as they could be.

I want everyone to have the same, fair chance.

It is time!

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