The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) is actually intended to ensure more transparency and less discrimination in the application process. However, the opposite is often the case. An overview.

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Ossi discrimination

An unusual dispute before the district court in Stuttgart caused a stir in German HR departments in 2010: an applicant was not for job interview invited and had then sued a window construction company for discrimination.

The reason: The Ms. from East Germany had received her application folder back in the mail with the refusal of her employer. The word "OSSI" was written in bold letters on the documents - next to it was a thick minus sign.

Bizarre discrimination ends with comparison

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The district court of Stuttgart ruled: The HR of the window manufacturer had already burned his mouth half when he documented the origin of the applicant with a minus on her documents. Incidentally, the decisive error was not the corresponding note, but the fact that he had also sent it back to the applicant – apparently inadvertently!

In the action for damages due to discrimination, the parties ultimately reached a settlement in court. The question remained unanswered - by the way, to this day - whether the fact of originating from eastern Germany is comparable to an independent ethnic group - and thus the AGG can be applied to “Ossis”. It doesn't get any more bizarre.

The General Equal Treatment Act - sheer nonsense?

When claiming damages, the rejected applicant's lawyer referred to the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) - a law that regulates the work of personnel managers and their dealings with Candidates in job interviews has changed significantly in recent years.

In 2006 the AGG entered into force. Prior to this, discussions had been taking place for many years, because its effectiveness in practice was, to put it cautiously, controversial. Specifically, the AGG considers the AGG to be naked. They even think that it hurts applicants. Why?

Theory and Practice of the The General Equal Treatment Act

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Let us first take a look at the exact wording of the General Equal Treatment Act: "Objective is to prevent or eliminate discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity. "

In practice, one of the consequences of this is that job advertisements do not say whether you want a woman or a man for the job to be filled. There is no information on Age or what you have to be able to do physically to do a job.

The fear of burning his mouth

In order not to burn their mouths, employers therefore say: “Everyone has the same opportunities here!”. We know this is an AGG white lie. Because in the end they pick exactly those Candidate out which ones they want.

While researching a book, an HR manager told me Conversationthat its upfront of course clear be: “Only a woman can do this job!” or "A man will do this company department good!" But she would never publicly admit these thoughts. The decision but then it often falls by gender or the age of an applicant.

Applicants do not learn why they were rejected

And what's more: In order to avoid accusations of discrimination and claims for damages Company therefore today more cautious in dealing with applicants than in earlier times. Rejected applicants can no longer easily find out why they cannot get a job. Critical information, for example on disabilities, does not have to be provided by applicants in advance.

Where earlier in the interview a remark about the outfit of a candidate was usual, one focuses more strongly on which work the respective candidate can reliably afford in favor of the employer.

10 tips for the right application strategy

So how can applicants know what they should and should look out for when applying? And why is it when they keep rejecting the Application receive. 10 tips to watch out for.

  1. Use multiple channels: Never use only online networks, job opportunities or personal contacts, but all the possibilities of job hunting.
  2. Defining a dream company: Make a list: Where would you like to work? And why? Try it specifically with unsolicited applications.
  3. Practice Applying: Never start with your favorite company, but always with where you would not work at all. As a result, you can already gain experience.
  4. Prepare yourself: For example, when asked: "Why do you want to work for us?" Or the employer will know your online profile.
  5. Imagine the company: Personnel screen your online profile? Collect online information about the company!
  6. Sell ​​yourself offensively: Be active in networks, blogs or Twitter. If you are known, you will be recommended and gain new contacts. This greatly improves the chances of finding a job.
  7. Brevity is the soul of wit: Practice showing yourself in three to five minutes. For example, it takes a ride on a lift - and sometimes you just do not have more time.
  8. Stay true to yourself: Of course, you should present yourself well, but stay the way you are. Personnel hate missing authenticity.
  9. Do not take cancellations personally: Personnel are also only people with little time. Think: how would you behave in such a situation?
  10. Only no inhibitions: Even if you have had bad experiences: do not be afraid of the next application. Only those who continue and stay active find the right job.

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