Oracles and clairvoyants are as old as mankind, but esotericism is also booming in the 21st century - and in an area where you would hardly expect it, namely human resources. There's a heated debate going on there about the Social Recruiting Days and esoteric HR-Experts.

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Esotericism is absurd

A few years ago, a fortune teller called me. Appropriate for the beginning of the new year to give me the Future to oracle using tarot cards, horoscopes, etc. And so it happened that I was prophesied that this year I would land a bestseller and become rich and famous....-)

But no, it wasn't like that. In fact, a fortune teller called me. But not to tell me the future, but to get information on the subject from me Business start to find out: namely, how it is with the Value added tax and fortune telling. Not only this experience has led to the fact that I no longer give out my telephone number so easily. And it shows how absurd the topic of esotericism is.

Beware, fortune tellers on the phone

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Apart from the fact that on the basis of the legal services law, I should not give such legal information and therefore did not do so but redirected the lady on an information page on the subject: How can you be a fortune teller and do not know something like that?

I mean, for a good fortune teller, starting a business should be a piece of cake. Not only that until now I always thought they could legal pitfalls and all Regulate find it in one fell swoop – ideally while swaying in front of the coffee grounds in front of the law book, or the computer – she should have them all Problems predict and deal with immediately.

Can fortune tellers not foresee your own success?

And they would have to know from the outset which business idea it would lead to invest worthwhile and what makes them rich. Therefore, you could then alsoAdviser afford and would not have to whine to experts for free information.

But since none of that was the case in this case, I don't certify this business idea as a resounding one Success. And that doesn't involve fortune telling at all. Or, for whatever reason, would you like advice from someone who doesn't seem to be able to advise themselves?

Esotericism in the personnel selection

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Now seriously, because unfortunately the topic is not as funny as it sounds at first click, because esotericism is currently booming. In the Society, in politics - and unfortunately also in human resources, which otherwise seems so serious.

Once again, the topic is being discussed in recruiting circles. Reason: A methodically not indisputable profiler named Suzanne Grieger-Langer, who will be appearing on September as a keynote speaker at renowned Social Recruiting Days.

Questionable and pseudo-scientific

Henner boyhood has addressed the subject and gives an overview of the various questionable ones available on the market Methods:

“Imagine if there were software that, based on a 15-minute speech analysis, assessed whether a Candidate suitable for a job or not. Wouldn't that be a dream? Or a tool that uses 100 written words to determine the suitability of a Candidates judged. All algorithm-based and unprejudiced, of course. Or there would be a “profiler” that, based on the analysis of hairstyle, type of glasses and body shape as well as handwriting samples, assesses whether an applicant is really the right one. A dream, isn't it? It goes without saying that someone with almost supernatural abilities should not be absent from popular recruiting events. And so this "profiling talent" by the name of Suzanne Grieger-Langer enriches this year's Social Recruiting Days as a keynote speaker. The HR community is (rightly) outraged.”

Reaction of the customers

Unfortunately, the methods so ironically and wittily named here are all quite real and apparently Grieger-Langer doesn't just throw Ask on in terms of their methodology but also your CV, like that Bielefeld district court confirmed in July.

Update:   The Social Recruiting Days have now responded to public pressure and removed the controversial speaker from the program as a keynote speaker. Grieger-Langer will now address your theses in a panel discussion Rede and answer stand.

Nothing new: Clever integration between science and esotericism

The perfidious thing about all these examples is the clever interaction between scientifically founded methods and esotericism, such as Dr. Uwe Peter Kanning, Professor for Business Psychology at the FH Osnabrück and also Speaker at the Social Recruiting Days in September, in one Interview at Spiegel-Online already 2010 reported.

He shows that the subject of esotericism in personnel selection is not that new and reports very critically on questionable methods in personnel selection such as the selection by zodiac sign. Even if this is easy to recognize as rubbish for many, there are also methods that have meanwhile experienced a pseudo-scientific appreciation and are therefore viewed comparatively uncritically and have therefore also found their way into career advice literature that seems serious.

Pseudoscientific appreciation

A good example is graphology, better known as handwriting recognition: I, for example, was still learning at school that you can write CVs with the Hand writes because the Company draw conclusions from the typeface. Allegedly, after all, 2,4 percent of German companies rely on graphology in personnel selection, according to Kanning in the interview.

But I think really blatantly the skull interpretation, the so-called psycho-physiognomy. The claims to be able to make statements about the personality based on the shape of the skull, the facial features, the shape of the nose and ears. This is not just nonsense, according to Kanning, but reminds me strongly of the National Socialist racial theory.

Why do so many believe the simple solutions?

Even if you are initially tempted to get annoyed that so many people are even taking part in the nonsense: Kanning also gives a few plausible explanations why also seasoned ones HR are impressed by such a humbug:

“All pseudosciences offer fast Solutions at and promise that the candidate will not get the result manipulate can, what yes with a job interview - if only to a limited extent - is possible. Nobody can falsify his skull or his constellation. That sounds very attractive to many HR managers, they are looking for something like a secret formula with which they People can see through.”

Advice in an uncertain world

There is also the aspect that more and more people live in an increasingly insecure world Welt advice and Orientation seek – just think of political events, terrorism and climate change, all things that many people do Anxiety . make

And also that you get the right one Job or as a personnel manager the right one Employees want to find, no have to, because one simply cannot be responsible for everything else – this unchangeable one decision scares a lot of people. That also explains why, by the way Interest in futurologists is greatAlthough they work comparatively seriously, they also promise a surefire look into the future.

Serious media also report uncritically about esotericism

Here is this one Idea as old as mankind: the Greeks asked the oracle of Delphi, the Germans their runes. Others read the entrails of animal or human sacrifices. Today there are lucky charms, tarot cards, horoscopes, physiognomens or profilers and octupusses or goats predict the World Cup results - and serious media also report on it.

You may still remember Paul the Octupus, who predicted the results at the 2010 World Cup and was always right? It may be a fun idea to use an animal as a World Cup oracle. But that the topic was so hyped in serious media (Focus, Spiegel, WDR and even the New York Times), I found it simply unbelievable! Didn't it occur to anyone at the time to ask whether the mussel meat wasn't properly prepared?

Be critical, instead of looking for simple explanations

Man is also in 21. Century is not a rationally controlled, enlightened being, but in search of simple explanations and a secure view into the future, which takes away their fear and makes them sleep soundly?

It almost even seems as if reason is in decline in times of political and climate crises. My advice, however, is: don't do it. You don't even need to! Much better to rely on yourself than on any superstition. And be critical if anyone offers you appropriate services and promises you the blue of the sky.

5 good reasons against the tendency to the occult

Here are 5 good reasons that speak against the hiring of psychics, card reading Physognomen and similar charlatans.

  1. You do not have to look to the future because you can make your future much better yourself.
  2. They want to oracle into the future to see what happens. The other way around, a shoe becomes: If you think that something is going to happen, it's more likely that it will happen - the self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak. Ever thought about it?
  3. It is not worth spending the hard earned money on some superstitious stuff - invest the money better in your future.
  4. If you are currently in a transitional phase or are a bit unsure, you are probably more receptive to such messages. Look for comfort and attention rather with loved ones instead of the occult.
  5. Are you looking for advice on a specific event? You do not mean, their common sense and their assessment of things is a better guide than your superstition. And after all, that's exactly what you're aiming for - right? Then you do not need an oracle.


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