We at Lindström are gladly taking part in the ”Work does not discriminate” campaign coordinated by Confederation of Finnish Industries. The purpose of this campaign is to identify and tackle different forms of discrimination in working life. Participating in this important campaign is an excellent opportunity to build a more equal future for individuals, companies and the society. Thus, it is also a good shove for us all as individuals to critically examine our own actions and behavior and see whether we are genuinely working towards equality in our daily work.

I have been doing recruitment in my work for the past 15 years. In Lindström I have had the pleasure to work as the Head of global recruitment for a few years now. Recruitment is very rewarding in so many ways and by being involved in those critical people decisions one can truly have an influence on the future of the company.

Just recently we updated our global recruitment guidelines in the company. For us, it all starts by making sure that we act ethically in all hiring processes and do not discriminate anyone based on age, sex, ethnicity or nationality, religion, opinions, health or sexual orientation. And I am feeling confident and proud when stating that I have never seen our line-managers discriminating candidates in their hiring processes. Generally, I would say that we genuinely appreciate diversity and see the value this diversity brings to the organization. However, individuals form organizations and all individuals have their own prejudices and beliefs whether they acknowledge them or not. This is why I decided to truly go through my own prejudices and beliefs to understand the role they play in the work that I do. And I strongly encourage others to do so as well.

Evaluation creates action

In recruitment, it should always be self-evident that the best and most suitable person is selected for the role. It is as simple as that. One thing that caught my attention in my own evaluation was that we still ask the candidates their date of birth in our recruitment system. This is not a mandatory field but it still exists there. With that question, aren’t we indicating that the information would be relevant when it comes to candidate’s suitability for the role? And when we state that it’s not relevant, why do we then have that as a question?

Originally, we have placed the question to see that the people whom we hire for production roles are meeting with the minimum age requirements. Thus, the question is always there no matter what the applied position is. And, if I am honest, just based on pure habit, I tend to check that part also when reading through applications to other positions. And does that detail have any importance in my decision-making? Consciously – no. Unconsciously – I am not sure.

To be 100% sure that irrelevant issues do not place a role in our hiring process, we have decided to completely erase the “Date of Birth” question in our system from now on. By doing that, we can be fully sure that it doesn’t play a role in anyone’s decision-making process when it comes to hiring new people to our company. It is a small act but very much supporting the important thought of non-discrimination. And big things usually start with small actions.

Kirsi Aropaltio, Head of Human Resource Management, Lindström Group |

Thank you for reading my blog. I work in Lindström as a Head of Global HRM.

My mission in life is life itself. I take each day as it comes but try to make each day count. I love sports and books, especially biographies. My motto comes from Woody Allen’s quotes: “All things are possible except skiing through a revolving door.”

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