3. The Prejudice… the enemy of the labour market?

A terrible car accident, the surgeon and the prejudice
Father and son are out driving and are involved in a terrible accident. The father is killed instantly, and the son is in critical condition. The son is rushed to the hospital and prepared for an operation that could save his life. The surgeon comes in, sees the patient, and exclaims, “I can’t operate, that boy is my son!”

Who is the surgeon?

Take a moment to consider all possible solutions to this question. Really, take some time before reading on.

  • Maybe the boy looks like the surgeons son?
  • It could be a case of adoption
  • The surgeon might be the boy’s gay second father

But did you consider that the surgeon could be the boy’s mother? If not, you’re in the overwhelming majority.

Source of the experiment.

The prejudice
A prejudice is an opinion that is not based on facts. And everyone has prejudices!

To be able to switch quickly, our brain makes use of stereotypes when estimating people and situations. Because we often ignore facts and evidence, the risk of making irrational decisions increases.

The labour market
When vacancies prove difficult to fill, we often blame it on a stretched labour market. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Do you experience challenges with filling your vacancies?
Scan it on possible hidden prejudices first, let me mention a couple of them:

  • “Candidates without experience in this sector will not be considered!”
    …and then miss that super motivated, ambitious candidate who is willing to push his/her limits.

  • “Residing within a radius of 25 miles from the location”
    And a perfectly matching candidate decides not to apply as he lives on a distance of 30 miles from the location.

  • “At least a Master’s degree”
    Do I need to say more?

  • “This is a full-time position”
    Fulltime says something about time, not about commitment, motivation, pragmatism and flexibility.

And then there are the many hidden prejudices, often whispered in backrooms (yes, we know these conversations are taking place):

“Actually, I just want a strong guy in this position.”
“Oh no, he’s too old, I’m really looking for a mid-thirties.”
“Did you see the shoes of that guy? That is really a showstopper for me … “

Prejudice, something to be aware of. Letting it go, could just give your stalled vacancy a new boost!

Stay open-minded! keep innovating! keep pushing boundaries!


Do you need help with filling a vacancy? Contact me: info@harmtopper.com, or +31 (0) 6 3950 5640.