Swedish antidiscrimination law in action – an e-mail conversation between a recruiter and a candidate

Based on a true story. If you are interested in learning more about the Swedish Discrimination Act (in Swedish), head over to my post evaluating a range of answers to requests based on Chapter 2 Section* as final assignment for an advanced university course in Swedish Labour Law.

*”If a job applicant has not been employed or selected for an employment interview, or if an employee has not been promoted or selected for education or training for promotion, the applicant shall, upon request, receive written information from the employer about the education, professional experience and other qualifications that the person had who was selected for the employment interview or who obtained the job or the place in education or training.”

https://www.do.se/other-languages/english/discrimination-act/#2

Subject: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hi [Candidate], 

We have now assessed all applications for the role as [Role] to [Company] and the application
deadline has now passed.

The selection of candidates who we will proceed with to the next stage is now made. We regret to inform you that you are not one of those candidates.

We have received 150+ applications, which means the competition has been very high. A lot of applications have been qualified and well-written – so it has truly been a pleasure to go through them all. However, that also means that we have to be very thorough with
our selection down to a detailed level.

Due to the many applications, emails and calls, we are unable to give individual feedback. We apologize for this and hope for your understanding.

We have decided to let the application stay open until we’ve filled the position. We’ll update everyone involved through email once the position is filled to confirm it’s closed.


Lastly, we want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into applying for the role and we appreciate your interest in joining [Company]. We will keep your information for potential future roles!


Subject: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Dear [Recruiter],

thanks for the update regarding my application.

To improve my future applications, I would like to learn more about the profiles of the candidates you called for interviews for this position.

In accordance with the Swedish Law against Discrimination (Diskrimineringslagen; 2 kap 4 §) I am kindly asking you to send me written information about the education, work experience and other merits/achievements of the final candidates.

Thanks in advance and best
[Candidate]


Subject: Re: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hi [Candidate],

Apologies for my late reply. We’re receiving a lot of emails regarding this role, hence the delay.

The law you’re referring to only applies to the public sector. In the private sector, “fri anställningsrätt” applies and therefore we cannot disclose the information you’re asking for.

In addition, we have not finalised the recruitment process yet.

Wishing you a lovely week.

Best regards, 

[Recruiter]


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hey [Recruiter],

the Law against Discrimination applies for all sectors, including the private sector.

In addition, the recruitment process doesn’t have to be finalised to request the information.

2 kap 4 paragraph reads as follows: ” den hade som togs ut till anställningsintervjun eller som fick arbetet eller utbildningsplatsen.” I’m thus asking once again for the requested information for those candidates that you proceeded with in the recruitment process.

Thanks for supporting me in improving my future applications
[Candidate]


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hi [Candidate],

Of course, the law against discrimination applies to all companies. But that’s not the law I’m referring to. 

What I’m saying is that the law that grants candidates the right to request information about the final candidates in a recruitment process only applies to public companies. It is called “offentlighetsprincipen” and does not apply to private companies.

Hence, as a private company, we are NOT allowed to disclose information about the candidates who’ve proceeded in the process. On the contrary, as a private company we cannot disclose information about other candidates as that would violate discretion policies – candidates who’ve applied for this role have not consented to sharing their information outside the recruitment system.

However, I will try to shed some light as to why we didn’t proceed with you in the process. Please note however, that as per my first email, we unfortunately do not have the time to give individual feedback as we’ve received over 150 applications for this role. 

In your case, due to the fact that you didn’t attach a resume, we had to assess your application based on your answers to the questions. When it comes to these types of senior roles with a lot of competition, we assess applications on a ‘ detailed level – to stand out, a well-written application is usually what shines through (in combination with relevant experience of course).

Hope this helps.
Best, [Recruiter]


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hey [Recruiter],

thank you for the detailled e-mail. Unfortunately, this is not an answer I was hoping for.

I’m always eager to learn something new about the Discrimination act, is there anywhere I can read up on your statement that you are not required to answer my request according to 2 kap 4 paragraph?

If you insist that you are not required to provide written information about the education, experience and other qualifications of those that proceeded in this process, I’m considering to bring this to the attention of Diskrimineringsombudsmannen to get some expert input on this.

All the best
[Candidate]


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hi [Candidate]. 

Sorry to hear that you’re not happy with the response. I will double check what policies we need to follow and not and get back to you as soon as I can. 

Wishing you a lovely week in the meantime.

[The next day]

Hi, sorry for the delay. It’s of course important to us that everything is managed correctly and we therefore wanted to double check on this. You’re right that applicants can request information as you’ve mentioned – very sorry about that.

However, we were unsure if you, who has submitted an incomplete application lacking information regarding your own work experience/education/other merits, can request this information.

We’ll go ahead and send you this information with the hope to help you improve your future applications as we understand that is your main objective.

Here is the information requested of the applicant process

  • Several years as L&D Manager/Training Manager, as the main responsible manager.
  • Education in business/HR.
  • Several years of staff responsibility.
  • Experience in rolling out an L&D strategy, from ideation to implementation, as the lead manager, across all departments in the company.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

[Recruiter]

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Update regarding recruitment process
Dec 2020

Hey [Recruiter],
no worries and thank you – this information will definetly help me to improve.
Happy Holidays
[Candidate]

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