11.28.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

The European Patent Office’s Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO is an organization in a severe crisis, due to the destructive actions of the Battistelli Administration, and the inertia of the current one in mending what was broken. The dismal state of the recruitment process is yet another indicator pointing, like all indicators, in this very same direction.

The Glassdoor EPO overview

Summary: One third of EPO recruits are ‘locals’ (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it’s unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)

THE António Campinos-led EPO is a disaster. Their ‘news’ section is all fluff and noise, which boils down to little but dumb photo ops (showing that Team Campinos is unable to comply with social distancing regulations).

“Europeans need to know what’s going on, in ‘their name’ so to speak, inside the EPO.”Looking behind the curtain, we’re seeing the staff representation repeatedly warning about the demise of the EPO — contrary to what Campinos and his loyalists love to claim. A year ago, staff representatives released a paper on this subject, stating:

In this paper, we consider that the recruitment process at the EPO today, especially for examiner posts, is not fit for the purpose of carrying out this task.

The EPO wants to recruit examiners with technically-suited profiles, who are able to work in our official languages – yet at the same time reduces exactly the evaluation of those components to below the bare minimum.

On top, potential candidates are kept far away from their actual future working environment and colleagues, and cannot evaluate us as a future employer – and so they can only rely on what they find online, a picture that has become severely tainted in the last few years.

We have decided to publish this paper in full; Europeans need to know what’s going on, in ‘their name’ so to speak, inside the EPO.

Central Staff Committee

Munich, 04.12.2019
sc19177cp – 0.2.1/1.3.3

Examiner Recruitment – Not fit for purpose

EPO – Quo vadis?

Dear colleagues,

One of the most important human resources functions in any organization is the process of recruiting and selecting the right staff. For the EPO the definition of “right” is crucial, as the bulk of our recruitment is focused on Patent Examiners needing highly specialized technical and language skills.

We consider that the recruitment process at the EPO today, especially for examiner posts is simply not fit for the purpose of carrying out this task.

The current process is as follows: With HR in the driving seat and carrying out the pre-selection, the DG1 managers are essentially told who to interview with minimal input from their side. For potential Examiners, technical and language knowledge assessment is now limited to a single 45-minute Skype interview with a Senior Expert, often together with a Team Manager. This is the only occasion when staff are able to briefly meet their potential new colleague. Follow-up Skype interviews are exceptional, and only planned following a reasoned request. Face-to-face technical interviews – which used to form the backbone of our recruitment process – are a big “no-no” today.

Successful candidates are then invited to one of our recruitment events, where the hiring manager is present. However, the HR partner is still in the driver’s seat.

Staff Representatives, which used to be participating throughout the entire process, are now “optional” – read: we have not been invited anymore since staff were recruited under the 5-year contracts.

It seems that the EPO wants to recruit examiners with technically-suited profiles, who are able to work in our official languages – yet at the same time reduces exactly the evaluation of those components to below the bare minimum.

The procedure has become entirely opaque, there is no independent oversight ensuring fairness to both candidates and the Office.

By limiting the effort and involvement of examiners – the future colleagues, coaches, team members of a new recruit – in the recruitment process, the Office saves money in the short term. Yet what is the cost when we then encounter more problems during the probation year? Not only have we been paying our new recruits salary, removal expenses etc., we also organised training courses, and had one or more coaches at their disposal. On top, we have also potentially burdened them with the financial and human cost of having to move their lives, families and career for an unsuccessful experience.

Something else the Administration continues to overlook: Recruitment is a bi-directional process. Candidates are evaluating us just as we evaluate them. Do they feel at home with us? Is this the job they want? Is this the place they want to transfer their lives to, and to do so for a 5-year contract? The Examiners we seek are highly experienced and qualified, often with a PhD, they are internationally mobile, and are able to work in multiple languages. They already have a job or could quite easily get one. If we want to recruit the top candidates, we should positively stand out. Yet, potential recruits do not get to see our ‘normal working environment’. They do not get to see what our job actually consists of, they do not get to sit down and talk with an examiner, to see a patent application up close, they do not get the chance to sniff the social environment.

By keeping the candidates far away from their actual future working environment and colleagues, we deprive them from this all-important element in their evaluation of us – and so they can only rely on what they find online, a picture that has become severely tainted in the last few years.

No wonder the number of candidates for examiner posts is dwindling1, now less than one third of what we had just 3 years ago.

No wonder we see a lot of candidates drop out somewhere along the recruitment process – something which virtually did not exist a few years ago.

No wonder we see one in three, sometimes more, examiner job offers being refused, the 5-year contract prominently featuring as the main reason why.

No wonder we are mainly limited to recruiting young, fresh from university or PhD, and local to the places of employment.

Today, we are in a situation of overcapacity in many technical areas, so recruitment of examiners can function at a minimal level. But soon we will inevitably need to ramp up recruitment again, with much larger cohorts leaving on retirement.

To repeat, the recruitment process for examiners we have today is not fit for purpose – and the offer we make to the candidates is subpar, to put it mildly2.

The EPO is an organization in a severe crisis, due to the destructive actions of the Battistelli Administration, and the inertia of the current one in mending what was broken. The dismal state of the recruitment process is yet another indicator pointing, like all indicators, in this very same direction.

Your Staff Committee

_____
1 See the 2018 Social Report – table 12 on page 19
2 It is telling that from the last 1000 new recruits since 2014 only 11 were Scandinavian, 2 from Switzerland – yet 1 in 3 from Germany.

The Microsoft-EPO relationship reaffirmed in “technical and language knowledge assessment is now limited to a single 45-minute Skype interview”; so candidates must have a Microsoft (US) account?

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  3. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  4. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  5. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  6. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  7. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  8. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  9. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  11. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  12. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  13. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  15. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  17. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  18. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  19. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  20. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  21. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  22. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  24. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  25. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  26. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  27. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  28. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  30. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts