The European Commission Mutual Learning Programme for Public Employment Services. DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion COMPARATIVE PAPER

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1 The European Commission Mutual Learning Programme for Public Employment Services DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion COMPARATIVE PAPER Peer Review Effective Services for Employers Jaap de Koning José Gravesteijn January 5, 2012

2 This publication is commissioned by the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity ( ). This programme is implemented by the European Commission. It was established to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment, social affairs and equal opportunities area, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the EU2020 goals in these fields. The seven-year programme targets all stakeholders who can help shape the development of appropriate and effective employment and social legislation and policies, across the EU-27, EFTA-EEA and EU candidate and pre-candidate countries. For more information see: The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.

3 CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW SERVICES FOR EMPLOYERS: OVERALL MISSION, STRATEGY AND PROFILE ORGANISATION OF THE SERVICES TO EMPLOYERS CONTACTING AND ENGAGING WITH EMPLOYERS WORKING WITH EMPLOYERS: RECRUITMENT AND FINDING JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISADVANTAGED INDIVIDUALS MONITORING AND EVALUATION OVERALL CONCLUSIONS AND REFLECTIONS ON THE EFFECTIVE DELIVERY OF SERVICES TO EMPLOYERS Authors: Jaap de Koning and José Gravesteijn in collaboration with GHK Limited / Budapest Institute

4 1. INTRODUCTION This paper provides a comparative overview of employers services provided by the PES participating in an upcoming Peer Review on this issue (Austria, Belgium- Brussels (ACTIRIS), Belgium-Flanders (VDAB), Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia and the United Kingdom). It assesses what is common and what is different in the approaches followed by the various PES and what have been the positive and negative experiences of the various approaches adopted. The purpose of the paper is not to evaluate the PES practices, but to provide an indicative comparison as a basis for discussion during the Peer Review. The paper is based on baseline documents submitted by host (France) and peer countries in advance of the meeting. Based on the country papers, the following questions are addressed in Section 2: What is the role /mission for services for employers? What is the level of resources allocated to the service offer for employers, how is it organised and what is the specialisation of PES advisors involved? How are the expectations of companies in terms of a dedicated service offer identified and formalised through service commitments of the PES and what is the scope of PES services for employers with regard to acquiring and filling vacancies and recruitment and recruitment methods? What are the support services to companies to encourage them to recruit the most vulnerable jobseekers? How can services to employers best be measured and evaluated, both in terms of effectiveness of service delivery and the added value of PES to the functioning of the labour market? Section 3 summarises the results and gives some initial thought on the following questions that will be leading in the Peer Review Discussion: How can services to employers be effectively defined and organised within the overall PES mission and strategy? What are the key considerations in reaching out to and binding employers? What are the most effective ways to support the re-integration of disadvantaged individuals in collaboration with employers? An analytical paper on How to structure services for employers? has also been prepared for the Peer Review. The paper reviews the available evidence regarding: ways to create effective and lasting co-operation with employers; PES s core service offer to employers; widening PES services to employers; and performance measurement and results. 1

5 2. COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW 2.1 SERVICES FOR EMPLOYERS: OVERALL MISSION, STRATEGY AND PROFILE Overall mission and strategy Most PES define their mission in terms of vacancy filling or matching demand and supply in the labour market. The Belgian-Flemish, Dutch and German PES, on the other hand, describe their role as complementary to market forces. They concentrate on segments in which market failure leads to vacancies that are difficult to fill and to jobseekers having problems with finding jobs. The mission of the Belgian-Flemish PES, for example, is to promote a transparent and dynamic labour market. When the PES s mission is to improve the functioning of the labour market, it does not necessarily aim at a high market share in terms of vacancy registration and vacancy filling. Other PES, however, do aim at large market shares because they think that a large market share is necessary for achieving their goals (Ireland, Slovenia and Sweden). The UK PES defines its objectives exclusively in terms of offflow from unemployment and reduction of benefit payments. In Ireland the overall strategy is to maximise the benefits for all jobseekers (the job-ready as well as those facing barriers to labour market entry). Most PES serve the needs of both jobseekers and employers. Only Lithuania defines their mission exclusively as filling vacancies to foster economic growth. A number of PES (France, Hungary, Belgium-Flanders, Netherlands, Sweden and UK) explicitly mention their role in placing disadvantaged jobseekers as a key objective. The Dutch PES, for example, prioritises its work with employers that consider the hiring of jobseekers with a weak position in the labour market. The Bulgarian PES mentions improvement in the quality of the workforce as a central objective next to job matching. Some of the PES (Austria and Bulgaria) mention full employment as the central objective underlying the work of the PES. The mission of PES is also reflected in the importance attached to the various roles a PES could play vis-à-vis employers (see Table 1). Job brokering and vacancy filling is considered as their main role by 13 PES. On a scale of 1-5 indicating importance, 11 PES attach a 5 to this role. Only for the Dutch and German PES is a different role of being a labour market advisor more important. For most PES being an advisor is the second most important role, closely followed by the role of a partner in addressing the needs of jobseekers. The role of human resources consultant is given the least importance. 2

6 Table 1: Importance attached by the PES to their various roles Labour market advisor Job broker and filler of vacancies Human resource consultant 1=least important.5=most important Partner in addressing the needs of jobseekers Austria Belgium Brussels Belgium Flanders Bulgaria Estonia Hungary Finland France Germany Ireland Lithuania Netherlands Sweden Slovenia United Kingdom Total score Whether PES activities are primarily seen from the perspective of enhancing economic development, promoting full employment, improving the job opportunities for jobseekers with a weak position in the labour market or achieving reductions in benefit payments, services to employers are seen as highly important by all PES. Offering a personalised and integrated service package for employers is mentioned by a number of PES as the key strategy for improving their relationship with employers (Belgium Brussels, Belgium Flanders, Finland, Lithuania and France). Austria, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Sweden and Slovenia particularly mention the development of good partnerships and lasting relationships with employers. Bulgaria, Hungary and the UK view their broad service package as an important advantage in dealing with employers. The German PES stresses its innovation in services and service delivery, while the Dutch PES prioritises employers that consider hiring workers that have a weak profile in the labour market. Profile of the services provided to employers Almost all PES provide almost all services to employers (Table 2). This is the case for the following services: Collection and provision of labour market information; Drafting and posting of vacancies; Recruitment services; Human resources consultancy; Information and advice on subsidies and ALMPs; 3

7 Support for disadvantaged and long-term unemployed jobseekers; Rapid response and redeployment for large-scale redundancies. Legal advice is provided by half of the PES. Only four PES provide other, additional, services to employers. If a service is provided it is in most cases provided to all employers in principle. A segmented approach is mostly followed by Germany, the Netherlands and the UK (in each case for three types of services). For example, Germany focuses its human resources consultancy on SMEs. The Netherlands and the UK focus on employers with the best outcomes for priority customers among jobseekers. If a service is provided in most cases at least some specialised staff that only work on employers services is involved. However, in a number of countries (Austria, Belgium-Flanders, Bulgaria, France, Germany and Lithuania) the drafting and posting of vacancies is not handled by specialised staff. The latter is also true for a number of countries with respect to information and advice on subsidies and ALMPs (Finland, Hungary, Ireland [mainly not], Sweden [mainly not], Slovenia and the UK) and support for integration of disadvantaged groups and long-term unemployed (Finland, Ireland [mainly not], Sweden [mainly not], Slovenia and the UK). Ireland and Sweden are the countries where services to employers are least specialised. 4

8 Table 2: Key aspects of service delivery to employers by the various PES Type of service Countries that provide the service Is service universal (not segmented)? Is the service at least partly provided by specialised staff? Collection and provision of labour market information Drafting and posting of vacancies All except Finland All except Hungary and UK (partly) All (Sweden only nationally) All All Austria, Belgium-Flanders, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania and the Netherlands (partly) Recruitment services All All except Austria and the UK All except Sweden Human resource consultancy All (Sweden partly) All except France, Germany, and the UK (partly) All except Sweden (mainly not). No information for Belgium Brussels Information and advice on subsidies and ALMP All except the UK All others except Germany All except Finland, Hungary, Ireland (mainly not), Sweden (mainly not), and the UK. Support for the integration of disadvantaged groups and the long-term unemployed All (Belgium-Flanders partly) All except Belgium (Brussels), Germany, Hungary and Netherlands; Lithuania largely universal All countries providing the service except Finland, Ireland (mainly not), Sweden (mainly not), and the UK. Rapid response and redeployment for large-scale redundancies All All except Belgium, France, Estonia and Hungary All except Ireland and Sweden (Sweden places special teams within the company which are staffed by general advisors) Legal advice and support in relation to employment law Belgium-Brussels, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Netherlands; Sweden and Slovenia partly All countries providing the service, except Belgium Brussels All countries providing the service except Netherlands (service is provided digitally) Other service(s) Belgium-Flanders, Estonia, Netherlands and the UK Belgium-Flanders and Estonia Belgium-Flanders and Estonia 5

9 2.2. ORGANISATION OF THE SERVICES TO EMPLOYERS How is the division between specialist and generalist staff offering services to employers organised? Thirteen out of the 15 PES involved mention that they work with specialist staff in dealing with employers, but from the papers it is not always clear in what way staff are specialised (see Table 3). Most PES define specialised staff as staff focusing on employers only (Austria, Belgium-Brussels, Belgium-Flanders, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovenia, and the UK). These specialised advisors are often responsible for a certain sector, a certain region, a certain service and/or certain employers (dedicated employers, large employers, SMEs, etc.). In France specialised staff focus on the canvassing of non-clients companies. The follow-up with client companies and handling vacancies is entrusted to the staff that are responsible for supporting jobseekers. In Sweden the overall policy of the PES is that all advisors should work with both employers and jobseekers. But in reality in Sweden there are also some places where specialists are working exclusively with employers while others focus solely on job-seekers (see Box 1). Also, in Ireland PES staff are mainly generalists. Box 1: Organisation of employer-related services in Sweden In Sweden the overall policy is that all advisors should work with both employers and jobseekers, albeit to different degrees. In reality this objective is not yet reached: in some places there are small groups of specialists. Preferably, local PES should organise their workforce in work-teams mirroring the local market, thus ensuring that they maintain an updated competence on the companies, skills and the current situation in different sectors. During 2012 PES Sweden aims at establishing national networks of PES advisors in strategic sectors, to further facilitate the overall objective. A number of countries (Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands) have no generalists (working with both employers and jobseekers) at all and some other countries (Austria, Finland, Lithuania, Slovenia) have generalists only in very small local offices. The PES for Belgium-Brussels only uses specialists to work with companies and jobseekers who would like to work abroad. Austria, Belgium-Brussels, France, Germany and the Netherlands provide estimates of the number of specialist staff working with employers. In all cases it is less than 15 % of the total number of staff. For a number of countries estimates are also available for the time generalists spend on services to employers. This varies from 10 % of their overall weekly working time (France) to % (Lithuania). Their activities are divided between receiving and supporting jobseekers and maintaining the relationship with employers. In Lithuania the generalists devote one day per working 6

10 week to visits to employers. For nine PES, an estimate can be given of the percentage of the total time (specialists and generalists taken together) spent on services to employers. All figures are in the range of %. What training and skills development is offered to PES staff? What training and skills development do the staff receive and for how long? According to the answers given in the papers there are significant differences between countries (see Table 3). According to the information given, Austria and Ireland are the most active in providing training to their staff. In Ireland all staff receive three years training in the work of the PES. This is all training for generalists, covering both the services to working and employers. The PES in Austria offers all PES staff basic training of 28 weeks and afterwards: there is a 10 week special training for advisors in the services for employers. In addition to Austria and Ireland a number of other PES (Belgium-Flanders, France, Sweden, the UK) mention that they offer training to their generalist staff. It is unquestionably true that other Member States also provide/require significant training for all PES advisors, but this was not specifically mentioned in the PES papers provided. A number of PES mention training for the specialists among their staff dealing with employers. In Estonia training on the job is provided. France offers its specialist staff training of 9.5 days, divided into 5 modules. The Belgian-Flemish PES offers each employee five days of training every year and organises every year an Account Managers Day with extra training for (employer) account managers (nine days). The training for specialists in other countries varies from one to three days (Lithuania) to three weeks (Germany). The emphasis of the training is often on formal (theoretical and/or practical) skills, but some countries state that training also includes soft skills (Hungary). The Belgian-Flemish PES also mentions training in new IT-applications. 7

11 Table 3: Specialist staff for the delivery of services to employers? What is the role of these specialist staff? How is their work organised? What training and skills development do they offer? Country Number of specialist staff Training and skills development Austria Belgium- Brussels Belgium- Flanders Bulgaria Estonia Finland Except for very small regional offices there are mainly specialised advisors for dealing with employers. A few advisors are in key account management: they offer services for big companies with branches in several districts of Austria. Vienna and the bigger regional offices in the rest of Austria are organised in sectors and industries. The other offices are regionally organised so individual advisors cover all sectors. The counsellor is responsible for a portfolio of companies that is to be developed and enhanced. S/he acquires either large companies (100+ employees), public institutions or SME s from an assigned area of Brussels. Soon, the services will evolve to a specialisation by economic sector activities. Account managers: for each of the 5 Flemish provinces there is a team of account managers (44 account managers, 5 team leaders). Each account manager is responsible for 1 or more sectors in his/her province. In the big labour offices in the regional centres there are dedicated teams providing services to employers. At the small offices there is usually a dedicated person. Also the Management Team is involved in contacts with employers. There are action plans which envisage periodic visits to employers to update information about their status and about the services the PES could provide. Advisors for employers work in every regional office. Each advisor is responsible for his/her region. A rapid response team is located in the head-office to respond and deliver services in the event of redundancies. There is a unit specialised in services for employers. Most advisors are specialised in some sector, but this means mainly a knowledge area, not dividing customers. France 400 fte Recruitment by simulation method, established in Vocational Platforms, sectoral specialisation, specialised structures; specialist staff work mainly on the canvassing of non-client companies. Follow-up with client companies and on handling vacancies is entrusted to the staff that are responsible for supporting jobseekers. Basic training for all PES staff takes 28 weeks (incl. theoretical and practical training). Afterwards there is a 10 week special training for advisors in the service for employers. Every advisor in the service for employers does 1-2 weeks of training every year (voluntary). There is special training for the advisors in key account management. The training for the counsellor in enterprises is oriented on commercial activities and prospection (3 days), training in social and labour laws (3 days) and in employers incentives. Belgium-Flemish PES has a training centre for its own employees and offers each employee 5 days of training every year. Every year an Account Managers Day is organised and it includes extra training for account managers (9 days), new IT applications (ca. 2 days). Initial training, periodic upgrade and develop skills through workshops and distance courses for improving their knowledge and proactive behaviour in offering services. Trained on the job, job-related training according to training plans of the PES. Special training and seminars (3-7 days a year). 9.5 day training in-house, divided into 5 modules 8

12 Country Number of specialist staff Training and skills development Germany Ca There are among others, employer-oriented experts in placement services and consulting. The Employer Service Teams are divided by region and sector. The Employers Service is available nationwide in all 176 Employment Agencies. Professional expertise: 2 weeks. Methodical expertise: 1 week Hungary Ireland Lithuania The Netherla nds Sweden Slovenia United Kingdom The original model of PES was built on the structure of specialists in each county for handling mass layoffs and offering preventive services. The job agent network is supervised from the national office. Job agents visit companies daily. No specialist staff. Most staff are generalists and deal with employers regardless of which sector they come from. In the local PES offices in major cities there are specialist advisors who deal only with employers, focusing on a particular economic sector in a region or service. 450 fte Organised in sectors, in some cases linked to sub-regions at the regional employer service points. Overall policy is that all advisors should work with both employers and jobseekers. In reality, in some places there are specialists working exclusively with employers while others focus solely on job-seekers. Apart from the very small offices, all other offices have specialised advisors for employers. They are engaged with all employers in their locality. Large scale recruitment efforts by a single employer are supported by a coordinator in a regional office. National Employer Service Team (NEST) working with over 200 national employers across a range of sectors; 35 senior employer relationship managers work with these employers to create opportunities for key customer groups. Focus: understanding employers needs and helping to shape recruitment practices that support the recruitment of unemployed claimants. No special training, but soft skills: an open mind, problem-solving oriented personality All staff are trained to Diploma level in relevant issues for employment services. The emphasis on this training and development is on career guidance and counselling. 1-3 days regarding counselling practices Team activities, basic for new employer service advisers (e-learning and a number of part days), additional modules (e-learning and a number of part days), senior advisor products (2 days) Training in the field of marketing, communication and negotiation. The average duration of the training is 2 to 3 days organised and offered by the PES own training centre. No formal initial training for employer advisers. Their performance is monitored and any further training need is identified. 9

13 What type of partner organisations do the PES work with? What is the main purpose of this collaboration? Structural co-operation with partners is mentioned by eight PES. Partnerships are most common with the chambers of commerce and/or the chambers of trade (Austria, France, Hungary, Belgium-Flanders, Slovenia and the UK), with Temporary Employment Agencies (Belgium-Flanders, France, Hungary, Slovenia and the Netherlands) and with sector organisations (Belgium-Flanders, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden). It is striking that few PES (the Netherlands and Belgium- Flanders) mention partnerships with training institutions and knowledge centres. Belgium-Flanders organises flexible training at the request of and in close partnership with the sectors. The French PES seeks the partnership of the social partners in the provision of training. Some countries mention that they do have partnerships in place to deliver the services for employers, but only on an ad hoc basis (Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania). In Germany cooperation takes place with a variety of actors (associations of enterprises, chambers of commerce, local government, schools, etc.). With respect to the question about what the purpose of the collaboration is, a variety of answers is given: the partner gives input into labour policies, to advertise and search for candidates (in relation to temporary work agencies), to develop services according to the needs of employers (in relation to employers organisations), to support enterprise growth, to promote diversity plans, getting people employed, avoiding unemployment and covering skill needs CONTACTING AND ENGAGING WITH EMPLOYERS How does the PES identify, target and make initial contact with employers that could potentially benefit from the PES services? To identify new clients the PES in the different countries use various methods. In some countries (Belgium Flanders, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden) the staff dedicated to employers develop a (national, regional or local) marketing plan. The plans are developed to identify employers who are of strategic importance with respect to the target groups. In the Netherlands those employers are characterised as: experienced in hiring jobseekers that are out of the labour market, experienced with subsidies, social, large, etc. In Sweden the employers in the plan are placed in three categories: 1. Companies the PES has an established and long-term relationship with; 2. New companies the PES consider of strategic importance for the future; 3. Small companies in the retail and service sectors in which the PES can offer more generalised services. The Belgian-Flemish PES focuses primarily on SMEs and divides the companies by sector. To identify employers that could potentially benefit from its services, it makes use of different information sources (list of fast growing companies, job offers found in local media but not registered in their own database, new companies coming to the region, a list of companies that did not use the services of the Belgian-Flemish 10

14 PES in the last two years, etc.). The Belgian-Flemish PES focuses primarily on SMEs for a number of reasons including that they represent a high proportion of companies in Flanders, and before the crisis experienced a high level of job growth and that proportionately their vacancies are more difficult to fill. In France new contacts are canvassed by special teams, by telephone, visits of mail depending on the size of the company and its hiring potential. Since 2011 the PES has used an IT package to segment employers. Defined by three criteria, eight segments are constructed with the use of a segmentation tool: Hiring potential: measured by the numbers of workers hired during the previous reference period; Recruitment difficulties, known from various sources; Closeness to the PES, measured by the number of vacancies submitted by each company to the PES. In some countries (e.g. the UK) all notified vacancies are scanned and analysed to identify employers most likely to recruit unemployment claimants. In other countries (Austria, Lithuania) databases of employers are used to identify strategic employers. In Slovenia employers are obliged by the law to notify their job vacancies with the PES. When notifying they are free to express whether they would like to receive mediation services or not, as well as which services they would like to receive. In all cases, when employers ask for the mediation services, the PES provides them. In most cases the PES contacts employers in order to adjust the services to employers expectations. Contacts with employers established through mediation services are also very important for enhancing longer-lasting relationships, (e.g. exploring potential, future needs, job fairs and visits). The strategy of the Irish PES is to contact a new start up employer as soon as there is an announcement of the start-up. The call centre will make all services known to an employer as soon as the employer makes his first call. The PES in Hungary works mainly with SMEs and focuses on low skilled jobs. The channel used to make the initial contact depends on how much added value an employer offers to the PES key target groups. In general: the greater the company s employment potential, the more highly personalised the contact. All PES agree that the most effective first contact is a personal, face-to face contact (after making the appointment by telephone). What tools, approaches and communication channels are used to develop a sustained contact and relationship with the employer and how effective are they? In the initial (face-to-face) contact, most PES consult the employer on how to work together in the future, how to cooperate on a regular basis and through which channels. In the case of highly qualified relationships a reference advisor is appointed. In Estonia, Lithuania and the UK further contact is mainly by telephone and and occasionally face-to-face. The opinion of the PES in the UK is that the most effective channel is digital (including ), followed by telephone. 11

15 However, the PES in Austria and Bulgaria experience face-to face contacts as the most effective way in dealing with employers. In the Netherlands the preferred channel is digital, except for placing jobseekers who are disadvantaged and / or disabled. The PES in Slovenia mentions a multi-channelling approach: personal contacts, visits to employers premises and semi-formal meetings proved to be most efficient in establishing good long-term relationships with employers. In the opinion of this PES, and telephone channels are most effective and efficient when providing general information to employers. The Belgian-Flemish PES uses a multi-channel approach. This means that Belgium- Flanders uses the best channel that is necessary to give the answer to the question/problem of the SME employer. Most contacts are online or by telephone. The Lithuanian PES uses rewards for employers to improve its relationship with them (Box 2). Box 2: Rewards for good practice employers in Lithuania In Lithuania once a year, employers who have created the biggest number of new jobs receive awards. In addition, employers are nominated for the creation of new jobs in areas with the highest unemployment rates for integrating socially vulnerable and/or young people into the labour market and for the initiative to start and develop a business. According to the Finnish and German PES, the role of the Internet will increase in the future in dealing with everyday routines and also in providing services for employers. Although this is not stated explicitly in most papers, it is often reflected in the tools PES use and the plans mentioned (for automatic job matching, for example). Table 4 below contains information for all PES on how PES contact and maintain contact with employers. 12

16 Table 4 How PES establish and maintain contact with employers Country Initial contact Contact in ongoing relationships Austria Belgium- Brussels Belgium- Flanders Bulgaria Estonia Finland France A part of the Social Security Organisation gives the PES information about enterprises with a high potential for recruitment, websites of big companies, vacancies in newspapers and other online platforms. First contact is by telephone, sometimes by . If the company is interested the PES offers a company visit. Prospection is linked to the jobseeker s profile. Priority is given to the sector and jobs to help target job seekers. The Belgium-Flemish PES focuses primarily on the SMEs and divides the companies by sector. Each account manager makes his/her own plan within his/her province and sector(s) based on knowledge and developments in his/her province. AVDB website is an important channel to come into contact with a new employer. Initial contacts are by phone, followed by a visit to the employer. PES uses various sources of information for identifying new companies. Social partners and existing Cooperation Councils support work on identifying potential new customers. The PES carries out information and cooperation events for employers at national, regional and local levels to introduce the services and support of the PES and to receive feedback. Each PES office has a customer service plan, outlining the most important customers and their contact person, how to work together, etc. Canvassed by canvassing forces; form (telephone, visit, mail) depends on the size of the company and its hiring potential. Main contacts are by telephone, sometimes by . The best approach for a good partnership with employers is a personal contact between the PES and the enterprise at the business location. There is an employer s line (phone, fax, ), consultants set appointments and visit the company, there is a database to insert one s own job proposals and there is the possibility for automatic vacancy matching. Networking, organisation of local events, personal contacts (especially with SMEs), etc. Each regional office has a hotline. Employers can submit their vacancies via phone or during regular meetings with the intermediaries. The most effective way is direct face-to face contact with employers. In everyday work employers advisors contact employers personally. Employers advisors mostly use telephone contacts, but visiting the employers or arranging meetings in the office (face to face) are also common methods. The main channel with employers includes personal service (telephone, visits, joint projects). Call centre services are used for general information, and the Internet for providing information, reporting vacancies. Increased personalisation of the contact and relationship: appointment of a reference advisor in the case of highly qualified relationships. 13

17 Country Initial contact Contact in ongoing relationships Germany Hungary Ireland Lithuania The Netherlands Sweden Slovenia Target clients are the priority target group. The group of employers is determined by measuring the number of recruitments and turnover in vacancies and the resulting potential for placement services and/or willingness to provide training. No special model: PES mainly works with SMEs and focuses on low skilled jobs The PES will contact a new start-up employer as soon as there is an announcement of the start-up. The call centre (NCC) will make all services known to employers as soon as the employer makes his first call. Customer segmentation by using a database of employers. Employers are selected by size (number of employees) identifying strategic employers, which create the biggest number of vacancies. The most effective tool for initial contact is face-to face/personal contact. Employers service points develop national and regional marketing plans. Primary channels for employment are the telephone and Internet. Activities are bases on a local plan. There is a local segmentation of potential employers: 1) companies with an established and long-term relationship; 2) new companies of strategic importance for the future; and 3) small companies in the retail and services sectors. In SI employers are obliged by law to notify their job vacancies with the PES. When notifying they are free to express whether they would like to receive mediation services or not, as well as which services they would like to receive. In all cases, when employers ask for the mediation services, the PES provides them. In most cases the PES contacts employers in order to adjust the services to employers expectations. Contacts with employers established through mediation services are also very important for enhancing longer-lasting relationships, (e.g. exploring potential, future needs, job fairs and visits). Personal contact, telephone or . In the future the access to online channels of the employer is strengthened. Until now the telephone is the most used and accepted instrument (by the employer as well as the PES). Job agents are available at business friendly hours, employers can contact them directly as they have, mobile phones and laptops. The main tool is the call centre, NCC, augmented by face to face meetings. A popular and effective channel is the telephone. Face to face channel from a national or regional employers service point: websites inform and provide employer services. Primary channels for employment are the telephone and the Internet. Long-term relationships are based on face-to face contact at least in the initial phase, after which an agreement is made about how to cooperate on a regular basis and through which channels. The PES is using a multi-channelling approach. Personal contacts, visits to employers premises and semi-formal meetings proved to be most efficient in establishing good longterm relationships with employers. The and phone channel is most effective and efficient when providing general information to employers. 14

18 Country Initial contact Contact in ongoing relationships United Kingdom Scan all notified vacancies to identify employers most likely to recruit unemployed claimants. Vacancy notification is via telephone or by . Follow up is made by the employers advisor. Further contact is mainly by telephone and , occasionally face to face. 15

19 2.4. WORKING WITH EMPLOYERS: RECRUITMENT AND FINDING JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISADVANTAGED INDIVIDUALS Legal obligation to register vacancies with the PES and skill level of vacancies registered most frequently Of the 15 PES involved in the comparison, Belgium-Flanders (only companies with at least 20 workers), Finland, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia have a legal obligation for firms to notify their vacancies to the PES (see Table A.4 in the annex). In Belgium- Brussels and Bulgaria the obligation is limited to the public sector. Hence, compulsory notification is mostly found in the EU10. Of the 11 countries that have provided information on the skill level of the registered vacancies, seven indicate that vacancies for low skilled jobs are the most common type gathered by the PES (see Table 5). Table 5: Legislation for reporting vacancies to the PES and most frequent type of vacancies reported Reporting of vacancies compulsory? Most frequent type of vacancy Austria No Low skilled Belgium Brussels Only for the public sector Medium and higher skilled Belgium Flanders Yes, for companies with at least 20 Low skilled workers Bulgaria Only for the public sector Low skilled Estonia No Low skilled Finland Yes NA France No NA Germany No NA Hungary Yes Unskilled and blue-collar Ireland No All skill levels Lithuania Yes Medium skilled Netherlands No All skill levels Sweden No NA Slovenia Yes Low skilled United Kingdom No Low skilled Tools and systems used to work with employers Most PES concentrate their description on how information on vacancies is published and disseminated and how vacancies are filled. In the Irish paper the various options for employers to submit their vacancies (online, by telephone, by and by fax) are also mentioned. A number of PES provide help and advice to employers by diagnosing skills needs, making job analyses and drafting vacancy descriptions. The French PES is particularly active in this field. In some countries (Belgium-Flanders, Estonia, Ireland, Slovenia) vacancies submitted to the PES are screened on their compatibility with legislation to avoid discrimination or pay below statutory minimum wages. Information on vacancies is often widely distributed. In addition to regional and local PES offices, the following channels and places are mentioned through which 16

20 jobseekers have access to vacancy information: online (Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia), broadcasting (France), kiosks at places like railway stations (Austria, Ireland), newspapers (Austria) and smartphone (Ireland). A number of PES mention the possibility of matching (in some case automatic matching) on the basis of their databases on vacancies and jobseekers (Austria, Belgium-Brussels, Belgium-Flanders, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, and Slovenia). In the case of Belgium-Brussels firms can choose between two options: online exposure of their vacancies or keeping their vacancies hidden, with the PES selecting suitable candidates. Also other PES mention the possibility of preselection of candidates (Austria, Belgium-Flanders, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands and Slovenia). In Estonia and Lithuania it seems to be standard procedure that the PES selects suitable candidates for employers. Some countries mention the use of psychological tests for candidates (Austria, Belgium-Flanders, Estonia, Germany). The German PES has a Virtual Labour Market which provides the opportunity both for employers and job-seekers to self-service match; they also offer the pre-selection of candidates and have developed a four level psychological testing tool, provided in house. The Virtual Labour Market offers the whole continuum between the complete self-service function and personal advice by the PES. According to the PES of Belgium-Flanders and Slovenia, pre-selection of candidates is an effective tool in filling vacancies to the satisfaction of employers. The Swedish PES mentions this specifically in relation to placing migrants. Personal contacts between jobseekers and employers are found to increase the chance of a successful match. Preselection and personal contacts add to the trust of employers, which is a key factor in the matching process. The French PES builds its strategy completely on gaining trust among employers. Other methods mentioned in relation to filling vacancies are key account management for and partnerships with large companies (Austria, France, Netherlands, Lithuania), red alert systems for highlighting difficult-to-fill vacancies (Belgium Flanders: vacancies that need extra support are highlighted on a daily basis), links with training providers (Belgium Flanders, France) and job fairs on request of employers (Lithuania). Particularly the French PES disposes of a broad range of services (see Box 3 below). Table 6 shows key PES approaches in relation to employer services for staff recruitment. 17

21 Table 6: Tools and approaches for recruitment Austria Belgium Brussels Belgium Flanders Bulgaria Estonia Finland France Germany Hungary Ireland Lithuania Tools and approaches for recruitment Access for every counsellor to all registered vacancies Vacancies published on various locations and media Matching with jobseekers using the national database If vacancies require many skills or if many applicants are expected, preselection is applied. In this case psychological tests are also used Key account management for big companies located in several districts Assistance to companies in making profiles of candidates and drafting job proposals Firms have two options: 1) vacancies are widely disseminated, 2) vacancies stay hidden and PES makes the filter of candidates Vacancies are put online by PES, but are also made available through other channels Quality control of vacancies (incompatible requirements and language used) Advice on job offers Online CV database Automatic matching Preselection of candidates and interviews with candidates by PES Highlighting vacancies needing extra support ('red alert') Vocational training on demand of employers No information Quality check on vacancies Only jobseekers suitable for a vacancy are notified If necessary - test or interview with candidates No special tools Only rules for job descriptions Different levels of services Diagnosis of needs and skills Job analysis Advice on drafting of job offers Online posting and broadcasting of vacancies Access to an online CV database CV alerts to corresponding vacancies Information on training schemes Screening of candidates Simulation of recruitment Post-recruitment follow-up Financial assistance for recruitment System for placement services and Internet platform Customer database for employers Labour market monitor Management information system for target control Labour market reporting Quality system under development Use of integrated Customer System Vacancies must first be approved to ensure compliance with the law and PES' policies Various options for submitting vacancies: online, by telephone, or fax Jobseekers can view job opportunities at various forums (PES offices, self-service kiosks, online, smartphone) Staff use standard registration form Online information system generates suitable candidates Preselection interviews Job fairs on request of employers Ex-post analysis of results Netherlands System for automatically comparing jobseekers and vacancies, which produces a ranking (werk.nl) Information system used by job coaches to match vacancies and jobseekers (WBS) Share stores information on partnerships with employers (Share) Management information portal (MIP) contains information on performance indicators, targets and products 18

22 Sweden Slovenia UK Tools and approaches for recruitment For migrants a good presentation of skills with physical meetings with employers Validation of diplomas obtained abroad Evaluation of skills at the workplace (trial) Training in modules gives tailor-made options (costs are partly covered by the employer) All vacancies are also published in those cases where the employer does not want the support of the PES, but only on the blackboards in the PES premises. On the PES website the vacancies are posted for which the employer wants active mediation support and/or wants online publication. Vacancies may be changed in compliance with anti-discrimination rules Verification wage is mentioned in job profiles, with minimum wage Occupational codes are the main basis for matching Online database of jobseekers accessible to employers Personal contacts between jobseekers and employers Speed dating with candidates on request of employers or in cooperation with employers. Regional and local offices cooperate in filling the needs of large companies notifying many vacancies. Regional offices organise on average two job fairs per year in cooperation with employers. Guidance system for staff covering: 1) how to take a vacancy, 2) types of vacancies that need special care, and 3) how to identify potential discrimination issues. Guidelines are also issued about how to deal with jobseekers Instruments used for incentivising employers to hire disadvantaged groups Wage subsidies (including exemption from paying taxes and/or social contributions) are the most popular instrument used by PES to stimulate employers to hire disadvantaged groups. They are mentioned by all PES. The groups to which the subsidies apply are not always mentioned. In most countries (Austria, Belgian Flanders, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands and Sweden) the disabled are among the groups for which employers can obtain subsidies. Other groups mentioned are the longterm unemployed (Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Netherlands), young people (Belgium, Sweden, UK), low-skilled people (Belgium), older people (Belgium, Netherlands) and migrants (Sweden). In Austria and the Netherlands the subsidies for long-term unemployed are only provided if hiring is combined with training. Other instruments mentioned are: quotas for recruiting disabled workers (Austria, Belgian-Flanders 1 ), coaching by the PES on the job (Austria, Netherlands), training (Lithuania, Sweden, Slovenia), individual counselling (Germany), unpaid work trials (France, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden), subsidies for disabled workers other than wage and training subsidies (for adapting workplaces and transport; Netherlands), supported employment (Netherlands, Sweden), anti-discrimination legislation (France) and campaigns aimed at improving the image of disadvantaged groups among employers (Sweden). Most of these instruments apply to disabled workers. Sweden mentions a number of instruments for placing migrants like a credible presentation of 1 Only for the public sector. 19

23 their skills, validation of diplomas obtained abroad, trials where jobseekers can show their capabilities and tailor-made training. Box 3: Innovative instruments introduced by France The French also use more traditional instruments like subsidies. However, in addition to these traditional instruments they have introduced an innovative instrument: recruitment by simulation (MRS). This method is aimed at unskilled jobseekers and jobseekers wanting to move to a different type of employment. It uses detailed job profiles defined with the help of companies. Part of the agreement is that the company is not involved in the preselection of candidates and only expresses relevant job requirements through the job profiles. The candidates selected by the PES are given the opportunity to show their ability during a kind of trial in the company. MRS is implemented through vocational platforms. In 2010, nearly jobseekers were evaluated by this method and slightly more than were placed. The French PES mentions four factors determining its success in placing vulnerable groups: 1) gaining the loyalty of employers is the key factor for success, 2) establishing partnerships with large firms, 3) cooperation with the social partners in the field of training, and 4) specific instruments like subsidies and the simulation method outlined earlier. Also important are its efforts in advising companies having recurrent recruitment problems. One of the key elements in the advice given is that firms become better at widening their search criteria. More detailed information on how PES stimulate employers for disadvantaged groups is given in Table 7. 20

24 Table 7: Tools to stimulate employment for disadvantaged groups Austria Belgium Brussels Belgium Flanders Bulgaria Estonia Finland France Germany Hungary Ireland Lithuania Recruitment and finding jobs opportunities for the disadvantaged Law prescribes that employers with at least 25 employees must employ disabled persons (at least 50 % disabled) If firms hire more disabled individuals than prescribed by law, they receive a subsidy The employer can receive a subsidy for training for both the long-term unemployed and disabled Agreement with big companies; coaching by PES on the job Implementation of active measures (not further specified) Financial advantages for recruiting young low-skilled, older workers and disabled individuals Job coaching for the disabled For the public sector, quotas for migrants and disabled persons apply Wage subsidies for disadvantaged groups Wage subsidies for long-term unemployed Training tailor-made to employers' wishes Disability employment services (workplace adaptations, special technical aids, employment with support person, assistance with job interviews). Subsidies for disabled individuals Special efforts for placing disabled and vulnerable groups Experiment on anonymous CVs to combat discrimination Recruitment by simulation for unskilled jobseekers or those moving to other types of work Subsidies for disadvantaged groups Gaining the loyalty and trust of employers Partnership agreements with larger companies Stimulating companies to adapt their expectations to what is realistic in the labour market Links with training managed by employers-unions Individual counselling Compensation for low productivity Temporary subsidies for difficulties in the beginning Wage subsidies Rehabilitation Information Centres Only information that there are incentives Subsidies Vocational training both for disabled and long-term unemployed Netherlands Unpaid trial for three weeks (the jobseeker keeping its trial) No risk policy for the disabled (the employer receives benefit in the case of sickness) Possibility to pay less than minimum wage for young disabled (max five years) Subsidies for adapting workplaces (disabled) Subsidies for special work chairs etc. workers can take with them Transport subsidies for disabled individuals (adapted cars, taxis) On the job counselling (disabled workers) Reduced social security contributions for older workers Future: subsidy to hire older workers Sweden General reductions in pay-roll taxes for young people and newly arrived migrants Individual subsidies for disabled and long-term unemployed On the job training and supported employment for disabled individuals Campaign to convince employers of the valuable contributions disabled individuals can make. 21

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