Ontology and taxonomy – stop comparing things that are incomparable

To many people, the word ‘ontology’ might sound abstract. It has its origin in Tim Berners-Lee’s dream of inventing the World Wide Web. This dream included the Web becoming capable of defining a so-called ‘Semantic Web’ by analyzing all Web data, including content, links and computer-person transaction. In the Semantic Web, the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL) have been established as standard formats for sharing and integrating both data and knowledge—the latter in the form of rich conceptual schemes called ontologies. [1] In this article the word ontology serves as the working definition, however it is worth mentioning that in today’s IT world there is also a broad use the term ‘knowledge graph’ to refer to this concept.

Why to care about ontology

With regard to artificial intelligence (AI), the terms ‘big data’, ‘machine learning’ and ‘deep learning’ are slowly replacing the usage of ‘AI’. However, to quote Adrian Bowles, “there is no machine intelligence without (knowledge) representation.” In other words, AI requires some elements of knowledge engineering, information architecture and a significant amount of human work to do its ‘magical neural work’. Fittingly, Alexander Wissner-Gross finds that, perhaps most importantly, we need to recognize that it is intelligent datasets—not algorithms—that are likely to be the key limiting factor in the development of human-level artificial intelligence.

             “there is no machine intelligence without (knowledge) representation.”

An ontology is a structured and formal representation of relative knowledge in a certain domain. This is necessary, because unlike humans it cannot directly rely on human background knowledge about a term’s correct usage. What an ontology can do, however, is to “learn” about the semantic meaning of a term through the interlinks between the concepts in its system. Powerful ontologies already exist in specific domains, examples include the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO) as well as numerous ontologies for healthcare, geography or occupations.

Another important part of AI is semantic reasoning. In addition to identifying potentially fraudulent transactions, determining users’ intent based on their browser history and making product recommendations, AI can also do the following: It can execute tasks that require explicit reasoning based on general and domain-specific knowledge, such as understanding news articles, preparing food or buying a car. Thus, such tasks require information that is not part of the input data but needs to be dynamically combined with knowledge. This type of machine reasoning can only be achieved with ontologies and the way their knowledge is modeled. [2]

Taxonomy and ontology are fundamentally different

Ontology is often confused with taxonomy.  Apart from the fact that both belong to the fields of AI, the Semantic Web and system engineering, there is really not much that would characterize them as synonyms. Taxonomy classifications such as O*NET (Occupational Information Network) and ESCO (European Skills/Competences, qualifications and Occupations) simply cannot be compared to ontologies.  They provide a much simpler approach to classifying objects, as they have a hierarchical structure and utilize only parent-child relations without any additional, more sophisticated links. Ontologies, on the other hand, are a much more complex form of categorization. Speaking metaphorically, a taxonomy equals a tree whereas an ontology comes closer to a forest.

For example: The term ‘golf’ could appear in several taxonomies.  It might be located under a ‘Human Activities’ tree (human activities -> leisure activities -> sports -> golf).  It could also be found under a taxonomy concerning apparel (apparel -> casual/active apparel -> sporting apparel -> golf clothing and accessories). It could even appear in something quite different, for example an automobile taxonomy (automobile -> Germany -> VW -> Golf). Each of these taxonomies can be considered a tree whose branches touch at their ‘golf’-related nodes. [3]

Put differently, taxonomies represent a collection of topics with ‘is-a’-relationships while ontologies allow for much more complex connections, such as ‘has-a’- and ‘use-a’-relations. [4] Hence, if we return to the classification example above, taxonomies lack the capability to compare child concepts.

In the classification of ESCO, almost all medical specialists are grouped under the heading ‘Specialist Medical Practitioners’. Furthermore, specialist skill sets are simply grouped in lists without any links to the respective specialist occupations. Why is that? One reason is that classifications are mainly used for statistical purposes. From this viewpoint there is no need to further classify all individual medical specialists according to their skill sets and training background. Therefore, according to taxonomies, specializations can only be recognized by their job title and one needs to refer to other sources to better understand their individual meaning.

Building an ontology of occupations, qualifications and skills makes it possible to automatically recognize similarities and differences between job titles. For example, pediatricians and neonatologists have similar jobs, both of which concern themselves with the medical care of newborn infants. With the ontology modeling approach, it is possible to determine that a pediatrician has a very high percentage of similar skills to those of a neonatologist. However, pediatricians can only take over the neonatologist’s job after further training. All this information can be represented in an ontology through the interrelationships between concepts. This goes beyond the capacity of a simple taxonomy.

Ontologies enable matching datasets

When it comes to matching, say the matching of CVs with vacancies, there is no better way than to use an ontology. All too often, simple keyword-based matching or fuzzy machine learning methods are used for this, which means that many similarities go undetected and cannot be matched, such as keyword variations, synonyms and alternative phrases. When matching, it is important to compare the semantics (the underlying meaning) of two items rather than the wording. This is where ontologies come into play. They can provide a semantic modeling that can detect the underlying meanings and similarities in CVs and job descriptions.

The ontology matching technique represents a fundamental technique in many areas, such as ontology merging. In domains with very complex rules (and complex interactions between rules) there’s no substitute for ontologies. This is shown, for instance, when you consider integrating disparate domains. Let’s say there are two separate ontologies, a weather ontology and a geographic ontology, when considering navigation or insurance risks, to create a third ontology which integrates and leverages the other two is a manageable proposition. [5]

 True value of ontologies

The semantic system relies on explicit, human-understandable representations of concepts, relationships, and rules to develop the desired domain knowledge. It is impossible to rely solely on programmers to build such a system based on machine learning, as they lack the knowledge needed to define relationships between concepts in the specific domains. Therefore, the domain knowledge must be learned from domain experts with various backgrounds (e.g. intellectual property law, fluid dynamics, car repair, open-heart surgery, or educational and vocational systems). This process is crucial for creating a comprehensive knowledge representation.

For the multi-lingual JANZZ ontology language skills are a key point. In many cases, a one-to-one translation of a concept into multiple languages isn’t possible, however, thanks to Switzerland being small and integrated, all the JANZZ ontology curators are fluent in at least two languages and some even speak more than four (including Chinese and Arabic). This advantage guarantees the ontology’s consistency and quality across different languages.

About a decade ago, JANZZ started building its ontology on various occupation taxonomies, namely ISCO-08, ESCO and all country-specific classifications. Over the years, JANZZ has added thousands of new professions and functions (e.g. Market Research Data Miner, Millennial Generational Expert and Social Media Manager) to the JANZZ ontology, which didn’t exist before in any of the known taxonomies. Besides job titles, also up-to-date skills, education, experience and specializations have been included in the ontology. It is the right tool for HR and Public Employment Services, which recognizes the similarities and ambiguities among job titles, rather than being a collection of terms like a taxonomy. Today, the JANZZ ontology is by far the largest, most complicated and most complete occupation data ontology in the world.

For private corporations and public employment services trying to choose between a classification system based on a taxonomy and a classification system based on an ontology, we hope this article helps you make the right decision and helps you realize that investing in a non-semantic system (without content) will not get you any further. Luckily, some governments and corporations have chosen the right path and have already benefited from our newest technology. If you would like to know more about the JANZZ ontology, please write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] Ian Horrocks. 2008. Ontologies and the Semantic Web. URL: http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/ian.horrocks/Publications/download/2008/Horr08a.pdf [2019.02.01 ]

[2] Larry Lefkowitz. 2018. Semantic Reasoning: The (Almost) Forgotten Half of AI. URL: https://aibusiness.com/semantic-reasoning-ai/ [2019.02.01]

[3] New Idea Engineering. 2018. What’s the difference between Taxonomies and Ontologies? URL: http://www.ideaeng.com/taxonomies-ontologies-0602 [2019.02.01]

[4] Daniel Tunkelang. 2017. Taxonomies and Ontologies. URL: https://queryunderstanding.com/taxonomies-and-ontologies-8e4812a79cb2 [2019.02.01]

[5] Nathan Winant. 2014. What are the advantages of semantic reasoning over machine learning? URL: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-advantages-of-semantic-reasoning-over-machine-learning [2019.02.01 ]


The Silver Workforce

In Japan, one person in five is 70 or older. According to last year’s data of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, 26.48 million people are 70 or older, which accounts for 20.7% of the total population [1]. If you go to Japan, you will see many senior citizens still working in the shops or running around the streets in suits. There, the term “elderly” has been redefined. In fact, a group of academic societies suggested only considering people “elderly” as of age 75 and people from age 65 to 74 as “semi-elderly” who can actively contribute to society [2].

Due to the shrinking core labor force and the long lifespan of Japanese people, the number of employed senior citizens (65 and older) reached 8.07 million in 2017, which makes up 12.3% of the overall workforce [3]. Currently, the statutory retirement age in Japan is 60, however, few people are taking their pensions at that age. Due to the fact that citizens are able to receive a pension anytime between 60 and 70 most Japanese seniors choose to work beyond the age of 60. Last year, the Japanese government approved plans to raise the optional age for receiving pensions to 71 and older and they are also considering raising the statutory retirement age to 65.

Aging problem is worldwide

Japan is not alone in this. The problem of population ageing is challenging governments worldwide. Many countries have carried out reforms aiming to increase the retirement age. According to the German federal government website, as of this year, the retirement age will increase from 62 to 65.  Also, the Russian government has submitted a pension-reform legislation that proposes raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 by 2028 for men and from 55 to 63 by 2034 for women.

Some of the senior citizens are happy to continue working in order to help themselves stay mentally and physically fit. However, for those who have a hard-working life and are counting the days to retirement, the prospect of having to work until 70 is a dire one. Furthermore, this kind of development means that young graduates are worried about their job prospects.

Compared to young people, knowledge and experience are among the strengths of older workers. However, there are also many factors that make companies hesitate to employ them. Declining physical capacity prohibits seniors from continuing the kind of work that requires extreme physical fitness, such as fire fighting, construction work or gardening. What’s more, with the rapid changes in technology, it is especially difficult for the elderly to keep up with the newest developments.

The value of the “silver employees”

Certain companies have discovered the value of the “silver employees”. The Japanese cosmetics company Pola is one of them. Many Pola employees are in their seventies and older. For example, Miyoko Sugiyama, an 83-year-old store director of one of the Pola shops. She knows all the preferences, ages, health status and shopping habits of her 30-odd clients. When new products come out, she goes to visit her clients personally by bike or train to inform them about these products. Sugiyama is one of Pola’s 50,000 “beauty directors”. Among them, 5,500 are in their 70s, 2,500 are in their 80s, 250 are in their 90s and recently one of their salespeople turned 100. [4]

Manufacturing companies are staring to realize the value of older workers, too. There, passing on the skills of experienced workers to younger workers is key. At, bearing manufacturer Isoda Metal this is well understood. About a decade ago, the company started allowing skilled workers who have passed the statutory retirement age to continue working. Grinding bearings requires accuracy within a 100th of a millimeter which takes years of experience and intuition to manage. Today a quarter of the company’s workforce is in their 60s to 80s and many of them double as instructors of younger workers. [4]

Creating easy working environment for the elderly

As pointed out by Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, “in Japan, it’s now less about keeping people working at the same companies longer and more about trying to get them into alternate jobs and to do other kinds of things” [5]. Furthermore, Professor Caitrin Lynch at Olin College of Engineering said that governments should create meaningful jobs for older workers that offer them satisfaction and a sense of meaning and of belonging, thus establishing a working environment and working conditions that keep them motivated for work. Even though this seems costly in the beginning, in the long run it pays off. [6]

For almost a decade, JANZZ.technology has been observing and working with many labor markets worldwide. Our matching engine “JANZZsme!” matches in a completely unprejudiced manner, as it is based on the relevance of competences, experiences, specializations, industries and more. It creates transparent and easy to understand gap analyses of the labor market. This will give you a clear idea of which skills are available and which ones should be expanded or redeveloped.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] The Japantimes. 2017. For the first time, 1 person in 5 in Japan is 70 or older. URL: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/09/17/national/number-women-japan-aged-least-65-years-old-tops-20-million-first-time/#.XDR0PFxKiUk [2019.01.10].

[2] The Japantimes. 2017. Make is easier for elderly people to keep working. URL: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/02/23/editorials/make-easier-elderly-people-keep-working/#.XDR9SFxKiUl [2019.01.10].

[3] Nippon. 2017. Senior-citizen workers in Japan top 8 million. URL: https://www.nippon.com/en/features/h00179/ [2019.01.10].

[4] Manabu Ito. 2016. Japan puts its seniors to work. URL: https://www.ft.com/content/7a879e66-6b78-11e6-a0b1-d87a9fea034f [2019.01.10].

[5] Richard Eisenberg. 2017. How these 3 countries embrace older workders. URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2018/05/10/how-these-3-countries-embrace-older-workers/#72b6c8171bd4 [2019.01.10].

[6] Caitrin Lynch. 2015. Create meaningful jobs for the elderly. URL: http://www.nira.or.jp/pdf/e_vision9.pdf [2019.01.10].

Switzerland 2030: The risks and opportunities of digitization

Due to digitization, jobs will disappear. This is old news to our ears. Yet, the predicted consequences made by the first comprehensive study on the effects of digitization by 2030 are devastating: In Switzerland alone at least 1 million jobs are said to disappear, which is a frightening figure for a population of about 9 million people. In fact, McKinsey & Company find that almost entire industries are affected – but they also anticipate that digitization enhances productivity and creates new jobs.

Especially manual and simple cognitive skills at risk

McKinsey & Company’s study “The future of work: Switzerland’s digital opportunity” predicts that 20 –25% of jobs in Switzerland are at risk of disappearing. Above all, it is manual and simple cognitive jobs such as cashiers, data collectors, warehouse clerks or production assistants that under digitization need no longer be performed by people. Thanks to a large number of small technological innovations, these jobs are already increasingly automatized today – this will increase considerably by 2030. Manual skills, too, will be increasingly less in demand, especially so-called low-skilled jobs. Statistical, reading and writing skills will also become highly automated by 2030. Likewise, there are already very good tools available for successful project management. This poses a particularly major challenge for the Swiss banking sector where many of these skills are crucial. There is already a growing number of bank customers who dispense with personal consulting and prefer instead the information portals of online banking. In numbers, the expected amounts of jobs that will disappear are about 50,000 jobs in the financial sector, 120,000 in the retail trade and 70,000–100,000 in the industrial sector.

New jobs in 2030

Of course, digitization also requires new skills, which is why there is a simultaneous generation of new jobs and positions, particularly with regard to technological, scientific and social skills. After all, digitalization has to be carried out by humans, hence its very implementation stimulates the growth of new job opportunities during the transition period. Unfortunately, the newly created 800,000 jobs in these areas will not coincide with those in which positions are currently disappearing. Rather, “Digital Transformation Officers” and “Project Managers Internal Digitization” are now in demand.

So, jobs cannot simply be redistributed: for example, a machine operator will not be able to become a project manager without great outlay. Neither will a cashier just assume the tasks of a nurse. Therefore, it is important to take measures in training at an early stage; partly because retraining is costly, partly because it is difficult to perform with broad sections of the population. The same goes for skills and soft skills: technological understanding, or the empathy and strength to provide for elderly and sick people are not natural givens to everyone.

Strong growth in health sector

The increase in new positions will not only be in the technological sector, but also in healthcare.  One decisive factor in this area are social skills. An important contributor to this development is the fact that society is ageing: by 2030, 23% of the Swiss population will be over the age of 65, compared to 18% today. Accordingly, the demand for nursing staff is increasing considerably. In the health sector an additional demand of up to 85,000 employees is expected, especially of health and trained nursing professionals. This is in contrast to the fact that there are both already too few people being trained and many who leave their jobs after a while; among health professionals, it is as many as three out of four. Among registered nurses, about half remain in their profession. There are many reasons for this: shift work, hard physical labor as well as low wages.

This shortage in healthcare professionals cannot only be found in Switzerland, but worldwide. A study finds that in near future the United States’ lack of health staff will increase by some 2 million people, especially with regard to nursing care at home and in retirement homes. Yet, it is exactly these jobs which have an extremely low pay, with some of them being way below the median American income. Likewise, it is precisely these kinds of jobs that include physically challenging and inconvenient shift work. Under the current circumstances it is very unlikely that the necessary positions will be occupied.

How to finance and structure the future labor market

At first glance one would think that it is nice that especially physically challenging work will be made easier with the introduction of robots and other technological aids. Unfortunately, this also brings financial alleviation to health insurance funds. How, then, will we finance the future labor market, or, for that matter, road construction, schools or the necessary equipment for digitized world? Are we going to introduce a “digitization tax”? Will employers have to pay pension insurance “for” robots to compensate for the remaining human workforce?

The question also remains whether such a takeover by robots is even permitted. Changes that so far were monitored by human eyes will now be perceived by screens. Is this even legally defensible? Many procedures would furthermore require specific certificates. Thus, how can one secure a robot’s competence? Can robots, for example, pass driving tests?

The clarification of responsibilities is already difficult today, particularly when it comes to mistakes. Oftentimes, the determination of the responsible party requires months of assessment. Thus, will we soon be able to take out “robot insurance”?


The problems are the same worldwide

As indicated, it is not only Switzerland that is facing the outlined challenges. In Germany there is already a MINT staff shortage of 300,000. In the US, a large-scale study examined 702 jobs for their probability of automatization and concluded that 47% of the American working population is highly likely to be affected. Jobs requiring a high level of social intelligence (e.g. press spokespersons), creativity (fashion designer) as well as good comprehension and operation (surgeons) are hardly at risk. The situation looks similar if one looks elsewhere. The investment group CBRE finds that until 2025 50% of jobs in Asia will be at risk, especially in manual and cognitive areas.



In Germany the gravity of the situation has been recognized. The country is introducing a law that simplifies immigration for skilled workers, a measure to counteract the growing shortage, particularly in the health sector. The law applies to citizens of third countries, that is, non-EU countries that already benefit from the free movement of persons. This means that anyone with a sufficient qualification for an employment contract can immigrate. There will also be a six-month visa for the time necessary for job search. The current measure, namely the check whether an EU-citizen can perform the job, is cancelled. There are similar ideas developing in the UK, where in early 2019 a new start-up visa will be introduced. The UK’s intention behind this is to make it easier for foreign technology entrepreneurs to set up new businesses

Making transformation a success

How should these challenges be met? Digitization pushes two tasks to the foreground. Firstly, the transformation of the economy ought to be supported decisively but should not be done too quickly. Too rapid a transformation could lead to higher unemployment, if the situation arises that new skills have not been developed fast enough. Transformation also requires new processes and business models. For example, only 8% of trade in Switzerland takes place online, compared to 15% or 18% in Germany and the UK, respectively. If digitization succeeds, the Swiss economy in particular will be able to benefit considerably from the transformation and might increase productivity by up to one percent per year. Furthermore, higher real wages are likely to increase consumption and, in turn, to create new job positions.

Training instead of waiting

Concurrently, the focus must lie on the fundamental training of employees and learners in the skills of the future. To this end, teaching should have much more technological content. For example, trainees should be able to perform more office tasks on the computer. Today, the demand for technology graduates in Switzerland is far from being met; in the future, the 3,000 graduates now available would cover less than half of the positions to be filled.

Furthermore, it has been shown repeatedly that social skills are fundamentally underestimated: they play a major role in the long-term successful development of the labor market. This is another area in which companies and educational institutions should start to provide comprehensive training. Overall, thus, a fundamental rethinking of the development of skills is indispensable.


Clear, unprejudiced gap analysis for a successful transformation

For almost a decade, JANZZ.technology has been observing and working with many labor markets worldwide. Our matching engine “JANZZsme!” matches completely unprejudiced, as it is based on the relevance of competences, experiences, specializations, industries and more. It creates transparent and easy to understand gap analyses of your employees’ skills. This will give you a clear idea of which skills are available and which ones should be expanded or redeveloped. Contact us now for a consultation and we can accompany you with our know-how on your successful way to digitization.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology


[1] McKinsey Global Institute. 2018. The Future of Work: Switzerland’s Digital Opportunity. Zürich/Brüssel. URL: https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/
europe/the%20future%20of%20work%20switzerlands%20digital%20opportunity/the-future-of-work-switzerlands-digital-opportunity.ashx [2018.11.10].

[2] Hug, Daniel. 2018. Bis 2030 fallen in der Schweiz eine Million Jobs weg. In: NZZ am Sonntag, 6.10.2018. URL: https://nzzas.nzz.ch/wirtschaft/bis-2030-fallen-in-schweiz-eine-million-jobs-weg-ld.1426280?reduced=true [2018.11.10].

[3] AsiaOne. 2016. Top 10 careers that are dying a slow death. URL: http://www.asiaone.com/business/top-10-careers-are-dying-slow-death [2018.11.08].

[4] Frey, Carl Benedikt, Osborne, Michael A. 2013. The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?. Oxford. URL: https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/future-of-employment.pdf [2018.11.10].

[5] Oh, Soo. 2017. The future of work is the low-wage health care job. URL: https://www.vox.com/2017/7/3/15872260/health-direct-care-jobs [2018.11.10].

[6] MAMK/DPA. 2018. Arbeitgeber melden Rekord beim Fachkräftemangel. In: KarriereSPIEGEL. URL: http://www.spiegel.de/karriere/fachkraeftemangel-arbeitgeber-klagen-ueber-fehlende-mint-kraefte-a-1207636.html [2018.11.08].

[7] Bauer, Karin. 2018. Welche Jobs bleiben, welche verschwinden. In: Der Standard. URL: https://derstandard.at/2000078804017/Welche-Jobs-bleiben-welche-verschwinden [2018.11.09].

[8] Walser, Rahel. 2017. Beruf Fachkraft Gesundheit – Nach der Lehre die grosse Ernüchterung. URL: https://www.srf.ch/news/schweiz/beruf-fachkraft-gesundheit-nach-der-lehre-die-grosse-ernuechterung [2018.12.03].

[9] Böcking, David. 2018. Einwanderungsgesetz für Fachkräfte. Wer darf künftig zum Arbeiten nach Deutschland kommen? In: Der Spiegel. URL: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/fachkraefte-die-offenen-fragen-beim-einwanderungsgesetz-a-1239722.html [2018.12.05].

[10] Hoock, Silke. 2018. Abschiebung nach Mazedonien. Wieder eine Krankenschwester weniger. In: Der Spiegel. URL: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/abschiebung-krankenschwester-amela-memedi-muss-nach-mazedonien-a-1239890.html [2018.12.05].

[11] The Government of United Kingdom. 2018. New start-up visa route announced by the Home Secretary.  URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-start-up-visa-route-announced-by-the-home-secretary [2018.12.03].



We need to re-think the CV

Skimming over CVs (resumes, in the US) is an important part of HR managers’ job, but it can be a tedious task: at times, there is a need to go through thousands of documents in order to find the right candidate. Thanks to recent technological developments, today software can save HR the effort by recommending only the best matches between the contents of CVs and job ads. Although interpersonal aspects—for example, whether a candidate fits in with the company culture—still have to be considered by human judgement during interviews, a pre-selection process via software can make a substantial difference in effort. However, the software-based matching process could become even better if all CVs were to be of the same format; that is, if they contained equivalent information. That reality does by no means correspond to this ideal case becomes clear when looking at different countries’ various hiring processes.


Each country has its own preference

In the United States and in Canada, the standard and most accepted document in job search is the resume. A resume contains a short summary of the applicant’s skills, qualifications and education, which is usually adjusted for the respective position. Due to US privacy laws, personal information such as date of birth, marital status or postal address is often omitted [1].

In Europe, the CV is the most frequently used document in recruitment.  Since CV is short for curriculum vitae (Latin: “course of life”) it is an in-depth overview of a person’s education, experience and qualifications [1]. However, the level of detail expected often differs among European countries. For example, whereas a German employer is expected to list personal facts such as family, nationality or number of kids, such specification of personal details is inappropriate in a UK CV [2].

East Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea focus a lot on CVs’ education details, as the dominant view in this region is that ‘higher education equals greater capabilities’. In comparison to the CV formats in the US and Europe, their corresponding ‘stock application forms’ look more like service application forms. With respect to the level of detail, Chinese employers expect a lot of personal information, but cover letters are usually not required [3].


The EU’s attempt to standardize CVs

The EU has put some effort into creating a standard application procedure for all job seekers. The European Commission has implemented Europass, a European skills passport that includes a CV, a language passport, a Europass mobility document as well as diploma and certificate supplements. By offering documents that are comprehensible for all employers in the EU this free service aims at facilitating the movement of talents across all member states.

However, as has been noted, the downside of the Europass template is that it makes candidates ‘faceless’. Imagine big companies regularly receiving thousands of CVs whose scanning only takes a couple of seconds. In order to stand out from the crowd and win a few more seconds of attention one would have to submit a unique CV template. In fact, users reported more disadvantages than benefits of using the Europass template, including the limited space for information about one’s work experience (to which the big logo taking up a considerable amount of space of the document stands in somewhat ironical contrast) [4].


Do we still need CVs today?

Nowadays people are questioning the necessity of traditional CVs. Many lament the inefficiency and time-consuming processes of writing and inspecting it. Even after going through dozens of CVs, HR managers might still be unable to find what they are looking for, as the submitted CVs invariably contain the same information. Sub-conscious bias is yet another problem to be tackled: some employers privilege candidates who attended the same university as themselves because they unconsciously prefer people who share their own qualities and background.

With the development of new technology, an increasing amount of big organizations stops asking for CVs. This is especially the case in campus hiring. Since 2016, Unilever has replaced approximately 150-200 campus-recruiting positions with a mix of game-like assessments. Correspondingly a manager at Unilever asks: “for the students, why do you need a resume? For us, it’s more about measuring potential than past” [5].

Despite such new ways of hiring, at JANZZ we think that CVs are still essential at the first stage of application. According to our years of experience, the situation that the majority of job websites and company recruitment websites ask candidates to upload a CV will remain, as the applicant tracking systems still require them in some form. Nevertheless, it makes sense to consider the raising issues tied to CVs in the digital age.


CVs in the digital age

In the past, when each CV received the personal attention of a reader who went through the motivation letter and letters of recommendation, all candidates were given an equal chance to be examined on a personal level—beyond mere numbers and facts. In today’s digital age, this first round of examination is executed by computers. But: is the candidate who speaks one more language really a better choice than someone who offers a lot of passion for the job instead? Shouldn’t the physically impaired person get an equal chance at being employed (instead of a lower match score)? In short, are computers able to read motivation and reference letters ‘with a human heart ’ so that every candidate is appreciated beyond facts and figures?

As far as our experience goes more than 50% of the CVs processed contain incorrect information. ‘CV padding’ or, the tendency to skew information to the candidate’s advantage, becomes more prevalent. In a conference JANZZ attended recently, different parties discussed the future of work and addressed the issue of block chain technology. Such methods are already being tested in a UK pilot project, where MSc graduates in Financial Risk Management make use of a service that allows their future employers to instantly verify their academic qualifications [6]. What remains unanswered, however, is the question of how senior job seekers’ skills, work experience and performance can be proven in such a system. Given that employers are responsible for creating a blockchain to record former employees’ information it is questionable whether they still care about updating such past information (especially in the case of small enterprises to which such activities mean high costs and expenditure of time).


At JANZZ.technology, we reflect on the above issues and try to integrate them into a product that offers a more considerate and, hence, better solution. We provide a unique semantic matching concept—JANZZ.jobs—that matches applicants and jobs anonymously. This method not only avoids sub-conscious bias, it also compares only the relevant criteria (skills, experience, education and specializations). JANZZ.jobs can be accessed globally, is already available in 9 languages and will be offered in 40 languages by 2019.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology




[1] ZipJob Team. 2018. Resume vs. CV – the Difference and Exactly Which to Use. URL: https://www.zipjob.com/blog/difference-between-cv-and-resume/[2018.12.13]

[2] Karin Bodewits. Ruth Winden and Robert Bowles. 2017. How to tailor your CV for different countries. URL: https://www.chemistryworld.com/careers/how-to-tailor-your-cv-for-different-countries/2500446.article[2018.12.13]

[3] intResume. n.d. Common resume and CV mistakes by Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese. URL: https://intresume.com/find-fix-common-resume-cv-mistakes-japanese-koreans-chinese/[2018.12.13]

[4] Andrew Stetsenko. 2017. You don’t need the Europass CV to get a job at European tech company. URL: https://relocateme.eu/blog/you-dont-need-the-europass-cv-to-get-a-job-at-european-tech-company/ [2018.12.13]

[5] Oliver Staley. 2018. The resume of the future will tell employers who you are, and not just what you’ve done. URL: https://qz.com/work/1232692/the-resume-of-the-future/ [2018.12.13]

[6] Avi Mizrahi. 2018. University College London Fights CV Fraud via Bitcoin Verification. URL: https://news.bitcoin.com/university-college-london-fights-cv-fraud-via-bitcoin-verification/ [2018.12.13]


Prepare yourself: here come the newest Chinese career paths

This year’s Single’s Day, China’s biggest online shopping frenzy, set yet another record. Since the establishment of Taobao, a Chinese online shopping website owned by Alibaba, in 2003 a great number of careers have been introduced. They include, for example, occupations such as online store owners, online shop decorators, overseas purchasers or e-commerce models. Over the past three years, another new industry has grown rapidly in China: by now, the live streaming industry has induced the rise of several jobs, including network anchors and anchor brokers.

 What status does live broadcasting in China have today? The following figures are an attempt at answering this question. According to the country’s 42nd Statistical Report on Internet Development, as of June 2018 the number of live webcast users is about 425 million, which accounts for 53% of the total number of Chinese Internet users [1]. In 2017, China’s report on webcast industry development stated that the overall revenue of the country’s online performance market amounted to 4.39 billion dollars, which marks a 39% increase since 2016 [2].


“Boring live webcast” set a precedent for live streaming

If we trace live streaming broadcast back to its origin, Norway’s “slow television” program could be regarded as the first “boring live webcast.” As early as in 2009, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK broadcasted a program called “Bergen Railway: Minutes and Seconds”, which showed the lengthy process of a train departing from Oslo onto a 7-hour journey to Bergen. The program attracted 1.2 million viewers. In South Korea, an eleven-year old boy named Jin Chengzhen started to stream himself having dinner live online. For one particularly popular show Chengzhen earned $ 1,600 in one night. The live broadcast of a US news website proved to be similarly famous when it showed a video of the so-called “watermelon rubber band challenge.” After the video’s spread across social media, it had more than 10 million hits [3].


Development of the live broadcast industry in China

Live broadcasting in China has also gone through a stage of dullness; for example, with topics like sleeping, eating or brushing hair. However, after the so-called “thousand live-streaming platform battle” and some serious financing competition in 2016 the live broadcast industry as a whole has become more sophisticated: platforms are increasingly differentiated, the overall quality of anchors has improved, and the contents of live broadcasting have gotten more diversified. One platform, for instance, targets only students by using campus stories as a featured column. Another platform introduced the feature of live sports-related broadcasting, which aimed at increasing viewers’ fun by fusing live watching and simultaneous online interaction [2].

The addition of AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications has taken live-streaming platforms even one step further. Among other applications, companies use AI face, gesture and background recognition on their live-streaming platforms. These features enable them to provide network anchors with services such as beauty retouch, eyes widening or background changing. One technology company has established an algorithm to identify fraudulent users and to store them in their own data network. Another tech company uses AI image recognition technology to review streamed content, as to identify pornographic, violent and politically sensitive contents [2].


Do you want to be a live-streamer?

In China Internet live-streaming stars are the new thing. A 2017-published report featuring the new booming industry of broadcasting communicated that streamers belong to the top earners for the past two years. About 35% of full-time streamers earn more than $1,200 a month and 6.6% of them earn more than $4,300. Not only do they get well paid by the platforms, but they also earn additional income through product placements and taking part in promotional events. Unsurprisingly, then, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security pointed out that more than half of the graduates, list live-streamer as one of their dream jobs [4].

In the realm of digitization, AI will have a major impact on the live-streaming industry. Only recently has the Chinese news agency “Xinhua” together with the search engine “Sougou” introduced its first AI-streamer. They resonate in a human-like manner and have a lifelike image, mimicking facial movements and gestures, almost resembling the real-life streamers. Unlike their human counterparts, however, the AI-streamers don’t have to take breaks and rarely make mistakes given that their text is written correctly. With AI becoming increasingly integrated into our lives, they pose a competitive threat not only to the streamers but also to the job market in general [5].

Because of the leap forward in technology, 65% of children entering primary school today will eventually engage in new occupation types requiring new skills, as a study published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggests. It highlights further how the rapid technological change in fields such as robotics, driverless transport, AI, biotechnology, advanced materials and genomics, will act as a catalyst in creating new opportunities for the job market [6]. According to the WEF, 75 million current jobs could be displaced by the end of 2022, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time. New opportunities will arise, all of which will be based on, and enhanced by, the use of technology. Examples include data analysts, software and application developers, and E-commerce and social media specialists [7].

For many years, JANZZ.technology has been working with various actors in the worldwide job market. We offer our know-how and the right data on skills, specializations and general challenges in job market.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] CNNIC. 2018. Statistical report on the development of China’s internet. URL: http://www.cac.gov.cn/2018-08/20/c_1123296882.htm [2018.11.12.].

[2] Entbrains. 2018. China Webcast Industry Development Report 2017. URL: http://www.entbrains.com/news/shownews.php?lang=cn&id=70 [2018.11.12.].

[3] People.cn. 2016. Wang Luo Zhi Bo Zhi Wie Gong Xiang Wu Liao Ma Nian Qin Ren Shi Chang Zheng Shou Dao Zhong Shi. URL: http://media.people.com.cn/n1/2016/0528/c40606-28386582.html [2018.11.12.].

[4] GMW.cn. 2018. Anchor professional report 2017 Fa Bu Zhu Bo Bing Fei Yan Zhi Di Yi. URL: http://reader.gmw.cn/2018-01/08/content_27293574.htm [2018.11.12.].

[5] Lily Kuo. 2018. World’s first Ai news anchor unveiled in China. URL: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/09/worlds-first-ai-news-anchor-unveiled-in-china [2018.11.12.].

[6] World Economic Forum. 2016. 10 jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago. URL: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/10-jobs-that-didn-t-exist-10-years-ago/ [2018.11.12.].

[7] World Economic Forum. 2018. The Furture of Jobs Report 2018. URL: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf [2018.11.12.].

Cut through the hype: What AI is really all about

The phenomenon of AI is becoming increasingly widespread: At every gathering or conference and in every classroom people seem to be talking about it. The news are also covered with headlines regarding AI, most of them predicting that it will completely change the ways we live and work. Yet, there is also a lot of hype over it simply for the sake of ‘buzz sells’, a danger which many scholars are warning about.


Overhyped AI can be dangerous

Countless companies and governmental organizations are raising funds on behalf of AI, which is why billions of capital run into AI start-ups. However, many of these start-ups proved to be economically unsustainable. “People who can do it have no opportunities and resources. On the other hand, people who should not do it waste resources because they are not interested in advancing technologies but simply want to grab some money,” said WANG Feiyue, who is a specially appointed Chinese state expert, at this year’s IEEE International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics[1]. The hype over AI has created an illusion that can confuse people and misrepresents what AI is really capable of. At JANZZ, we have discussed this issue in a previous article which draws on illustrating cases. Our research leads us to assume that the hype about big data and AI is often more about self-marketing instead of a focus on facts and progress. This can be dangerous, not least because it stimulates workers’ anxiety about being replaced by AI. For further elaboration on this topic, visit https://janzz.technology/even-ado-nothing-hype-big-data-ai-often-self-marketing-facts-real-progress/.


What AI is really all about

In public discussion, AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) and specialized intelligence are frequently confused and both referred to by the term AI, says Andrew Ng who is the founding lead of the Google Brain team, a former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the overall lead of Baidu’s AI team. AGI refers to human-level intelligence; that is, the kind of futuristic intelligence that we see onscreen and in science fiction literature. Currently, the technology to reach such “human intelligence” is very limited and still far from being beneficial to society. Most of what is covered in the media refers to specialized intelligence such as machine learning, computer vison or natural language processing. Specialized intelligence is thus the real force in the fourth industrial revolution, as it creates value and bears transformative power for all industries.[2]

Although AI has already an impact on many industries — web search, finance, and logistics, to name just a few — its subtypes that are being developed are still quite limited. Andrew Ng explains that almost all the recent progress of AI is thanks to a simple A (input data) to B (simple response) process type called “supervised learning”. Some example to illustrate this: you show pictures (A) to the software and it can identify whether it shows a cat (B); you give both ad and user information to the software (A) and it tells you whether the user is likely to click on said ad (B).  Arguably the best development based on the A-to-B type is the so-called deep learning, deep neural networks that are inspired by the human brain. However, there are two crucial factors playing into the functioning of the A-to-B relationship. One is that A and B have to be carefully chosen; that is, to provide the necessary amount of data. The second one concerns the size of the neural network — the bigger the neural network the higher performance. [2]


AI in today’s business world

After establishing what AI really is all about, let’s take a look at its application in today’s business environment. Perhaps you would think that only big companies with a large budget and workforce can benefit from AI. However, AI can also be employed in small businesses. An interesting example offer Fujitsu and Microsoft: both have been working with Japanese dairy farmers to find out exactly when cows are in their estrous cycle in order to optimize artificial insemination. The insemination process is a very tricky task for farmers, as a slight miscalculation in timing can result in failure and delay the process for another month. After incorporating the farmers’ knowledge about the increased movement of cows during their estrous cycle into a systematic data analysis (i.e. by fusing it with AI), the success rate increased to 95%.[3]

In spite of such success stories, the use of AI in businesses is not exactly magic. There are undeniably much more sophisticated cases, but usually “AI runs on data, companies need to know what kind of data they have, what data they have access to or what other data pool they can merge with their data and then they can reason across and surf the insides” [3].Thus, ”to incorporate AI to business strategy requires visionary leaderships in the company to recognize values of AI and to find out where business value is and what’s hard to copy” [4]. Granted, companies cannot have AI teams for all their units as it would be unwise to build everything in-house if it is not very business-specific. This is why the acquirement of solutions that are widely used in the industry should be considered. [2]

JANZZ.technology provides both smart HR solutions for businesses and labor market solutions for public employment services. Since JANZZ’ establishment in 2009, we have been aware of the two decisive factors that ensure a precise performance of supervised machine and deep learning. For the past 9 years, JANZZ.technology has been continuously building the largest occupation-related neural data network in the world, with 300 million neutrals up to date. Our unique algorithm has been trained with large amounts of data from various partners in international corporations and public employment services, hence we are able to offer our services in 40 languages. We strongly advise customers to collect structured and effective data in order to get the smartest matching results.

Write now to  sales@janzz.technology


[1] ZHOU, Chaochen. 2018. Gei Ren Gong Zhi Neng Que mei. URL: https://www.huxiu.com/article/247345.html [2018.10.31.].

[2] New Work Summit. 2018. Power Lines with Andrew Ng C.E.O. and Founder, Landing.ai; and Adjunct Professor, Stanford University [Video file]. URL: https://www.newworksummit.com/nws2018/gallery [2018.10.31.].

[3] New Work Summit. 2018. The AI Accelerater with Peggy Johnson, E.V.P. of Business Development, Microsoft and Frank Chen, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz [Video file]. URL: https://www.newworksummit.com/nws2018/gallery [2018.10.31.].

[4] Andrew Ng. 2016. What artificial intelligence can and can’t do right now. URL: https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-artificial-intelligence-can-and-cant-do-right-now [2018.10.31.].

For a secure career in Canada: Three jobs that are a little different from the usual

Free doctor’s treatment and education, well-paid overtime and a safety net that catches you in the event of dismissal – you would think that working in Canada sounds rather convenient. Indeed, the country’s average pay of over 50,000 dollars attracts job-seekers from all over the world [1]. If you are thinking of moving to Canada or if you are a Canadian who is still looking for the dream job we have three occupations that you might want to consider checking out. Apart from being special, these jobs belong to the same, promising and high-paid range of occupations that includes lawyers, CEOs or senior officials [2].


Rummaging through mines and forests

Are you interested in finding out what is hidden in mines? Or, perhaps, rummaging through Canadian forests sounds more tempting to you? If you enjoy both motivating a team and working outside we suggest you start thinking about becoming a mining or forestry manager. These manager positions include the oversight of mine operations, sawmills or fisheries. Additionally, they involve team management and the coordination of a secure depletion and processing of natural resources. Furthermore, in such a position you are legally responsible for the safety as well as the environmental impacts of the project. In return, you are rewarded with a salary of 50 dollars per hour [3].

Most of the managerial positions in said industries require a bachelor’s degree in a related domain, for example in engineering or earth sciences for the position in mining or in forest management for that in the sawmill industry. Good opportunities to enter the forestry industry are offered by the University of British Columbia. Queen’s University, on the other hand, has the best reputation for studying geology, geotechnics and earth sciences and, thus, to prepare people for accessing the mining industry [2].

Farewell, pipe break!

You’ve always wanted to prevent and mend faulty pipes?  Do not look any further, start training as a pipe fitter. Pipe fitters build pipe systems and install them at clients’ homes. They assemble armatures, devices and production facilities as well as HVAC systems. On top of that, they take care of the maintenance of such installations.

Now, if your goal is to have an especially secure and well-paid employment in that area (around 45 dollars per hour [3]), your perfect fit (no pun intended) would be to become a pipefitting supervisor. As the leader of the team you guide team members and supervise their workplace safety. Likewise, you ensure good training prospects and a high quality of materials. For this position you need to have patience with advancing your career; that is, you will have to work as a trained pipe fitter for many years beforehand. Of course, strong leadership skills are necessary to climb to the top of the career ladder. Basic training can be acquired in an establishment. However, there is also the possibility to enrol for special programs in colleges such as Eastern College [2].


Occupation: Releaser of human beings

All of a sudden, it stands still; nothing works anymore, above all no doors. The elevator got stuck. The only way out: to press the red button. Fortunately, this scenario has become a rarity nowadays, as new recognition systems usually indicate the necessity to exchange elevator parts before the system actually fails. In principle, the elevator mechanic releases us before we even get stuck. Who would have thought, then, that this job counts as one of the securest and at an hourly payment of 40 dollars also as one of the best-paid in that field [3]?

Elevator mechanics are responsible for the mending and installment of lifts and escalators. If you want to repair elevators for a living you will first of all have to go through four years of practical training. The occupation is nevertheless very popular, with many people seeking later employment in this area. Even mechanics who are already experienced are applying to train as an elevator mechanic. Most of Canada’s elevator mechanics are trained in the Canadian Elevator Industry Educational Program; additionally, there is the possibility to participate training sessions at Durham College [2].


Intelligent enrichment of job descriptions

With the aid of JANZZ.technology’s ontology, determining what kind of education and skills are required for which job becomes effortless.  Educational institutions and companies alike can easily enrich their resumes by meeting requirements that are important for specific occupations. For many years, JANZZ has been working with various actors in the worldwide job market and therefore knows the many challenges when it comes to describing jobs. We will be happy to advise you.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] Eidgenössisches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten. 2017. Leben und arbeiten in Kanada. URL: https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/eda/de/documents/publications/
AuslandschweizerinnenundAuslandschweizer/dossier-auswandern/20161018-dossier-kanada_DE.pdf [2018.11.02].

[2] Liza Agrba. 2017. Canada’s Best Jobs: What you need to study to land a great gig. URL: https://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/best-jobs/canadas-best-jobs-what-you-need-to-study-to-land-a-great-gig/ [2018.10.14].

[3] PayScale. 2018. Salaries in Canda. URL: https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Country=Canada/Salary [2018.10.14].

Are wages incentive enough to promote vocational education?

Shanghai’s Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau recently released a report on the market wages of skilled workers. This is the second time since 2017 that the bureau releases a report aiming to create a societal atmosphere that advocates skills and respects skilled workers. We can see from the report that in Shanghai the salary of skilled workers is above the average wage level. Higher skill levels thereby correlate with higher salaries. Even compared to general management positions such as those of a secretary, a logistics manager or an office clerk, the salary of skilled workers is higher. The message that the report sends to parents and students alike is clear: skilled workers are facing a bright future, so are you considering to take on vocational education? While this shifts the attention to vocational education and to guiding people towards skilled professions the question arises whether it is enough to rely only on wages as incentives.

The current situation and dilemma of vocational education in China

According to data released by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, from 2008 to 2017, the number of public and private secondary vocational schools has decreased by 30% and 36%, respectively. Correspondingly, the number of students in secondary vocational schools shows a similar downward trend, with a 27% decline over the past five years. Looking at the composition of students in senior secondary schools in 2017, the 59.8%  proportion of high school students compares to a 36.9% in secondary vocational schools.

With regard to employment, China’s accelerating urbanization process and a large influx of rural laborers into cities have intensified the competition in the country’s job market. The expansion of enrolment in higher education institutions has furthermore increased the number of students in higher education. In turn, a growing number of highly educated people are facing an engagement in low-skilled jobs as their only option. Additionally, enterprises place more emphasis on academic qualifications, which results in the phenomenon of a “high consumption of talents.” This makes the employment situation for graduates of vocational schools increasingly precarious. If these are seen as external factors that exacerbate the employment situation of graduates of vocational schools, the internal factors such as the decline in the quality of students and the inadequacy of talent output are the main reasons for employment difficulties. [1]

Due to the Chinese public’s general distrust of vocational education and the fact that schools strive to produce high university enrolment rates it is mainly students unable to enter higher education who ‘choose’ vocational education. After entering a vocational school, the lack of further study opportunities furthermore discourages the vast majority of these students to continue their studies. Many of them ‘only’ achieve a lower-level diploma. [2] Moreover, a majority of vocational schools still focus on abstract theoretical learning. Therefore, students rarely have the opportunity to get the hands-on experience that is required by their future employers. [1]

Swiss model of vocational education

In countries such as Germany, Switzerland or Austria, vocational education and especially apprenticeships are an integral part of the education system. Other countries are showing increasing interest in learning about such educational models. Thus, let’s take a further look at the Swiss model of vocational education as a potential means of reference for its Chinese counterpart.

In Switzerland only 20%-30% of students attend high schools after compulsory education; more than two thirds enter vocational education and training. Such a proportion is said to enhance the quality

and academic level of higher education and it reduces the problem of highly educated people engaging in low-skilled jobs. In addition to the 12 general universities in the country, there are a number of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS). UAS offer opportunities for further studies to students who have chosen the path of vocational education. Students of UAS can achieve bachelor or master’s degrees that are recognized the same way as those from general universities. Additionally, after apprenticeship students have the choice to work for a few years before continuing their studies or to study on a part-time basis.

Another important feature of the Swiss model is the combination of practice and theory, called the Dual Education System. In most cases, students divide their weeks into two to three workdays in a company and about two days of vocational school training. This way, they can develop their skills under real-world conditions that meet the requirements of companies. Yet, as vocational education students they gain work experience at an early stage, which reduces both the employment pressure during graduation season and the unemployment rate of young people. However, countries such as Italy and the UK have found it difficult to adapt the model [3]. Their situation differs from that of Switzerland where many top executives in big companies and well-known government figures have worked their way up from apprenticeship, which is something that undoubtedly increased the international reputation of country’s system.

Practice of Dual Education System in China

For more than three years, China has been practicing the Dual Education System in some pilot school projects.  Despite the increasing number of such pilot schools, scholars point out numerous problems attached to this. They indicate that, firstly, to make the system work schools and enterprises should play the main roles in the system’s implementation. Currently, this is not the case, as Chinese enterprises have no say in the decision-making and no direct benefits, which gives them a weak sense of participation. Secondly, due to an overall low level of industrial and commercial industries it is difficult to provide a large number of high-quality training positions. Thus, low-skilled assembly lines have become the main source of training positions. Combined with the problem of a low students’ quality, China’s vocational education reform has still a long way to go. [4]

JANZZ Technology has been cooperating with the public employment service departments of many countries and the human resources departments of major companies for a long time. Our products can effectively help the public employment department to predict trends in employment and skill development. Furthermore, they can respond to the education system’s curriculum design and skill training in order to match market demands and talent supplies.


Write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] Zhan, Qian. 2017. Qian Tan Zhong Guo Zhi Ye Jiao Yu De Xian Zhuang Yu Dui Ce. URL: http://www.fx361.com/page/2017/0927/2314933.shtml [2018.10.15]

[2] Meng, Futao. 2018. Dang Qian Zhi Ye Jiao Yu Fa Zhan Cun Zai De Wen Ti Ji Jian Yi. URL:http://www.xdjjxx.com/zazhi/jjxx/whsy/2018/0425/8351.html  [2018.10.15]

[3] Hao, Qian. 2017. Gong Jiang Jin Shen Zhi Xue Tu Zhi: Wei Sen Me “Xue Tu Zhi” Ke Yi Cheng Wei Guo Jia Jin Zheng Li. URL: http://finance.sina.com.cn/zl/international/2017-01-03/zl-ifxzczff3542625.shtml [2018.10.15]

[4] Vocational Education Alliance. 2017. Zhi Ye Jiao Yu Zai Bu Dong Xian Dai Xue Tu Zhi. URL: http://www.sohu.com/a/199524876_489512 [2018.10.15]

Will there be an outbreak of flexible staffing in China?

If you are a teacher or professor in Switzerland, you could also be having one of the following jobs: CEO or CFO in a bank, IT programmer in a start-up or Ontology supporter in an HR tech company. The last example is in fact the case for one of our employees at JANZZ.technology. As a Chinese reader, you might be surprised: How is it possible for him to have so many jobs?

Many people in Switzerland are having part-time jobs, especially students and parents of young children. According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), in 2017 the part-time employment rate in Switzerland was 26.7%, ranking second only after the Netherlands, which at 37.4 % recorded the highest proportion of part-time workers. Other countries that topped the list were Austria, Germany, Belgium, the UK and Sweden.[1] The statistics from Eurostat furthermore showed that people with higher education are likelier to have more than one job. [2]Asked about the advantages of such an arrangement, our colleague at JANZZ.technology indicates that the freedom of being able to switch between different roles and environments is a major plus. One reason that people can have this kind of “luxury working style” is that even in a 20%-workload job they are secured with social benefits. However, having more than one job may not always be voluntary. In some countries, you simply cannot earn enough money with only one job. For more information about underemployment and self-employment please look at our previous article: https://janzz.technology/where-self-employment-may-not-always-be-voluntary/   


Shamrock Organization Theory

From the perspective of employers, having part-time positions will not only lower the cost but also keep the corporation agile. One of the earliest theories about part-time employment was introduced by Charles Handy. His so-called Shamrock Organization model states that there are three essential elements in a company structure. The first is called ‘professional core’ and consists of skilled workers, technicians and management. It is the area where long-term contracts should be placed. The second element pertains special services jobs that can be realized through cost-lowering outsourcing. Instead of receiving payment per hours of work, people in this group are paid per task. The third element is constituted by flexible jobs and includes contingent and part-time workers. This group of people is recruited only when necessary and only for as long as the company needs the work force. Additionally, Handy’s theory points out that in order to achieve work quality the leadership needs to ensure fairness.[3]

From the historical viewpoint

How, then, is the situation in China? To answer this question let’s take a look at how the country’s employment has developed over the last 30 years. Initially, companies interacted on a fairly direct basis with their employees, both with regard to signing contracts, and paying wages and social security. After the enactment of the Labour Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China in 2007, the practice of dispatching was introduced on a large scale. In 2010, over 60 million jobs were realized through dispatches. Due to both the policy control and liability risk that are associated with dispatches, outsourcing became more popular. This included, inter alia, HR outsourcing, business process outsourcing and product line outsourcing. To minimize the liability risk that comes with a third party, new forms of employment were recently developed, including part-time work. With the increasing spread of the Internet and mobile networks, several new and more complicated forms of employment are being developed. For example, there is employment under labor service relations, which is only protected by Civil and Commercial Affairs and Contract Law. [4]

A glance at the future

According to a survey by Jianzhimao.com, a recruitment platform specializing in part-time jobs, China is still in its early stages of flexible staffing. However, from 2013 until 2017 it has been steadily increasing, with the average compound growth rate peaking over 20% between 2015 and 2017. It predicts that by 2025, China’s flexible employment industry will reach a revenue of 1.8 billion US dollar. It concludes that “currently, the scale of flexible employment ecology has gradually formed, and the transformation of China’s industrial structure is bringing about a fundamental change in the way of employment. The flexible employment mode will bring lower labor costs and higher productivity to the enterprise. China will enter the ‘outbreak’ in the next decade, which will bring the rapid growth period of China’s human resources outsourcing service market of the past 20 years.” [5]

Chinese employees are seeking more freedom in their work-life balance, career women are yearning for more quality time with their kids – especially after the two-child policy –, university students are looking for practical experience for their future development and traditional nine-to-five routines are no longer the only working option. It appears therefore reasonable for the public employment service (PES) to promote the implementation of relevant policies and regulations that ensure both the legal protection and social benefits of flexible staffing.

At JANZZ.technology, we have been working with PES and HR departments of different labor markets and understand the complexities of modern working environments with their fast-changing and continuously new-emerging professions. We are happy to support PES and companies in coping with job seekers’ specific needs in order for them to fully realize their skills.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] OECD. 2018. Part-time employment rate. URL: https://data.oecd.org/emp/part-time-employment-rate.htm [2018.10.04]

[2] Eurostat. 2017. Employment Statistics. URL: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Employment_statistics/de#Teilzeitbesch.C3.A4ftigung [2018.10.04]

[3] Handy, Chales. (1989) The Age of Unreason. Broghton: Harvard Business School Press.

[4]Wie, Haozheng. 2018. Lin huo yong gong jiang cheng wei HR de xia yi ge feng kou. URL: http://www.360doc.com/content/18/0420/13/40060546_747269057.shtml  [2018.10.04]

[5] Jianzhimao. 2018. Wei lai shi nian, ling huo yong gong jiang jin ru bao fa qi. URL: https://www.sohu.com/a/223630306_100106156 [2018.10.04]


Where are the computer nerds? Shortage of over 40,000 ICT specialists – in Switzerland alone

The ICT professional association of Switzerland has shocked with some incredible news: by 2026 there will be a staff shortage of 40,300 specialists in the information and communication technology sector (ICT). Beware that this number accounts merely for Switzerland, a country with just under 9 million inhabitants. This is the result of an annual study, which analyzed labor market needs with regard to numbers of trainees, immigrants and emigrants as well as retired people. In total, there is an additional need for 88,500 ICT specialists in Switzerland. This is due, in particular, to the strong advancement of digitalization that has now reached all sectors. Currently, this demand can only be met to a good 50 percent.

No graduates available

There are multiple reasons for this shortage: for instance, there are still not enough people being trained in ICT, neither at universities nor in companies. Thus, only 36% of the demand for skilled workers is actually covered by graduates. Although the majority of the demand is actually targeted at graduates, in 2016 only around 9,000 students were enrolled in computer science courses. Furthermore, experience shows that not all ICT graduates ultimately take up a profession in the sector.

What would speak for education and, thus, employment in ICT are both the sector’s particularly low unemployment rate (2.2 %) and a comparably high salary. After completing an apprenticeship beginners already earn CHF 7,400. This is around CHF 1,600 more than what a comparable apprenticeship graduate earns. Moreover, around 3.6% of Switzerland’s ICT positions are currently vacant, compared to 3% across all sectors.

America is facing the same problem…

However, it is not only the Swiss economy that is confronted with the problem of ICT specialist shortage: in 2016 around three million MINT positions remained vacant in the US. Similarly to the situation in Switzerland, the reason for this lack of staff is due to the low number of ICT graduates, which can further be linked to a lack of interest in MINT subjects. Such is the finding of a study by Randstad North America, which reveals that many students were unfamiliar with people in MINT occupations and thus did not know how to develop and use ICT skills. The study furthermore suggests that students imagined MINT jobs to be “made for nerds” and “boring,” expecting that they would “just hang in front of the computer” when employed in the ICT sector. With regard to gender, the study finds that especially girls are disproportionately under-represented in the sector and, thus, all the more in demand in the job market.

Expensive re-education to be expected

What happens, then, if the need cannot be met? Partly it will be covered by people making lateral moves, but such positions will cost companies a lot of money, as they entail re-training and initial periods of inefficiency. Likewise, locations will be outsourced in order to find the right skilled workers. This, too, considerably weakens both the labor market and the economy.

It is therefore recommended to start orientation about the great possibilities in the ICT sector for young people early. At JANZZ, we are happy to advise educational institutions and training companies on their way to increase the number of ICT students and trainees. We offer our know-how and the right data on skills, specializations and general challenges for specialized ICT professions by which the economy can be strengthened and by which it will be possible to dismiss graduates with good job prospects.

Write now to sales@janzz.technology



[1] Umoh, Ruth. 2017. The US has a shortage of tech workers. Here’s how kids and schools can solve the problem. URL: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/23/why-we-have-a-shortage-of-tech-workers-in-the-u-s.html [2018.09.26]

[2] IWSB. 2018. ICF-Fachkräftesituation:Bedarfsprognose 2026. URL: https://www.ict-berufsbildung.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/01_Deutsch/03_Projekte/PDF/IWSB_ICT-Bildungsbedarf_2026.pdf [2018.09.26]