OECD Going Digital Summit 2019

Stefan Winzenried, CEO and founder of JANZZ.technology is honored to take part in the OECD Going Digital Summit in Paris. Together with high-level policy makers and key stakeholders, the summit will bring in-depth knowledge, exchange views and share practices in the digital transformation for growth and well-being. Agenda of the two-day summit includes strategies for digital transformation, job in the digital age, education and skills for the digital age, realizing the potential of new digital technologies and more.

The world’s most homogeneous society is opening new doors

Japanese society, one of the world’s oldest and most homogeneous, is about to change. In December 2018, Japan’s parliament passed an immigration bill that is intended to boost the economy and to tackle the country’s labor shortage.

More precisely, the law is designed to attract foreign “semiskilled workers.” These workers are to be employed in various industries, among others, construction, the hotel industry, agriculture and nursing care; in the latter case, shortages are most acute. Despite some protests from oppositional parties, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government put the bill through by a vote of 161 to 76. Over the course of five years the immigration bill, which is coming into effect in April 2019, aims to attract 345,000 foreign workers to Japan. [1]

Japanese cities worried about taking in more foreign workers

A survey conducted by Kyodo News in February this year shows that Japanese cities are concerned about the accommodation of more foreign workers. The issues cities seem to worry most about are of economic nature and include questions of how new foreign workers can be provided with livelihood support and with salaries on a par with local Japanese workers’. [2]

Both the oppositional protest and the concerns appear to be justified. In 1993, Japan has already once introduced a program concerned with foreign labor, the so-called Technical Intern Training Program. Its purpose was to attract interns from developing countries and to help them acquire technical skills which they could export to their countries of origin. Despite the good intentions behind it, the program has been abused. Many Japanese companies have misused it as a cheap way of employing foreign laborers. This translates to a majority of Japan’s young foreigners doing low-payed “3K jobs” (the three Ks are short for kitsui, kitanai and kiken, the words to describe work that is “dangerous, dirty and difficult”). Many of them receive less than half of the statutory minimum wage, which has a significant impact on the quality of their life and well-being. [3]

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Japan wants to complement the new program with a range of measures to support foreign workers in adjusting to Japanese life and to encourage smaller cities to take in foreign laborers. Furthermore, foreign workers’ language proficiency will newly be tested with a focus on spoken Japanese.  “People may have various arguments, but if Japan simply continued along the same path, we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says. [4]

Aging problem is forcing Europe to relax immigration regulation

The 2018 Aging Report, published by the European Commission, indicates that Europe’s population is continuing to age rapidly, with Germany having one of the oldest populations among European countries. The German population pyramid indicates a negative demographic growth and predicts the country’s arrival at a scary milestone this year: there will be fewer citizens under the age of 30 than such over 60.

To fight these current developments, Germany has taken action. In August and September 2015, the country opened its borders to welcome more than a million refugees. Last year’s employment figures show that since then 400,000 refugees have been integrated in work or training, which seems to vindicate Angela Merkel’s much-criticized approach. “After one year of instruction, most young migrants can speak German well enough to participate in vocational school classes,” the head of BDA (Confederation of German Employers’ Associations), Ingo Kramer, states. [5]

The aging problem also poses challenges for nursing care. Accordingly, many European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Finland, are in great shortage of nurses and other professional care providers. To reduce their lack of skilled labor, these countries are introducing relevant policies.

In December 2018, the German government passed a skilled labor immigration law that will make it easier for employers to recruit workforce from outside the EU. In light of Brexit, the UK government is proposing a drastic overhaul of its immigration policy in order to henceforth prioritize high-skilled workers and treat non-EU citizens equally to EU citizens.

A war for skilled migrants

Evidence shows that immigration has played an important role in bringing significant economic benefits, including to the US and Canada. The two countries had the most welcoming immigration policies to attract skilled laborers that aid national businesses in becoming more agile, competitive and profitable in the “war for talent.” Their governments in exchange received more revenue and citizens profited from the momentum created by the influx of high-skilled migrants. [6]

More recently, other countries, too, have expressed their intent to attract skilled foreign workers, which increases the complexity of the skilled migration boom. The most important decision criteria for skilled workers’ choice of country are language and culture. The English-speaking countries of the US, the UK, Canada and Australia are the so-called “Big Four” of skilled migration and take 70% of all high-skilled migrants to OECD states. [7] Countries like Germany and Japan are therefore facing serious competition, even if they increase their policy efforts.

Negative aspects of migration

There are, however, also some negative aspects about large-scale migration. Although concerning a relatively small group of people, these negative consequences will have drastic effects. In essence, (im)migration can create unequal power balances. In John Stuart Mill’s words, it is big governments’ responsibility to ensure that the local and short-term social costs do not overshadow the role of (im)migration “as one of the primary sources of progress.” [6]

Another drawback of migration are the economic losses caused by the “brain drain” in the nations that high-skilled workers leave behind for countries offering higher salaries and better living standards. Most of these left-behind countries are less developed—the departure of their best-trained workers only perpetuates this: not only are they deprived of their high-skilled professionals, thereby they also lose the money invested in these people’s education.

On average, nurses earn 250 to 400 euros a month in Bosnia or Serbia. Compare this to a starting salary of about 1,500 euros in Germany. “We are losing our best experts,” says Zoran Savic, the president of Serbia’s medical workers’ trade union. “Younger doctors will fill in their places, but it takes a minimum of ten years to educate a specialist physician.” [8]

According to data supplied by POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration), between 2012 and 2016 more than 92,277 nurses have left the Philippines. Low salaries have been one of the main push factors. [9] In the Philippines, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN) takes four years to complete and costs about 30,000 pesos (576 USD) per semester. If only one third of the deployed nurses mentioned held a public BSN, the country has already lost 140,320,097 dollars that it invested in their education.

Similarly, a Kenyan study shows that in Kenya a doctor’s higher-level education costs are approximately 48,169 dollars. If one adds the preceding costs of primary (10,963 USD) and secondary education (6,868 USD), the total education cost for one single medical doctor amounts to 65,997 dollars. [10] For a country whose economy classifies as lower-middle-income the brain drain caused by the departure of expert workers such as doctors constitutes a major problem.

Migration, the only way to tackle labor shortage  

According to the World Bank, developed countries could generate global economic gains of 356 billion dollars if they increased immigration by a margin of 3% of the workforce. Some economists predict that if borders were opened completely and labor forces could be allocated freely the world economy would produce gains of even 39 trillion dollars over the course of 25 years. [6]

Oxford University professor Ian Goldin indicates that ensuring a strong labor supply augment with foreign workers will become even more crucial in the future. Therefore, today’s governments need to prepare themselves for the labor market challenges laying ahead of them and they can do so by choosing the right tools and technologies to shape the future.

JANZZ.technology offers exactly what is needed to achieve this. With proven high-tech solutions such as the newly developed Realtime Labour Market Dashboard, its unique expertise in occupation and skills data and extensive know-how about the re-skilling and digitization of employment markets, JANZZ.technology provides an array of effective tools. These tools can be used to analyze and correctly predict both the potential and the demand for specific skills in labor markets, as well as provide policymakers and people in charge with the answers to make the right decisions at the right time.

Please write now to sales@janzz.technology

 

 

 

[1] Simon Denyer and Akiko Kashiwagi. 2018. Japan passes controversial new immigration bill to attract foreign workers. URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japan-passes-controversial-new-immigration-bill-to-attract-foreign-workers/2018/12/07/a76d8420-f9f3-11e8-863a-8972120646e0_story.html?utm_term=.1f730552bd5d [2019.02.26]

[2] KYODO. 2019. Japanese cities worried about taking in more foreign workers, survey finds. URL: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/02/10/national/japanese-cities-worried-taking-foreign-workers-survey-finds/#.XGKdelxKiUk [2019.02.26]

[3] Christoph Neidhart. 2019. Zuwanderer verzweifelt gesucht. URL: https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/ausland/asien-und-ozeanien/zuwanderer-verzweifelt-gesucht/story/19372917 [2019.02.26]

[4] Hiona Shiraiwa. 2018. Japan prepares support for incoming foreign workers. URL: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-Immigration/Japan-prepares-support-for-incoming-foreign-workers [2019.02.26]

[5] Jorg Luyken. 2018. Angela Merkel was right about refugee integration, says German business federation chief. URL: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/14/angela-merkel-right-integration-figures-show-400000-refugees/ [2019.02.26]

[6] Ian Goldin. 2016. How immigration has changed the world for the better. URL: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/how-immigration-has-changed-the-world-for-the-better/[2019.02.26]

[7] INTHEBLACK. 2016. Which countries are winning the global talent war? URL: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2016/12/01/which-countries-are-winning-the-global-talent-war[2019.02.26]

[8] Daria Sito-Sucic. 2017. Nurses, doctors leave Balkans to work in Germany. URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-balkans-healthcare-germany/nurses-doctors-leave-balkans-to-work-in-germany-idUSKBN16G18X [2019.02.26]

[9] Don Kevin Hapal. 2017. Why our nurses are leaving. URL: https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/180918-why-nurses-leave-philippines [2019.02.26]

[10] Yusuf Abdu Misau, Nabilla Al-Sadat and Adamu Bakari Gerei. 2010. Brain-drain and health care delivery in developing countries. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46179307_Brain-drain_and_health_care_delivery_in_developing_countries [2019.02.26]

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 ]

 

CEO of JANZZ.technology presented at the World Bank

January 22.2019, Washington: Stefan Winzenried, CEO of JANZZ.technology, presented on January 22, 2019 for the Labor Global Solutions Group at the World Bank in Washington the comprehensive features and the huge potential of powerful matching systems for different labor markets today and after the digital transformation.

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.

 

Measures

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]

 

Paraguay launches its new official job platform “ParaEmpleo”

From left: Ruben González, Director of IT at MTESS, Carla Bacigalupo, Minister of Labor and Social Security, Monica Recalde, Director of Social Security and Fabio Bertranou, Director of the Southern Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Paraguay’s job seekers can now find their job in a completely new way. The Minister of Labor, Carla Bacigalupo, and the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo Benítez, launched Paraguay’s new official job platform, “ParaEmpleo”, in Asunción this Thursday. Stefan Winzenried, CEO and founder of JANZZ.technology, and Diego Rico, vice president and project manager LATAM, travelled all the way from Switzerland to participate in the official launch event for the platform developed by their company.

On the platform jobseekers are easily matched to the best job in terms of their skills, experience, industries, etc., depending on relevant matching algorithms and a knowledge graph with deep knowledge of occupation data. In this way, placement in the labor market becomes much more efficient.

From left: Carla Bacigalupo, Minister of Labor and Social Security, President Mario Abdo Benítez and Hugo Cáceres, Minister of the Unidad de Gestión.

The Minister of Labor, Carla Bacigalupo, stated that it will be an important challenge to educate people on using the tool across the whole country, also reaching the young people in the rural areas. In addition, she explained the meaning with the tool: “With this, we intend to achieve the major objective that we propose in all the politics that we have planned: to improve the living conditions of Paraguayan citizens and our workers”.

As part of the event, the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo Benítez, also officially formed a country team to reduce the figures of labor informality, which is around 65% in total. 7 out of 10 women, 9 out of 10 young people and 7 out of 10 older adults work informally. The central aim of the team will be to develop formalization guidelines that provide practical solutions and progress in the transition to formality. Also, the platform might already be a first step on the way.

The platform project is carried out within the framework of the Programa de Apoyo a la Inserción Laboral (PAIL) financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under a loan agreement with the Republic of Paraguay. It will be a role model for other South American countries for which the IDB may finance similar projects.

President Marito Abdo’s post to announce the launch of ParaEmpleo.

Real Insights Into the Future of Work

The two-day conference in Washington, resulted in many interesting discussions on the future of work. The conference held on the 27th and 28th of November 2018 presented many different opportunities in how to use modern technologies in environment of labor markets, such as Blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The event, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank and the MIT media lab, was attended by high-ranking specialists from private companies, public organizations and universities from all over the world. Stefan Winzenried, CEO and founder, and Diego Rico, Vice President and Project Manager LATAM, were pleased to represent JANZZ.technology at the conference.

The goal of the partial event on the topic “Artificial Intelligence and Matching algorithms for employment switching” was to introduce different systems of the intelligent matchings with AI between job seekers and job offers. Cristina Pombo, Senior Consultant in the Social Sector Department of the IDB, moderated the event, in which Stefan Winzenried, in addition to a representative of WCC, answered questions from the plenum and explained suggestions about the practical implementation, as well as the challenges and possibilities of semantic, transparent and largely non-discriminatory matching. In particular, it was made clear how potential prejudices and/or unequal treatment in technological recruiting can be prevented at an early stage and which are the most important opportunities that such technologies open up for the future.

Diego Rico presented the new tools that are available for labor market analysis using the JANZZ white label platform for Paraguay, «ParaEmpleo». The aim of the event was to show advanced, meaningful and easy-to-use ways to better inform stakeholders in the labor market.

The JANZZ team focused in wrapping up the tech and research talks into practical uses cases from the current project in Paraguay. The discussion focused on the different strategies, policies and insights that could be retrieved in the LATAM region in a structured and rich form. The participation of the team ended with a meaningful analysis about the past and present challenges within the project, as well as the feasibility to reproduce it in different LATAM countries.

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.].