A Look into the Crystal Ball: Future Work Skills

The Institute for the Future (IFTF) has recently published a study about the most important work skills for the future. Yet, those who expect to find a guideline will be disappointed.

Due to the rapidly changing demands of the labor market, the study has found that foresight and adaptability will be the key to success. The top ten skills for 2020 listed by the IFTF therefore contain abilities like “sense-making”, “transdisciplinarity” or “novel and adaptive thinking” (see graphic below). What sound like the predictions of a horoscope, which will prove true no matter what, is actually symptomatic of the driving forces behind the increasingly automatized and interconnected work force.

Indeed the changing demographic, the rise of smart machines and new media, the progressive globalization and the changing structures of organizations are causing disruptions in the labor market that oblige individuals and organizations to rethink the way they approach career paths. As machines replace humans in an increasing number of tasks, and augment them in others, humans need to find what they are uniquely good at and what makes them indispensable.

While the study might for many parts be preaching to the converted, it is nevertheless interesting to read it as a symptom of the changing attitude towards work. The study reflects the decline of a rigid occupation image that is increasingly substituted by freelancing, working in projects, job sharing and of course a great variety of career opportunities. The key statements of the IFTF anticipating an even more flexible and fluid job market for the future reverberate with the reality as we already know it.

We find ourselves in world of skills rather than jobs. Therefore, finding the right job opportunities for one’s skill set becomes more and more important. As the job platform JANZZ.jobs matches skills with occupations and projects, it is the ideal means to connect individuals with the right work opportunities and to help them reassess the skills they need or discover possible career paths. JANZZ.jobs contains all the skills of the world.

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McKinsey Estimates the Potential of Online Job Platforms at $2.7 Trillion

With global unemployment on the rise, finding an effective solution to connect workers with the right jobs and projects has become a pressing issue. The new McKinsey Global Institute report finds that online job or talent platforms offer an immense potential to fight unemployment and increase the productivity of the labor market, as they are set to meet the demands of the ever more complex and international job market today.

Presently, 30 to 50 percent of the working-age population is unemployed or only occupied in part-time positions. This amounts to as many as 850 million of people in seven of the world’s major economies who cannot find work, even though the technology and healthcare industries struggle to fill open positions. Furthermore, a study by LinkedIn found that 37 percent of people feel they are overqualified for their jobs. These mismatches between workers, their skills and occupations aggregate to an immense and costly waste of potential for the global economy.

These mismatches and the increasing inability of employment professionals and public employment services to cope with the complexities of the current labor market begs the need for a smarter and faster way to connect workers with job opportunities. Online talent platforms, like Monster.com or LinkedIn, provide marketplaces and tools that try to find the right work opportunities for job seekers. Over the past years they have accumulated hundreds of millions of users worldwide. While these platforms increase transparency in job markets and draw in new participants, the potential of online talent platforms is far from exhausted. Conventional platforms like Monster.com or LinkedIn, which are based on key-word search, still lack the sophistication to deal with imprecise job titles such as “consultant” and evolving work practices such as short term projects, freelancing and job sharing etc., resulting in many doubtful matches for people and jobs – as most of us can probably attest from personal experience.

McKinsey estimates that online talent platforms could add $2.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2025 and increase employment by 72 million full-time-equivalent positions. McKinsey forecasts that up to 540 million people worldwide could profit from talent platforms in various ways, from finding a new job faster to finding a job better suited to their skills. The potential of online job platforms is immense, even if they reach merely a fraction of the global workforce. However, if job platforms are set to solve the global mismatch in the labor market, thereby creating a significant macroeconomic impact, they require technical innovation that allows them to connect talent and opportunities accurately.

JANZZ.jobs takes up the issue of matching people and jobs where conventional job platforms left off. It offers state-of-the art matching tools that bring together all of the world’s knowledge and skills quickly and accurately, irrespective of the language used. It is for job seekers, employers, freelancers and public employment services. It can precisely match qualifications and hard and soft skills in order to find the perfect job opportunities for people or vice versa. Hence, it goes beyond the conventional key-word search that most platforms offer. It takes connecting skills and opportunities to yet another level.

Software Set to Break with Bias in Job Applications

With gender diversity becoming an ever more important feature of tech companies, some employers are at a loss how to attract more women. As the graphic from Gigaom shows, tech companies struggle to attain an equal number of male and female employees, especially in leadership or technical roles. While the Mad Men days of overt discrimination against women might be over, unconscious bias is still affecting employers and job seekers, resulting in dismal diversity numbers. Cutting-edge software has the open mind that employers lack.

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, job listings may contain a subtle, unconscious gender bias in the way they are phrased. Even though, these listings do not explicitly exclude women or people of colour, the language in these ads may keep them from even applying. The paper found that this issue was especially prevalent in the engineering and programming industry, as such companies included significantly more “masculine words”. Job listings containing words like “competitive”, “dominant” or “strong” made women less interested in applying – even when they possessed the necessary qualifications. Also phrases like “a proven track record” resulted in more male applicants, whereas “a passion for learning” attracted female job seekers. Unconsciously then, tech companies are upholding the status quo.

As employers find they can’t trust their own objectivity anymore, detecting and preventing unconscious bias has become a growing business. Computer scientist Laura Mather has recently created a computer programme to fight biased hiring decisions. Her start-up Unitive develops software that helps companies detect gender biased formulations and rephrase their job listings in a more gender-neutral way in order to attract more women. Furthermore, the programme has a resume review portion that separates the candidate’s education from their experience in order to circumvent for example a systematic preference for Ivy League schools. Also the job platform JANZZ.jobs offers its users the benefit of gradual anonymity as it does away with the rhetoric customarily found in job descriptions. The platform helps with the formulation of objective requirements and facilitates a largely discrimination-free and transparent application process.

Technologies such as those developed by Unitive and JANZZ.jobs are investments into the future. Mather says “the companies that invest in this now are going to be ahead profit-wise, innovation-wise and they probably aren’t going to have as many lawsuits”.

Recruiter: Dutch firm WCC Smart Search & Match partners with JANZZ

Dutch software company WCC Smart Search & Match and Swiss skills and job matching technology and consulting company JANZZ.technology have entered into a strategic partnership.

A statement from the companies said the partnership would see an increase in collaboration on future large-scale and complex projects, as well as combining knowledge and experience.

Read the article on the website of Recruiter.

JANZZ.technology and WCC Group enter into strategic partnership.

As of April 2015, the Dutch software company WCC Smart Search & Match has entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership with JANZZ.technology, the Swiss technology and consulting company for skills and job matching. The main objectives of this partnership are to increase collaboration on future large-scale and complex projects, to combine knowledge and experience, and to incorporate both companies’ comprehensive know-how regarding challenging global, multilingual projects in the public employment services (PES), staffing, corporate HR and other relevant job matching areas. For example, the comprehensive ontology JANZZon!, which already contains around 20 million terms from the occupation data area, is set to support and augment WCC’s proven and successful ELISE software platform, allowing new multilingual functionalities with even greater accuracy in search and match.

The resulting synergies will benefit the many renowned clients and global organizations of WCC and JANZZ.technology in the future, extending their advantage still further in the areas of automatic classification, multilingual and semantic ontologies, complex and tailored matching algorithms and the processing of big occupation data.

Information about WCC Group

WCC Smart Search & Match is world’s leading supplier of search and match software solutions and services. WCC focuses on two specific solution areas: employment matching and identity matching. Its ELISE software platform excels in these areas because it uses a unique way of searching and matching data, providing more meaningful results. ELISE is designed to search through vast amounts of data from various sources and give meaningful results in a matter of seconds. It will search and match data in almost any form, be it exact or inexact, structured or unstructured, private or public, and combine multiple modalities (biographic or biometric). WCC’s primary customers are large government organizations and large companies worldwide. The company is headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands and has offices in the USA and the Middle East.

www.wcc-group.com

Information about JANZZ.technology

JANZZ.technology is a technology and consulting company active in the field of semantic skills and job matching, and in the use of complex occupation and skills data. It offers standard and white-label products and SaaS solutions for the modelling, analysis and use of big data on job portals, by public employment services, and on companies’ own job sites. Using the latest semantic technologies to precisely match qualifications and hard and soft skills across different languages, it considerably alleviates the matching problems associated with asymmetric search mechanisms in job markets.

www.janzz.technology

Contact:

WCC Group
Zonnebaan 19
3542 EA Utrecht
The Netherlands

Marie-Louise Scheers
Marketing Coordinator
Tel: +31 30 750 3233
mscheers@wcc-group.com

JANZZ.technology
4uGroup AG
Nidelbadstrasse 6
8038 Zurich

Stefan Winzenried
CEO
Tel: +41 43 499 71 04
info@janzz.technology

Searching for My One True…Job.

The importance of finding your next career challenge in a new job is obvious. In fact it’s probably just as important as finding your one true love.

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JANZZ.jobs official EUROSTARS project.

In January 2013, JANZZ.jobs, together with its two partners, Holmes Semantic Solutions SAS (Holmes or Ho2S) in Grenoble and the University of Oslo, was selected from among hundreds of innovative projects from across the whole of Europe to be supported over the next 30 months in its research project SAUGE within the EUROSTARS programme.

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