Riverboard: Analysing skills supply and demand in a regional labour market

Amy Oerlemans is commercial director of Kloet Maintenance in Vlaardingen. She and her brother are the fourth generation in the 100-year-old family business. A few years ago, Amy suddenly received a phone call that fundamentally changed the way she perceives her employees. The daughter of one of her employees, Mr Da Silva, called asking her to fire her father because he could no longer keep up his work. Mr Da Silva was a crucial employee for Amy: “There was Da Silva on our facade, so to speak, instead of Kloet. Having to fire this iconic employee would really be a slap in our face.”

Sustainable employability is crucial

Amy immediately started exploring ways for employees to reach retirement in good health. Amy continues, “That’s when I realised how crucial sustainable employability is. We do a lot of physical work on facades and building preservation. It is very difficult to organise succession and teach new employees the building maintenance profession. It is weird that we are heavily involved in circular construction, demolition and maintenance, but what do we do when it comes to employees? You can’t throw them away as a piece of used equipment, can you?”

Providing perspective whilst employing flexibly

Kloet Maintenance started a project with ESF funding to further investigate the possibilities of sustainable employability of employees. This project involved Xelfer and 8vance. Xelfer distils employee skills and 8vance’s AI enriches and analyses the data so that new job matches can be made. Amy: “Using 8vance’s platform, we can give employees perspective and employ them flexibly. We show them what their transferable skills are, where their opportunities lie and how they can use them. This allows employees to retain their job happiness and remain fully employable for employers. We create social circularity. This does not only apply to employees who are no longer able to pursue their profession. It is crucial for all employees to see what their talents and skills are and how they can use them even more effectively in their existing job or in a position they aspire to at their current employer. It becomes an HR tool.”

Creating a regional labour market

Soon Amy came to realise, that you can do much more for employees if you team up between companies and create a regional labour market. Amy consequently brought the project to the ‘Lifelong Learning’ table of De Riverboard: “De Riverboard is a regional cooperation between companies, educational institutions and the Municipalities of Schiedam, Vlaardingen and Maassluis. There are many social issues at play here, for which employment is an important key. The education sector is involved in order to provide pupils with insight into their talents and competences at an early age. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is supporting the project with a grant, partly because timely adjustments will prevent employees from becoming unemployed as a result of economic developments.”

The project is currently in a pilot phase. There are 15 different companies and schools participating to see if we can identify transition opportunities. Amy sees lots of opportunities for these companies, including a large healthcare group: “If you have someone who has grown into their job, you can lend or second them externally. You engage and excite, and will prevent people from looking for work outside the region.”

Amy continues: “We are now exploring how to match employees with companies in terms of identity and personality. 8vance’s AI-driven platform helps us tremendously with this, by providing insight into skills and matches to individuals and jobs/vacancies. We can now make analyses of desired and offered skills in the region. You can use it to encourage employees to take certain training courses. You give them control over their career, based on up-to-date labour market data. Suppose a painter asks him or herself after a few years how and where he or she can develop further? In that case, we can suggest related work and professions based on his/her competences.”

Tapping into labour potential

Amy is thinking even bigger: “Together with OnderhoudNL, the Dutch organisation for 2,000 property maintenance companies, I want to start looking at what transfer paths we can develop inside and outside the sector. For example, to healthcare, where there is a shortage of carers. There is still so much untapped labour potential. This started as a personal quest for Da Silva. Then it became clear that there are still few opportunities for employee circularity. Thanks to this project and 8vance’s capabilities, we will soon be able to mobilise many more people into work. We make companies more productive and contribute to job happiness.”

Amy proudly concludes: “With 8vance, we as a region can analyse which skills and specific talents we can offer, for example when a new company seeks to establish itself. For example, we have a lot of manufacturing industry. This will render our business climate much more attractive for certain companies. And as a region this really increases our self-esteem.”

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8vance Keynote at the HR & AI Congress 23 January 2024
8vance Keynote at the HR & AI Congress 23 January 2024

Discover the future of talent management at the intersection of HR and AI during this keynote. Explore the impact of skills-based internal mobility and sustainable employability on organizations and how AI-driven matching technology revolutionizes finding the right candidates for each job opening. Learn how AI not only predicts, standardizes, normalizes, weighs, and validates skills but also how talent ecosystems enable companies to exchange talent.

๐Ÿš€ ABN AMRO and 8vance explore skills trends in the labour market ๐Ÿค
๐Ÿš€ ABN AMRO and 8vance explore skills trends in the labour market ๐Ÿค

๐Ÿ” Exploring the future of work! To what extent is there labour market tightness based on skills supply and demand? Together with ABN AMRO’s Economic Bureau, we dive into the dynamic world of labour market trends and automation. ๐Ÿš€ Discover with us the shifts in skill-based search and the impact on the labour market in times of tightness. Stay tuned to our discoveries! ๐ŸŒ