Competence-Based Matching: the Holy Grail?

Competence-based matching provides an interesting answer to the significant increase in bottleneck vacancies. PES want to offer opportunities to unqualified young jobseekers (NEETs: not in employment, education, or training), to young people whose diploma does not offer a good connection to the labor market, to refugees without a recognized diploma, and to people aged 55+, whose acquired competences are more important than their outdated diplomas. There is pressure from both the demand and the supply side to substitute diploma- and profession-centered matching with a broader, more modern matching system.

Competence-based matching is the best alternative. On the one side the system doesn’t exclude diplomas, because they are an attestation of acquired competences. But on the other, the system also allows for including prior/elsewhere/otherwise acquired competences in the matching process. In addition, because competence-based matching allows for fine-grained mapping of possible competence gaps, it is a better guide for (re)orienting jobseekers and allows for a more effective specification of training needs.

Find out more in this free chapter of Managing Workforce Potential:
Compentence-Based Matching – The Holy Grail? by VDAB CEO Fons Leroy

Creating an IT- and Data-Driven PES

Around every 18 months, our collective computing power doubles. New innovations erupt from the technology volcano ever faster. These open up vast areas of possibility for PES: new channels to serve their clients, new tools for matching and managing the workforce, new systems to increase productivity…

But technological innovations are also getting increasingly complex and changing ever faster.

How can PES harness the power of IT and big data to improve their efficiency and effectiveness? Find out in this free chapter of Managing Workforce Potential:

The Evolving Role of IT in Labor Market Management

Information Technology is a vital and fundamental part of providing public employment services. From simple operational support to advanced strategic purposes, its role is ever-evolving.

The technology for finding a person a job quickly has been available for years. Type in a keyword and some kind of answer will appear. But what is this answer based on? Does it factor in the labor market, labor market programs, knowledge about target groups, occupations, jobs, candidates, location? Is it relevant? Is it useful?

Does it get you a job that is actually suitable and sustainable?

Keyword search can work when people know what they are looking for and what the options are. But these are not the people who come to a PES for support. The people who do? They usually have far more complex circumstances. They need the high-level support of a smart, experienced, and well-informed counselor. And to provide that support efficiently and effectively, counselors need more advanced search technologies.

WCC wants to future-proof the world’s Public Employment Services with intelligent software solutions. Find out more about our vision in this free chapter of Managing Workforce Potential:

Recognizing refugees’ skills

Lost potential?

Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. But now large numbers of refugees need jobs. Over 60% of them do not have formal qualifications and an additional 25% lacks qualification information. How should the German PES, Bundesagentur für Arbeit,  match them to suitable work?

How can we make the most of their potential?

This Friday, we welcome Anja Block from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit in our PEPTalk webinar. Ms. Block will introduce MYSKILLS, a project that helps chart the professional skills of refugees and other people with a distance to the labor market.

Join the PEPTalk on February 23 to find out more!

What’s at stake? One example
Despite engineering experience gained from working on a hospital, a dam and apartments in Syria, 42-year-old Wahid Issa struggled to find skilled work in Britain. Emp­loyers did not recognise his overseas experience or qualifications. It was also hard to justify gaps in his CV to prospective employers.
Source: The Financial Times


PEPTalk 5: defining skills objectively with MYSKILLS at German PES

How to get an objective picture of a jobseeker’s skills?

German PES Bundesagentur für Arbeit launched their new project MYSKILLS to be able to chart professional skills and competencies. The main target groups are:

  • people without formal qualifications but with years of professional experience
  • people with qualifications but with a large experience gap
  • people with foreign qualifications that are not recognized in Germany, including refugees

With objective knowledge about their skills and competencies in hand, refugees and other jobseekers can find suitable and sustainable work faster.

Image source: MYSKILLS

In this first PEPTalk of 2018, we welcome Ms. Anja Block from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit as our guest speaker. She will talk about the MYSKILLS project, share her insights, and answer your questions live.

To view this webinar:

PEPTalks are a WCC initiative to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between Public Employment Services.

Public Employment Services and Big Data

For PES, it is crucial that their policies are evidence-based. And so they collect data to verify and analyze the performance of policies – often through costly and complicated surveys.  Inaccurate or false answers in these surveys can cause measurement errors and non-sampling errors. Is there a better way?

IT and data offer an alternative method to surveys for government services and policy decision-making. Large volumes of government data may become a foundation for new solutions or for giving us insights on government activities and polices that were previously not feasible.

Several PES are creating systems for big data collection and linked and merged databases. Korea is an example of a creative Public Employment Service that links with other institutions to make the most of their data through Master Data Management.

To find out more, read this free chapter of Managing Workforce Potential by Sang Hyon Lee:


Big Data and Labor Market Insight

Better Labor Market Knowledge with Web Job Data

We know quite a bit about the different types of jobseekers and their skills. But it is much harder to get hard facts about the demand side of the labor market.

What are the hottest skills employers look for?

image of a woman looking at a monitor that shows an old-fashioned print job vacancy highlighted in yellow marker

Public Employment Services that know the answer to this question gain a real edge in tackling the mismatch between supply and demand.

And luckily, there is a treasure trove of information freely available: online vacancy data. For the majority of jobseekers worldwide, the Internet is the number 1 resource for finding work.

Real-time analysis of online vacancies yields up-to-date, fine-grained information about labor market trends and demands. Of course, this process is far from straightforward, involving statisticians, economists, and computer scientists cooperating closely with domain experts.

Read more about the ways to leverage web job vacancies as a resource for better labor market knowledge in this free chapter of Managing Workforce Potential by Silvia Dusi:

ALMPs – How effective are they?

How effective are ALMPs – and how can we tell?

Active Labor Market Policies are a means of combating unemployment and promoting employment for PES. ALMPs support three main groups: unemployed, employed at risk, and inactive. There is renewed interest in the potential for ALMPs to ease labor market problems such as youth unemployment and joblessness among displaced adults.

two young people sit at a desk looking at a tablet

Many governments spend substantial amounts on ALMPs. Countries like Denmark and Sweden spend more than one percent of their GDP on ALMPs like job search assistance, training, wage subsidies, and public employment. 

But do ALMP interventions deliver on their promise? That depends greatly on the type of program, but also on the timeline and the type of measured outcome – short term vs long term, for example. 

Chapter 1 of Managing Workforce Potential delves deeper into ALMP research. The author of this chapter, Regina Konle-Seidl, is a Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Employment Research, specializing in international comparison of labor market institutions and reforms, ALMPs, and governance of employment services.

Interested in the full chapter? Click below to download it:

Book: Managing Workforce Potential

At the fourth PEPTalk (September 21, 2017), WCC presented the book Managing Workforce Potential: A 20/20 Vision on the Future of Employment Services

A desk with a laptop, pen, and cup of coffee, with the book Managing Workforce Potential in the center

In this book, different stakeholders from international organizations in the private and public sector discuss which role public employment services and workforce development agencies ought to play in the labor market today and in the future, why cooperation is crucial, and what kind of support digital services and software can provide for a more effective and efficient delivery.

The new world of work is characterized by globalized employment, a mobile yet vulnerable workforce, and the challenges of demography and rising income inequality. Technological changes in both the demand for and supply of skills have a cross-cutting influence on how labor markets develop.

As a world leader in Public Employment software solutions, WCC believes in sharing knowledge. Combining what we know and sharing this with the world leads to maximum value across the board. This is why WCC takes initiatives to both exchange and expand expertise, such as the PEPTalk webinar series, where PES share their knowledge about best practices and their vision on the labor market.

With this book, WCC seeks to contribute to an all-round clearer vision on the developments in public employment, and inspire decision-makers in and around the labor market to reflect on governance, services, and partnerships to better cater to the new world of work.

For more information or a hard copy of the book, please e-mail

Or click here to find out what WCC can do for your PES.

PEPTalk 4: Using Big Data to Improve PES Services

PEPTalk 4 takes place on Thursday, September 21 at 11:00 AM CEST.

This live webinar is about Big Data. We will cover the steps to take for organizing data collection, making data valuable, and improving your services using the data collected.

In this PEPTalk we also present Managing Workforce Potential: a 20/20 Vision on the Future of Employment Services, a book with contributions from many leading experts in the field. All webinar viewers will receive a copy.

How to use big data for improving your services

Our guest speaker is Dr. Willem Pieterson, one of the contributors to the book. An expert on multi-channel communication in Public Employment worldwide, he will guide us through the topic Big Data and how to use it to improve your services. We will cover questions like “Do you have a clear picture of all the data that you could use?” or “What data can and can’t you use?”

More hands-on questions include “How can we use specific data to improve certain services?” We will present examples, but we are also very interested in hearing from you how you make Big Data work for you. As usual, the PEPTalk is interactive: you can ask questions for the experts to answer.


If there is enough interest, WCC will facilitate a follow-up workshop by experts, where you can learn in-depth how to make a plan for and how to use Big Data to improve your PES services.

To view this webinar: