A new job by appropriate skills, not by resume and degree

Source Article: This full article is from the Financial Daily: https://fd.nl/opinie/1347704/een-nieuwe-baan-door-passende-skills-niet-door-cv-en-diploma

Simone Heidema and Nienke Meijer are associated with De Buitenboordmotor, Mariëlle Lichtenberg is a member of Rabobank’s group management board, Joost Farwerck is ceo KPN

The economic recession caused by the pandemic means that many companies feel the need to adapt. Overall, a quarter of the Netherlands’ labor force is at risk of being sidelined. This is not solely to the credit of the coronavirus. Two years ago, it was anticipated that digitalization and automation would make 1.3 million jobs “redundant.

Many people end up on the streets with no prospects. There has been little investment in agility and training in recent years. The unemployed have limited opportunities in a labor market that does not need obsolete knowledge and skills. This is indigestible and the impact on people and their immediate environment is great.

At the same time, talent is being fought over in “vital sectors. In healthcare, education, IT and companies engaged in “greening the economy,” 1.4 million job openings will occur in the coming years.

The answer seems simple: preparing people for a new profession. Yet that rarely becomes a success. Without the right qualifications, you won’t get a job in another industry. And lateral entry pathways are often needlessly complicated and time-consuming.


Guiding people from job to job requires a modern take on retraining: reskilling, “matching” people and jobs based on people’s underlying qualities. Reskilling experts scan pre-existing didactic, nurturing or technological competencies, using AI tools and digital assessments. The smart algorithms used are “blind” to human assumptions that sometimes mistakenly get in the way of a match.

We also need to broaden the view of resumes. People often only look at training that people did a long time ago. Their skills and experience, private and on the job, do not count. People can do more than is on their resumes. Therefore, a “skills passport” of proven competencies should be the entrance to a new job.

‘Soon there will be a reservoir of unemployed, while a war for talent rages in sectors where there are vacancies.

All this is possible, if we look beyond the short-term interest and the walls of our organizations. If we do not, we will create a reservoir of unemployed who will soon have nowhere to go, while a war for talent rages in sectors where there are vacancies. A battle that produces hardly any winners.

Speed is of the essence. That’s why a group of businesses, education and government are now working together to give workers perspective through reskilling. Because, as an old law in Social Security teaches: every year a person is surplus to requirements, their chances of ever finding a job again halve.

Simone Heidema and Nienke Meijer are associated with The Outboard Engine. Mariëlle Lichtenberg is a member of Rabobank’s Group Executive Board. Joost Farwerck is ceo KPN.

Share this post

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date on HR developments, open positions and training and workshops.


Responds within an hour

How can I help you?