With the reform “Altersvorsorge 2020”, the retirement age in Switzerland could reach 67 years: the average life expectancy grows continuously and adults stay longer in their professional life. Simultaneously, it is getting harder for 50-plus adults to find jobs and to therefore stay socially included. There is, however, a paradox: this generation has a vast amount of valuable experience. To support older adults in following jobs and activities, a standard software to implement skill assessments and job matchmaking platforms in an easy way is developed in the “ExpAct” project by ZHAW in collaboration with other research organizations, SMEs and end-user organizations.
Improvement regarding HR brokerage processes
The platforms suggest suitable tasks, jobs and activities for older adults and vice versa suitable workforce for tasks, jobs or activities in companies, municipalities, and volunteer networks. The software is able to offer an improvement regarding efficiency and effectiveness of matchmaking and experience based HR brokerage processes including an applicant pool for an ad-hoc filling of vacancies or addressing of open tasks. Staying involved in activities supports social inclusion and well-being and it is a source for further income.
An innovative skill assessment makes the experience of older adults visible
An innovative element of the software is the skills assessment which captures the experience of older adults. Thereby, not only hard skills from former professional activities are assessed but also experience from family, leisure or voluntary activities. Further, soft and passion skills are considered. Soft skills are skills in dealing with other people, with resources, problem solving skills or leadership qualities. As passion skills, personal goals and preferences in respect of future engagement are collected. To consider all these skills makes it possible to suggest older adults cross-functional and cross-disciplinary jobs or activities. The assessment of skills and experience contributes further to the creation of transparency about the unused human capital. This may counteract the skills shortage.
Potential customer organizations are convinced about the solution
Based on the standard software, four different pilot applications were implemented. During the whole project, more than 200 end-users were involved into the development phase in order to realize a target-oriented solution. Different potential customer organizations across Europe have tested the software and are convinced.
In Switzerland, older employees of a big insurance company shall be provided with the opportunity to deploy their experience in other business units for a limited period of time. In Hungary, members of a senior knowledge management network shall be – after their retirement – temporarily deployed in consulting mandates. The Italian pilot has tested the software in a cooperative with the aim to bring unemployed older adults back to work. In Austria, the standard software was adapted in a way that the software is used by a Tyrolian community as “time bank” to support neighbourly help.
The successful deployment of those four pilot applications shows the strengths of the solution: scalable, flexible, extensible and customizable.
The project is part of the Active and Assisted Living programme that is jointly funded by the European Union and the national funding agencies of the participating project partners. The programme supports innovative ICT solutions that improve the quality of life of older adults.
Further information about the project
Press release of ZHAW on 30th November 2016 (in German)
ZHAW School of Management and Law, Institute of Business Information Technology
Eva Gmür, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org