Employability has many definitions but they all share the core description of being able to earn your living. The key question is: if I lose my job today, will I be able to find a new job with a similar income quickly? For organisations it is important to have ‘employable’ employees. It makes them flexible and versatile. It is part of being a good employer. For employees that is of vital importance; if you don’t make sure you remain employable, you take the risk of a drop in income in the later stages of your career.
The business case is simple: employable employees are profitable, also in the long run. If they are good at what they do, know who they are and what their skills are, work hard and develop themselves, they are flexible. Being employable is not the same as being broadly employable in different positions. An organisation could take a group photo of its employees and wonder how employable they are. What would they be able to earn if they lost their job today, or in 5 or 10 years. What do they have to offer? This is both a starting point in the formulation of your policy and a tool to help them limit risks.
Therefore it is important to know the Employability sources and carry out a Employability Scan in every organisation.
Different personal characteristics and personality traits influence employability.
An Employability Plan
An Employability Scan or Career Scan helps list all Employability sources an employee has. Although we do offer standard scans, we prefer to customise the tests to the organisation and its employees. This allows us to zoom in on the important factors for a certain part of the population. The level of education is important here as well. The higher educated they are, the more likely people are to take responsibility for their own careers. People with a lower education often need a little help thinking long term. Another important factor is of course age.
We are happy to advise you about the development and performance of an Employability Scan. We offer many online instruments as well as workshops and training.
An Employability Scan can be done one-on-one, by your own HR advisors or an external consultant or agency. But you may also opt for an Employability Workshop for your employees. Groups of 6 to 8 employees can write their own Employability Plan in a 4 or 8 hour workshop. They can then develop their plans further together with their manager or HR department. In an Employability Workshop you learn to look at yourself and your skills, then write a concrete long-term development plan. These plans are usually made individually but for larger organisations they may lead to collective action, such as training or EVC procedures.
Managers often have to be trained to be able to perform Employability Interviews with their employees. Generally they don’t look further than the next year, let alone think about an employee’s future elsewhere. But a short training can often help clarify their role and show them how to approach this issue.
As no company is the same, an Employability Policy has to be tailor-made. Although certain themes may be universally relevant. The Employability analyses, the Scan, workshops and interviews are elements of a company policy plan. It may also include training and career planning. We recommend to make it part of your regular HR cycle. If you don’t yet have such a cycle, you might want to start one in order to give managers a role in the employability policy. Some collective labour agreements include the right an employee has to a career interview every 3 to 5 years. This is a sensible policy. An employability scan or workshop could provide leads to use in such an interview.
We are happy to be your sounding board about employability in your organisation. Profit from our expertise!