Published on 9th February 2024
The HR services industry shared its optimistic views with the European Commission on its Talent Pool, an initiative aimed at creating a job platform for third party nationals to address the labour and skill shortage.
Through an official call for feedback on the Talent Pool, the World Employment Confederation-Europe (WEC-Europe) provided a balanced opinion on what are the first steps to build a public job search platform for workers outside of the EU. As key labour market enablers, the Private Employment Services industry is well-placed to make the initiative successful and must have a say in its construction and use.
“The Private Employment Services sector understands firsthand the challenges faced by industries working to cope with the labour and skills shortage across the European Union,” says Menno Bart, Executive Committee Member and Chair of the Public Affairs Committee of WEC-Europe, in stressing that the industry needs to have a seat on the Talent Pool steering committee. “As the economy quickens its digital and green transition, while also facing a demographic shift in the workplace and throughout society, it is crucial to come up with solutions to seek talent beyond European borders.”
The Confederation’s assessment also focuses on policies needed to accelerate migration processes, risks and challenges posed by the initiative, and a concern that the Talent Pool may become a direct competitor of the Private Employment Services industry.
In order for the Talent Pool to have a chance at success, the World Employment Confederation-Europe says that EU Member States need to further develop their immigration policies to allow for the successful recruitment and employment of third party nationals. As it currently stands, employers are too often on the hook for arranging residence documents for workers, which only delays filling positions.
Another area flagged in the assessment surrounds how information is shared and how issues such as bias are addressed. Features, such as the Talent Pool’s Automated Matching Tool, raise questions of how candidate profiles will be selected and how the data will be handled. With the HR Services Industry classified as a high-risk in the EU’s AI Act, it is essential that the Commission ensure that any automated features are transparent in how they are used.
The industry has also expressed that the sharing of full details of job postings stands to threaten the Private Employment Services industry and the value it offers clients while decreasing the overall effectiveness of the Talent Pool.
Even though the industry harbours concerns over some aspects of the Talent Pool, the World Employment Confederation-Europe views the initiative positively and believes that more must be done to close the skills and labour gap that only continues to grow. And, as the initiative makes clear, legal migration and mobility are part of the answer to closing the gap.
Read more in our submission to the European Commission.