Workforce innovation during COVID-19


Workforce innovation during COVID-19

Insights on leveraging hidden job matches between the Healthcare and the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industry

In order to remain resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential for organizations in the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industry to look innovatively at their workforce. With many organizations being forced to let go of their valuable employees in order to survive, this skilled workforce is left without a job for the foreseeable future. At the same time, the Healthcare sector continues to face significant workforce shortages and healthcare institutions are struggling to cope with the boost in demand following the pandemic. When looking innovatively at the workforces of both industries, we see that hidden matches can be found in the job market by levering the similarities in job characteristics across the Healthcare and Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. These hidden matches provide organizations in both industries with the flexibility that is needed to cope with the impact of COVID-19.

This article was co-written by Annemieke Brouwer and Lydia Nellen.

Finding ‘hidden matches’ in the job market

In 2019, Deloitte and UWV conducted research into the ‘hidden matches’ in the job market. By analyzing similarities in jobs, they found that for every job with relatively few vacancies, there are about 8 comparable jobs that have relatively many vacancies. As most employees and employers look for matches with a vacancy or employee that they have top of mind, there are a lot of missed opportunities. For example, an event coordinator with strong organizational skills could also be matched to a project controller or logistical planner vacancy. In other words, by looking at the workforce in a new way to find hidden matches that may not be apparent at first sight, the job market is suddenly much bigger than expected.

Acceleration of workforce innovation during COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the research conducted by Deloitte and UWV has become more relevant than ever. Although the pandemic has had an impact on every sector, the travel, hospitality and leisure industry one of the hardest hit industry. With business being down across Europe to an average of 75%below normal levels for some organizations, we have seen many of them being forced to reduce the size of their workforce in order to survive. As one of the principal job providers in the Netherlands, this has led to a significant surplus in unemployment across the country.

At the same time, the healthcare sector continues to face high workforce shortages and struggles to cope with the stringent demands that are being placed on hospitals, nursing homes and other care institutions. In the Netherlands, 34% of all vacancies for nurses had not yet been filled by the end of June. For many specialist functions, this rate is even higher3.

In order to address these shortages and remain resilient to the impact of COVID-19, organizations across these industries should look innovatively at their workforce. When looking beyond the standard job descriptions, the job profiles in the travel, hospitality and leisure industry can be of great value in industries that are facing shortages. For example, flight attendants can take care of patients instead of passengers, and waitresses can walk around with bags of blood instead of glasses of beer and wine4. When organized well, leveraging the similarities in job characteristics across these industries could positively impact unemployment rates, presenting an opportunity that is of significant economic relevance.

Examples of workforce innovation in practice

We are seeing several organizations take the lead in workforce innovation, here are some examples to inspire you:

  • Koninlijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) is using their website to provide practical tips and advice on how organizations can second their employees to other companies, such as healthcare institutions.5
  • Rivas is actively encouraging people that have lost their job in the hospitality industry to make a switch to the healthcare sector in jobs such as nutritional assistant. 6
  • The Efteling, one of the Netherlands’ largest entertainment parks, is sharing employees with nursing homes who will support until the summer.7

What we do to help

  • Each year, Deloitte publishes a Human Capital Trends Report, including key insights for workforce innovation. The “Beyond Reskilling – Investing in resilience for uncertain futures” chapter offers a breadth of information on this topic.
  • Our Future of Work offering provides further insights into workforce strategies for recovery post COVID-19, including a workforce strategy workbook to help you plan for business continuity, while anticipating future demands.
  • Wondering how to apply workforce innovation within your organization? We are always happy to connect, discuss and share experiences from our network.
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