Online Job Vacancies and Skills in Europe – The Cedefop’s new system

Over recent decades, online job portals have become important recruitment and job search tools.

Beyond assisting skills matching, the job vacancies these portals gather can also be used to analyse labour market trends in real time, generating evidence that can inform education and training policies and help ensure that people’s skills meet the needs of rapidly changing workplaces. These insights can complement skills intelligence based on information collected via traditional methods, such as Cedefop’s Europe-wide skills forecasts, the European skills and jobs survey, and the European skills index. This booklet outlines the main features of online job vacancies and the key characteristics of Cedefop’s new system to collect and analyse them. It accompanies the first release of results based on the collection and analysis of online job vacancies in seven EU Member States.

Over the past decade, the use of the internet for posting job vacancies has signi cantly increased. While job vacancies posted online were at rst predominantly for highly skilled workers, nowadays – due to widespread internet access and use and increased ICT literacy – these platforms contain job o ers for almost all occupations and skill levels. Apart from making it easier to match employers and jobseekers, the increasing use of online job vacancy (OJV) portals has great potential for labour market and skills analysis.

OJVs are a rich source of information about skills and other job requirements which is di cult to gather via traditional methods. Access to this information can provide several opportunities: help labour market actors understand better skill demand and its dynamics; enable individuals to make better career and skill development choices; support employers to develop or adjust human resources (HR) policies; help policy-makers make more informed decisions; and improve the targeting of employment services, guidance counsellors and learning providers.

OJVs do not replace other types of labour market information and intelligence; on the contrary, the full potential of the data can only be unlocked by combining OJVs with conventional sources. By analysing skills and job requirements typically requested in occupations, OJV provide additional comprehensive, detailed and timely insights into labour market trends and enables new and emerging jobs and skills to be identified early. This lls an important gap in current EU evidence on employer skill demands.

It must be noted, though, that using OJVs as a data source for labour market analysis has several limitations:
(a) vacancies in some sectors and occupations are over-represented in OJV portals;
(b) the use of OJV portals differs across and within the countries due to the digital divide and different employment structures;
(c) skills listed in a vacancy notice do not re ect the full job profile; employers
tend to list only critical skills and quali cations to ‘filter’ job applicants;

Online job vacancies and skills analysis

(d) vacancy notices have to be machine-readable and use a standardised vocabulary and, given the quantity of data, some simplifying assumptions have to be made;
(e) the same vacancy notice may be published on several web sites and not necessarily correspond to an actual job opening.
To investigate the potential of OJVs as a data source, and taking account of their limitations, Cedefop decided to develop a pan-EU system to gather and analyse data in OJVs (3). This booklet presents the key features of this system. It accompanies the early data release, the rst major step in an e ort to provide timely information on current and emerging skills needs in seven countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy and the UK). The aim is to raise awareness of the data’s nature and their value by:
(a) defining what OJVs are, how employers use OJV portals, and what trends
are influencing the OJV market across the EU (Chapter 2);
(b) explaining how to collect OJVs and transform the data into useful evidence,
as well as outlining quality control tools and methods (Chapter 3);
(c) providing an overview of the type of information that the Cedefop system
will produce and its potential value to users (Chapter 4);
(d) outlining next steps (Chapter 5).


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Online job vacancies and skills analysis | Cedefop


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