Matching of jobs and job seekers in a way never seen before
Overhauling the Finnish job application system involves a project of an unprecedented kind.
This mammoth is called TE-Digi. It began as a spearhead project of the Sipilä Government and continues as a key digitalisation project.
– The project is one of the largest in our history, and will have a deep impact on society. We are now building an entirely new work ecosystem, based on revising all practices and ways of thinking about job application and employment services, says Keijo Puolakanaho, leading expert at the ELY centre and TE office development and administrative centre KEHA.
Matchmaking for working life
The goal is to bring demand for skills together with supply.
– Finland is such a small country that we cannot afford to waste skills. We must be able to both demonstrate and use them. Current, CV-oriented job applications over-focus on employment history, titles and education. A person’s skills may actually be different to those suggested by their formal qualifications, explains TE-Digi Project Manager Mikko Rantahalme.
In the most prominent aspect of the reform, Työmarkkinatori.fi, applicants will complete a single skill profile based on which they will be able to view the most suitable services at national level.
– The service recognises various skills based on profession and employment history. There is no longer any need to spend time updating basic information; instead, the user can focus on highlighting their own skills, says Jaana Majakangas, who is working on the TE-Digi project for Gofore, providing an example of the modernity and ease of the service experience.
Under construction is a genuine matchmaking service for working life, enabled by data combined from different sources and various AI solutions that, among other things, can recognise skills based on natural language.
– With the new solution, old-fashioned vacancy listings will become history, says Gofore’s Head of Business Riikka Vilminko-Heikkinen with excitement, adding that huge amounts of work have been done under the hood to standardise service paths and revise overall CRM in TE services.
Standardisation work based on service-design methods forms the basis of the entire system. This has enabled both consideration of the needs of future users and the use of AI on an exceptionally large scale.
Joint project, inclusive design
In Työmarkkinatori.fi, all public and private services related to job application and skills development are merged into a single whole. The new service must be easy to use for jobseekers and recruiters, as well as people in regular employment. Rantahalme views the reference teamwork, which was familiar from the world of service design, as inspired.
– The design has involved both public and private employment services, training organisations, large and small businesses, and job applicants. I believe that many planned improvements would have been missed if users had not been involved in the design.
The beta version of the service will be launched in the fall of 2019. Based on current targets, it should be finished in 2022. If the service accomplishes its ambitious goals of improving the efficiency of matching work with workforce, it will generate very significant savings for the Finnish economy.
– This work is extremely important to me, and I can also bear testimony to the sense of responsibility felt by all of the participants. We all want the best for Finland.
A shared goal
Rantahalme, Puolakanaho, Majakangas, Vilminko-Heikkinen and over 100 other developers share major responsibility in this enormous project. Everyone agrees that a shared goal and open and honest collaboration are the prerequisites of success.
– A project of this magnitude cannot be called easy at any level. Nobody has the answers in advance, there are lots of things to do, and the issues are difficult and complex. With overall solutions this large, the key issues are continuous development and flexibility. Collaboration with Gofore is really great and open, says Puolakanaho.
KEHA and Gofore have been working together on issues such as quality control, order and delivery tracking, contract and project management, and the continuous service process. The content of the project has also called for creativity and a desire to develop.
– Together with KEHA, stakeholders and customers, the Gofore team members have shaken up decades-old job application routines and discovered new, creative ways of solving the problems in question. They have top-notch expertise, which is necessary when designing something no one has ever implemented before, Rantahalme concludes.
KEHA & Gofore:
- ELY centre and TE office development and administrative centre KEHA
- Over 150 joint projects over the last three years, including TE-Digi.
TE-Digi & Gofore:
- Currently working on an overall system solving matching problems in the Finnish national labour market.
- Gofore is involved in nearly every area of the project, with a 75% share of the workload:
- Project management support
- Ecosystem work
- Service design
- Overall architecture
- Software development
“The project is one of the largest in our history, and will have a deep impact on society. We are now building an entirely new work ecosystem, based on revising all practices and ways of thinking about job application and employment services.”