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Paris 2017 Interactions between PESs and their users

07.09.2017 to 08.09.2017


PROGRAMME  (in English)



The main objective of Public Employment Services as part of the missions entrusted to them is to improve the quality and efficiency of the services provided to job-seekers, by assisting them through the process of returning to employment, and to employers, by supporting them in recruitment. 

The expectations of the users, citizens and public authorities, and the framework within which the PES activities are carried out, are changing, as shown in the document adopted in spring 2017 entitled "The WAPES Long Term Strategy 2015-2025".


The PESs must, in fact, respond to several challenges associated with their environments and the evolving labour markets. These challenges (technological transformations within the services, in industrial apparatus and in the lives of the citizens, globalisation, the speed of the changes, demographic transition, weakening of certain population groups, high levels of immigration, new forms of employment, growth of a collaborative economy, the need for more frequent transitions on the labour market, scope and speed of the need to adapt and develop skills, etc.) have a very direct impact of the nature of the services and the organisations in which relationships are developed with users who must be supported in order to undergo professional transitions. 


Of all the dimensions associated with the necessary strategic and operational developments of the PESs, this event will tackle the issue of the interactions between the PESs and their users, by referring to different changes characterising their service offer and their practices: 

-share experiences relating to the strengthening of the role played by job-seekers and actors on the road to training and employment, as well as amending the service relationship with companies; 

-examine the development and advantages of the various channels of contact with users; 

-learn from these changes to the organisation of PES and the transformations of internal skills in order to better support professional projects and recruitment.   


The following are a few fairly commonplace findings to illustrate these reflections: the physical interview in the agency is no longer, by far, the only contact between the PESs and the users; more and more steps involved in the career path of a job-seeker or in the relationship with the employer have been dematerialised or are undergoing automation (registration, access to services online, making appointments, reporting on and monitoring job hunting activities, organising recruitment events, access to tools used jointly by counsellors and users, etc.); several self-referral tools or services are being developed to access training, employment or interviews; digital tools and support allow for the development of autonomy and self-delivery of services for a large number of users on the web or from mobile applications; the constant issue of personalisation leads to better identification of the adapted service delivery channels, depending on preferences, needs, capabilities and added value; new needs have come to light for the public for whom the PESs are responsible and who lack the equipment, connection or even digital skills, etc.


Support for professional transitions cannot be solely the responsibility of the PES counsellors. More and more, this is a question of giving responsibility to the users, of encouraging initiative and individualisation of choices for those who need less support, of benefiting more readily from the tools or services accessible in the form of self-delivery, and of supporting the others using more intensive methods, so as to develop their autonomy, their motivation and their skills in order for them to fulfil their professional project. 


Job-seekers and those wishing to change their employment are, to a greater and greater extent, the actors in their own professional career path, while the systems that monitor their employment search are adapting to meet this change. The PESs are still working to ensure that all members of the public, including those that are the furthest from employment, have access to a certain level of autonomy or can be actively supported, and that they are equipped with the tools they need to optimise their approaches and to become actors, by co-building their career path: diagnostics and appropriation of these, skills assessment, personalised advice, training, career strategy, reliable information on the labour market. What is valuable for the job-seekers is likewise of value to the employers; the majority of PESs have therefore already reoriented their service offer towards very small enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises which have very specific support needs in terms of human resources. The PESs must play a role for companies in terms of anticipating recruitment needs, relevance of proposed profiles, support in employment, as well as maintaining employment in order to create a deeper and more stable relationship of confidence.


While digitalisation of services is one of the major elements in the transformation of organisations, changing relationships and contributing towards making users more responsible, it must also be supported in order to maintain a human relationship, respect the balance between the various interview types (physical and remote; using an integrated "omnichannel" system) and promote interactions based on actions with high added value.


These new dimensions to the interactions between the PESs and their users require the implementation of new approaches and an overhaul of the service offer, in the sense of an increasing adaptation to needs, in order to increase value, including by largely involving the users at the service conception stage in order to understand their expectations and bring in their experiences as users. The methods of communication and contact have also been amended to better take into account and exchange necessary information, to ensure better accessibility and more simplicity, and to guarantee that the choices made by users are better supported at key moments in their career paths and thus ensure efficiency and quality. 


The notion of giving greater responsibility to users goes hand in hand with giving greater responsibility to PES employees. The context of the transformation of the position of employment counsellors, the evolution of the content of the advice given, the development of their skills, their acculturation to new technologies, to developments on the labour market, and the overhaul of the relationship with users (with greater personalisation, and often more specialisation) are also indispensable levers in meeting the new expectations of all users (continuous improvement in service quality, simplified access to information, quick development of services associated with agile acceptance of user returns). The PES organisations are also evolving in this context, with greater interaction between counsellors, supported by the managers. 


The Paris event aims to give a deeper understanding of the lessons to be learned from these change processes. It will allow participants to share their strategies, their experiences, their innovations, their responses to the challenges that they are all facing in terms of interactions between PESs and their users.