Skills and Recruitment in Flexible Work Settings
Title: Skills and Recruitment in Flexible Work Settings
Author: APITZSCH, Birgit
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2012/26
Over recent decades, we have witnessed profound changes in labour markets with an increase in flexible forms of work and employment, driven by organizational restructuring and institutional change at the macro- and at the sectoral level. In order to understand transformations of employment it is central to grasp the interrelations between the organisation of work, recruitment practices, and labour market institutions. Yet, despite the growing interest in flexible work practices and the growing number of in-depth case studies in industries seen as forerunners of flexibilisation, labour market theory and research into new forms of work are not well coordinated. Therefore it is difficult to generalize findings and to anticipate outcomes of institutional changes in training, industrial relations and labour law, or of organizational restructuring such as the externalization of employment or a shift towards temporary cooperation in projects. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of flexible work arrangements. With this in mind it situates research on extreme cases of flexibilisation in labour market theory and the analysis of work control and suggests a conceptual extension, and it empirically compares two highly flexible, yet differently regulated labour market segments in Germany. The comparison of work organisation and recruitment practices in labour market segments with different degrees of professionalization allows estimating how organizations and labour market institutions shape skill demand and recognition. On this basis, the paper conceptualises the skill demand that results from personal forms of control and specifies the conditions under which networks are used for hiring.
Subject: Flexibility; work; labour markets; networks; recruitment; skills
Type of Access: openAccess