E-BRO-Let’s Go to work
“E-BRO APS” is a small company that has developed “JobIntra”, an IT solution that has been first applied by Jobcenter Brøndby in Denmark in the context of the flexi-job scheme, which is an initiative within the Danish unemployment scheme. Flexi-jobs imply that a company employs a disabled citizen for 10-12 hours a week in a permanent form of employment. The company pays the salary for the 10-12 hours per week, while the state pays the rest. JobIntra’s aim is first to increase the number of available flexi- jobs and then to substantially reduce the time it takes to find a permanent flexi-job to potential candidates. The case represents a special form of social innovation, a “reverse” process of finding flexi-jobs to disabled citizens.
Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main stakeholders and beneficiaries are Brøndby Jobcenter, the disabled citizens, Brøndby Municipality, the recruitment companies as well as the society at large.
The co-creation process can be divided into two phases. In the first phase, Jacob, an employee in charge of the flexi job scheme at Jobcenter Brøndby, and his manager recognize that the flexi-job process and network is operating in an inefficient way. As a result, it takes too long time to get a flexi- job candidate into work. For example, in the first 13 weeks after a citizen came to Jobcenter Brøndby, nothing happened and in some cases, nothing happened maybe for another 13 weeks. After the waiting period, a disabled citizen was allocated to a recruitment company at a time, so there was no competition between the different recruitment companies to get a citizen into work. Therefore, Jacob and his manager had made some strategic considerations about simultaneously allocating several recruitment agencies to find a flexi-job to a citizen. The process involved a lot of discussions, reflections and co-creation. The result of this process was that Jacob discussed this issue with one of his friends who is an IT expert and together they started conceptualizing and co-creating an IT solution that could solve this problem. This represents the second co-creation phase. The idea for establishing a company started therefore in 2012 and in 2013 the IT solution, “JobIntra”, was developed and E-BRO APS was founded with Jacob and his partner as co-founders.
Digital Transformation Process
JobIntra has induced a digital transformation of the process of finding a job to a flexi-job candidate. This digital process innovation can described as a “reverse process” of finding a job. In fact, prior to JobIntra the Jobcenter Brøndby allocated a candidate to one and only one recruitment company at a time, who then tried to find a job to the candidate. With JobIntra, Jobcenter Brøndby inputs a candidate information into the IT system. This information can be accessed by all recruitment companies that simultaneously try to find flexi-jobs to the candidate, thus competing on a candidate. Furthermore, the recruitment companies can directly get in contact with the citizens, if necessary, thus improving substantially the communication among the different actors involved in finding a job. This speeds up the process.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The adoption of JobIntra at Jobcenter Brøndby has generated several positive results. Firstly, JobIntra has contributed to decrease unemployment among the flexi-jobs in Brøndby Municipality, which as a result has been ranked as one of the Danish municipalities with lowest flexi-jobs unemployment rates. Second, due to its functionality, JobIntra has substantially reduced the amount of time that the Jobcenter Brøndby’s employees use on each specific flexi-job. This in turn has generated resources that can be used on the most complicated cases or on other types of activities within the job center. Thirdly, by reducing the amount of time it takes to place an unemployed disabled on the job market, it has increased the satisfaction of these citizens. In the long term, JobIntra may benefit Brøndby Municipality and the Danish society, because by speeding up the process of finding jobs and by decreasing the number of unemployed disabled citizens, JobIntra decreases the amount of public subsidy paid to the unemployed by saving public unemployment expenditures.
Challenges & Bottlenecks
The main challenge concerns JobIntra’s wider adoption and use in other Danish municipalities, thus restricting the potential benefits that it could bring to society. It takes a lot of effort for E-BRO APS to get through the public eco-system, mainly due to the distance between the operational level and the policy level.
Transferability & Replicability
The IT solution “JobIntra” can be used and adopted by other job centers within the Danish context. This is what E-BRO APS does now: tries to sell the application to other Danish municipalities. Whether JobIntra could be applied and used in other national contexts depends on the way unemployment agencies are organized in such contexts.
An important success factor is the use and adoption of JobIntra in other municipalities as this may contribute to decrease the number of unemployed flexi jobbers at national level with several societal benefits such as increased happiness and satisfaction of the unemployed disabled citizens and saving in public unemployment expenditures. This is also the very main challenge that E-BRO APS is facing on a day to day basis.
JobIntra is an innovation that may bring strategic changes at job centers in Denmark within the flexi job scheme. However, as most innovations, it is difficult for E-BRO APS to have it adopted and used in other municipalities. The main reasons being the distance between the operational and policy level in Danish municipalities.