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Big role possible for employers in keeping people in work

Published: 12th May 2022 Last updated: 12th May 2022

Employers can contribute in various ways to job security for their staff. Large organizations in the (semi-)public sector in particular already do so, mainly for economic reasons: they see their HR department as a strategic partner, have a social plan and collaborate with other organizations in the region. This is evident from the PhD research of Jana Verschoor, which she defends at Tilburg University on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Global developments, including economic and health crises, technological developments and demographic changes, create a very dynamic and unpredictable labor market, also in the Netherlands. Employers can play a major role in keeping their staff employed, inside or outside their organization, but how, when and why they do so has not yet been well researched. Jana Verschoor investigated among more than 7,000 employers in the North Brabant region under what circumstances they create opportunities for other work there with the help of their Human Resource (HR) department.

Economic motives

Organizations in which the application of HR measures and policies is most common are large-scale, have a social plan, see the HR function as a 'strategic partner' of the management, operate in the (semi-)public sector and participate in regional cooperation with other organizations, the study shows. Employers' motives are often strongly economically oriented: achieving happy and healthy employees and social legitimacy are considered especially when linked to achieving organizational performance, such as labor productivity and profit maximization. Achieving goals on an individual and societal level does not play an important role unless the organization has the time and resources for a long-term strategy.


To secure the job security of vulnerable workers, organizations can make smarter use of HR policies and measures by consciously incorporating them into a broader, more inclusive HRM policy, according to Verschoor, who developed a helpful diagram for that purpose. In addition, policy makers can also contribute by focusing in particular on redundant employees, who are very vulnerable to unemployment, and by facilitating smooth transitions from work to work.

PhD defense

Jana Karlijn Verschoor obtains her doctorate on Friday, May 20 at 10.00 am in the auditorium of Tilburg University. Title dissertation: 'Beyond organizational boundaries: HR policies and practices aiming to secure employment'. Supervisors: Prof.  A.C.J.M. Wilthagen, Prof. I.W.C.M. Borghouts-van de Pas. The promotion can be followed via a livestream.

Note to editors

For more information, please contact Jana Verschoor at e-mail A review copy of the dissertation can be requested from