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Principle n°2 — Recycling

Principle n°2 — Recycling

In the circular economy

Recycling refers to any recovery operation by which raw materials from waste are reprocessed into products, materials or substances for the purpose of their initial function or for other purposes. It allows waste to become new raw materials, referred to as recycled raw material, or secondary raw material, as opposed to virgin raw material.

The principle applied in HRM

  • The process of understanding needs and responding to them to optimise the redeployment of workers within the same company.


Recycling in circular HRM can go through:  

  • Reorientation/re-qualification for redeployment in the company
  • Training to develop employability/mobility within the company
  • Job-crafting or “modelling” of the job to the image of the worker

Examples of good practices observed

RTBF (Belgium) — The audio-visual sector is encountering technological developments whereby its companies are brought to radically change. Some make the choice to separate themselves from one part of their staff and go on recruiting skills more in line with their level of needs. That is not the case for RTBF which has opted for transformation counting on staff redeployment and re-qualification. In the framework of moving to a new organisation, all senior level posts at the heart of the job (not taking into account support roles) were made open. More than three out of four senior staff out of a total of 200 in the whole company were brought to re-apply to a function, through selection by a jury.

Boston Scientific (Ireland) — Leaders hold career conversations with their teams, based on a quarterly coaching mechanism and self-assessment opportunities with 360° feedback. Employees are offered opportunities to undertake job rotation in areas where skills are transferable. Collaboration is set up between the manager, HR Business Partners and employees to respond to reassignment needs, accompanied with training.

L’Oréal Libramont (Belgium) — As part of a project to centralise accounting services, a reassignment was sought for the members of a team. This, according to the site’s HRD, implies training and time: in the short term the cost is bigger than to separate from people, but in the long term, the return on investment is positive. What is the process?  The person concerned has the opportunity to express themselves on the next steps they want to give to their career and the HR team looks for a solution. An orientation interview helps clarify wishes and expectations. Then, together with management, HR identifies options, including other internal mobilities. We can compare it to a game of musical chairs. Training plans are then put in place. The advantage of such an approach consists thus in always having a back-up for a function, if needed, as skills remain within the company and people increase their skills, bring other perspectives and open up new ways of doing.

NFQ Technologies (Lithuania) — Each employee has a “training basket” which consists in financial resources allocated to their learning. The implementation of sills upgrading/readaptation is done according to one’s career development plan. Learning is seen as a long term process and not as a specific event or an ad hoc programme. It consists of learning from colleagues, learning new stimulating tasks, function development, internal training, external training, the e-learning platforms, etc.

NextSense (North Macedonia) — In a rapidly evolving IT industry, the NextSense relies on continuous learning and self-development, through an online training system. A culture of knowledge sharing exists internally, through dedicated sessions open to any employees.

Prayon (Belgium) — The fourth industrial revolution, the digital revolution, requires fundamental transformation of workers’ skills and a “non-circular” practice would consist (caricaturing) of laying off workers whose skills are no longer adapted to hire more ‘digital’ workers. At Prayon, on the contrary, they try to anticipate the digital divide with programmes analysing blue collar workers’ knowledge, carried out with Digital Wallonie (the Walloon Digital Agency), Forem (Walloon employment service), the social partners and the training world. The reflection starts from a divide observed in the company between senior staff/employees and workers on digital knowledge by profession. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, another divide risks of emerging, between people who work in the company and those who work from home, which generates new capacities for adaptation. The process involves foremost an analysis of each person’s level of knowledge. Together with Forem, Prayon developed a questionnaire based on a benchmark of 21 skills. A second, more complex, questionnaire is planned. It strives to analyse the gap between the expected skills and the level of skill of each worker. The approach consists to raise awareness of staff of their level of skills, so that they perceive their difficulties and go to train themselves at Technifutur (competence center covering the industry, digital and mobility activities) to develop their skills.           At the same time, Prayon produces aggregated data on digital skills, department by department and on different areas (security, procedural intelligence, etc.).


Project Coordinator

Rue Coenraets 66,
1060 Bruxelles – Belgium
+32 2 535 06 86
Salima Chitalia, Project Manager

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