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Principle n°7 — Second hand and sharing economy

Principle n°7 — Second hand and sharing economy

In the circular economy

Re-use allows, through gift or second-hand sale, to extend the use of products that no longer meet the needs of the first consumer.

The principle applied in HRM

  • Supporting the transition of a worker into the external job market where a worker is no longer meeting the requirement of their current contract obligations or when the company’s needs change.


Re-use in the circular HRM can go through:

  • Different forms of support of the worker to the job market (outplacement, training or development of skills not directly of use to the employer, coaching, organisation of a job fair for other employers…)
  • The termination of the employment contract “on good terms” (exit interview, external recommendation, maintenance of the link for other business relationships…)
  • Sharing workers with other companies and/or professional environments

Examples of good practices observed

Experience@Work (Belgium) — Several large companies employing an extensive number of workers aged 55 years and above have engaged in a process consisting in sharing some of their voluntary employees with smaller organisations, particularly active in the non-profit sector. Each of the parties finds its share. The original company offers its senior staff an alternative career path, optimises its salary costs and opens up windows of progression to the younger staff in the organisation. The worker can value their skills, share their experience, capitalise on their strengths and expertise in another environment, and regain motivation by taking up a new challenge. Finally, the “welcoming” organisation finds profiles that are difficult to attract and at an acceptable price. Being tripartite, the relationship takes the form of a service contract. The worker remains employed by their original company and retains their salary and acquired rights. The “welcoming” company defines a budget for the position to be filled that is billed by the original employer. Part of the salary cost remains sponsored by the latter. At the time of writing, there are 18 “lending companies” in the project. Around 100 people participate in this project, for long-term missions, ideally running until the person retires.

Boston Scientific (Ireland) — The off-boarding process – consisting of taking care of a worker until their last day of work and serenely organising their departure – is considered to be as qualitative an experience as the on-boarding – welcoming and integrating a new colleague. An exit interview is scheduled, as well as a moment of celebration with the team (outing or lunch), for example.

NFQ Technologies (Lithuania) — an exit interview is conducted when an employee leaves. A survey is also sent to assess if all the necessary support has been received from the manager during this period. If the worker leaves at the initiative of the employer, the latter supports the worker in their search for a new job (outplacement)

Peikko Lietuva (Lithuania) — If an employee is brought to leave the organisation, the latter helps them to improve their CV and, eventually, makes recommendations. The company also sees this process as an opportunity of improvement, by asking the worker to share their thought on their situation, on what they consider positive or negative in the organisation.

VO Event (Belgium) — A coaching programme can be activated in the company under certain circumstances, for example in case of signs of advanced stress. One of the four coaches available specialises in career changes and can intervene to accompany an employee who would like to think about giving another direction to their career, including outside the company.

Intesa San Paolo (Italy) — Intesa San Paolo has created an innovative tool, the Time Bank, which is a reserve of time made available by the company and the employees so that they can provide support to people in a difficult situation, even for short periods, and give them more time. The initiative calls upon the generosity and the spirit of solidarity, as in addition to the hours made available by the employer, with an initial reserve of 50.000 hours, each worker has the opportunity to give a part of their leave or vacation to the bank, which the company will then distribute, up to a maximum of 50.000 overtime hours.  In 2019, employees were able to give 12.860 hours, completed by the same number of hours by the company, for a total of 25.720 hours. In the framework of the same Time Bank initiative, a corporate volunteer project was promoted, allowing, in 2019, 300 persons to undertake a voluntary work during working days, for external associations and organisations selected by the group. Around 2.200 hours of leave were granted.


Project Coordinator

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

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