'That suitcase has to go on the conveyor belt, while marketing can wait a day'

De Volkskrant

In an interview with De Volkskrant, Robert Dur, Professor of Economics of Incentives and Performances at Erasmus School of Economics, discusses the results of his research into so-called 'bullshit jobs'. As the labour market tightness continues, it becomes even clearer which jobs are essential or not.

It's no longer news: the labour market is under severe strain. The consequence of this is noticeable in many companies. Essential processes are sometimes jeopardised, so that staff in other parts of the company have to step in to prevent certain tasks from not being carried out. Professor Dur indicates that companies have to make choices: 'Now that staff shortages are endangering services in more and more sectors, organisations are taking a closer look at which tasks really need to be kept in the air. That suitcase has to go on the belt, while marketing can wait a day.'

Utility of the job of the helpers

The people who stand by often come from departments that are more in the background: marketers, people from the HR department and planners. It is clear that the tasks of these positions do not have the same urgency as the jobs that the temporary helpers fill. However, some jobs are even considered useless by the employees themselves, professor Dur discovered: 10 percent of all employees consider their job useless. Especially in PR departments, in marketing and in companies where processes are highly fragmented, people consider their jobs useless. According to Dur, this moment of scarcity is the moment to look for more meaningful work, both for organisations and employees.

More information

You can read the full article in De Volkskrant, 26 July 2022, here.

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