The high unemployment rate in the United States is something that many people have been working hard to improve. Recently, many companies have started turning towards techniques that some people may consider unconventional to find good candidates for open positions. Thankfully, many of these initiatives are specifically geared towards people who have been unemployed for long periods of time, who tend to have an especially difficult time finding work again.
Below are just a few such techniques that are being used to assess and hire previously unemployed people.
A Coursework and Audition Package
Coursework offered for job seekers is nothing new. However, one Connecticut-based program is taking a more inventive approach by offering participants chances to do an "audition" for a potential employer.
The program is called Platform 2 Employment, or P2E, and you could think of the audition part of the process as something similar to an internship that eventually turns into a paid position. The auditions can last up to eight weeks, and they occur after someone has gone through five weeks of courses.
Auditions are aimed at the long-term unemployed, and it shouldn't be too hard to see why this innovative program isn't just helpful for jobseekers, but also advantageous for company representatives. They get opportunities to highlight a commitment to hiring deserving candidates who may have been out of the workforce for a while, but aren't any less dedicated to earning a living than people who have enjoyed consistent positions.
A similar program is being launched in Nevada, with guidance from the people who helped get P2E off the ground in Connecticut. If all goes well, this is just one example of an unusual but potentially worthwhile way to help unemployed people get back on their feet and return to the workforce.
Facebook as a Recruitment Tool
Facebook is usually thought of as a destination for people who want to stay in touch with family members and friends. However, its scope has grown rapidly, and now some executives are advocating for Facebook's use as a recruitment tool.
Fredrik Tukk of Danish offshore drilling company Maersk Drilling is one leader who has publicly applauded the option of relying on social media sites such as Facebook to find people who might be seeking to change something about their employment situations. Tukk was tasked with helping his company double the size of its workforce in just five years, which meant hiring 3,000 new faces. The offshore drilling industry is very specialized, and it offers high pay.
Tukk knew he had to showcase other perks of working for the company besides a good paycheck. He decided to use Facebook as a platform for letting staff members tell stories about what it's like to work at Maersk. Although this example doesn't directly relate to unemployment, it does illustrate how powerful social media is when it comes to reaching niche job-seeking audiences who have certain skill sets.
The White House Blog Hones in on How to Halt Unemployment
The Obama administration also recently used the White House blog to tell readers what's being done to change the unemployment trend for the better.
In addition to doing things such as working with employers to develop best practices for hiring people who have been unemployed for long periods of time, the Administration has launched community programs to help the long-term unemployed population find steady work.
Furthermore, President Obama has reached out to federal agencies to urge representatives there to give long-term unemployed job seekers fair chances to fulfill positions in various kinds of federal jobs. He wants federal employers to review and tweak their hiring practices if needed, to remove any unnecessary obstacles that might face people who've been out of the workforce for a while.
By promoting and educating others about the value and need to hire previously long-term unemployed people, the White House blog is helping to fight the unemployment crisis. However, you don't have to blog for the White House to have this kind of impact. Promoting the employment of out-of-work professionals in your own company or on your own website can also help better the job market, and the chances of those looking for work.
These are just a few ways some non-traditional outlets have risen to the forefront to help people who've been out of the labor force find work once again. The desire to hire long-term unemployed people is there; we just need to keep searching for new ways to effectively match job seekers to hiring employers.
Image by Maria Elena