5 ways workforce development agencies connect job seekers with employers

Jul 17, 2020 - Cat DiStasio

When you’re looking for work, you need all the help you can get.

Luckily, job seekers in most areas of the country have access to government-funded tools and resources to aid in their job hunt. Across the country, state and local workforce development departments work to support job seekers in a number of different ways. They typically offer job search resources that every job seeker can benefit from, like help creating or editing a resume, interview skills, and job boards where employers post open positions. Workforce development agencies also typically host career fairs to help job seekers find their next job, and those events have traditionally been held in person. Now, amid the changing landscape of recruiting and the need for social distancing, workforce development departments are pivoting to virtual tools to continue supporting job seekers. Technology helps workforce development agencies host virtual career fairs, training and education sessions.

Using a multi-pronged approach helps agencies help more job seekers with the same resources. And area employers enjoy more benefits when workforce development departments use these virtual tools as well. Used correctly, agencies can improve the quality of candidates that employers meet, helping them make better hires in the long run.

Provide education and resources

One of the most basic functions of workforce development departments is education. Many job seekers need to learn how to present themselves as good candidates. When agencies offer resume reviews and assistance, tips and training on interviewing, and educational sessions with industry experts, job seekers gain skills to help them land their dream jobs. TK MORE

Vet job seekers

While workforce development agencies exist to support all job seekers, it’s important to help the right candidates connect with the right employers. Screening and prequalifying job seekers improves the quality of those matches and by ensuring that candidates meet minimum requirements and are ready to begin the interview process. For job seekers who aren’t ready to meet with potential employers, workforce development agencies can offer additional education and training to help them move forward.

Host virtual career fairs

When workforce development agencies host virtual career fairs, both job seekers and area employers win. Virtual career fairs safely connect job seekers with potential employers while maintaining social distancing, which also adds a level of convenience that traditional in-person career fairs can’t offer. During a virtual recruiting event, each job seeker can connect with several potential employers in their field, learn about the company’s culture and positions, engage in text-based or video interviews, and schedule follow-up conversations with recruiters and hiring managers.

Normalize video interviews

In the world of virtual recruiting, which isn’t going away, video interviews are an integral part of the process. Job seekers need all the same basic interview skills they’ve always needed to present as good candidates, but now they also need to be comfortable on camera. Video interviews make it safe and convenient to connect with potential employers, and recruiters value being able to see candidates before they make decisions about moving them forward in the hiring process. Even though most employers can probably figure out their own video interviews, since anyone can use video conference tools at this point, it is a much more seamless process for the employer if workforce development agencies provide this feature, especially as part of a virtual career fair.

Nurture relationships with job seekers

It can be tempting to focus on the technology and think it will take care of all your recruiting goals but it’s important to remember that recruiting and job hunting are still all about relationships. By building and nurturing ongoing relationships with job seekers in your region, workforce development agencies can position themselves as an invaluable asset for area talent. And this is easier than it may seem. Even after virtual career fairs, continue to communicate and share relevant resources with job seekers through email or text messaging (according to their preferences). It’s also crucial to provide a consistent sustained level of support throughout a job seeker’s search, until they find employment. Many workforce development agencies offer lots of support early in the search, but lack resources to help job seekers who are having difficulty matching with an employer or who have been on the market for a while.

Develop the future’s workforce

When workforce development departments employ technology to connect job seekers with employers, everyone wins. The same resources can be retooled to support more job seekers, and help more area employers, without adding burdens to agency staffers. Perhaps now more than ever, in an unprecedented wave of unemployment across the country, workforce development agencies need strategies that support job seekers from the beginning to the end of their search, through a combination of different tools and events, including virtual career fairs. All of these methods help job seekers prepare for the recruiting process, and employers come out on top when they can connect with educated, prequalified candidates who are motivated to find their next job.

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