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Data & Behavioural Insights

Are you causing job seekers to switch off?

Are your case managers finding it hard to get through to their caseloads on the phone? Are they struggling to get job seekers along to a promising job fair, an interview with an employer, or to show up for a meeting at your office?


Maybe they’re finding job seekers aren’t engaged in moving towards employment at all.


None of this is new in employment services. We could easily choose to sit back and decide that this is just the business and work we signed up for, right? Except, there’s actually a lot service providers and case managers can do to turn this around with more 'in tune' communications.


And it turns out that this doesn't need be hard. It just needs to be human. 


The human touch makes a world of difference


In employment services, we're often focused on improving aspects of our operations, like compliance, efficiency and KPIs. We want to maximise results for our business and job seekers. We want to create a well-oiled service machine.


In the process, we risk losing some of the human touches that make aa difference to job seeker engagement.


In our regular touchpoints with job seekers (like phone calls, SMS communications or emails), we can find our best motives being overtaken by process-oriented communications that are depersonalised or devoid of context.


It can contribute towards job seekers switching off.


Of course, a lot of job seekers are facing significant barriers that no amount of tweaked communication will mitigate. But often, simple things do make a difference, even if it is just hitting the right note so someone picks up the phone.


It turns out we can do this by taking a step back and thinking about people rather than process.


When we move away from an admin and compliance focus towards prioritising relationships and job goals, we can begin to see how we could be making our communications simpler and clearer to improve job search behaviour.


Two examples where this works for you at scale


There are numerous examples of where a bit of common sense injection of more human communications can boost outcomes for employment services providers. For more on how to do these, check out these 6 tips here.


However, here's two examples where there are specific results tied to changes in communications.


1. Increasing job fair attendance by 2.5 times


In one case an employment services provider increased attendance at a job fair by 2.5 times. How? Just by ensuring their communications were more personal, more clear and directed towards an individual job seeker's goals.


Specifically, the more successful communication included:


  • The job seeker's first name;
  • A clear description of the type and number of jobs available in line with the candidate's interests and skills;
  • Clear directions stating in one line exactly where to go and what to do on the day;
  • A social call to action or commitment, saying 'I've booked you a place'.
  • Signed off personally using the name of the case manager.


The communication was also extremely short, helping to guard against overwhelm and enhance clarity.


2. Increasing phone answers by 30+% 


DNAs (or 'Did Not Answer's) are common for case managers contacting job seekers. However, using a number of techniques, it's possible to increase the results your teams are receiving from their phone outreach efforts.


The following have been shown to improve results:


  • Send an SMS first stating the date and time that job seekers can expect a call;
  • Use a first name and personalised messaging in the pre-call SMS message;
  • State the benefits to the job seeker that will result from them answering the phone;
  • Ensure your phone system shows a call is coming from a number in their own state;
  • In conversation, ask job seekers to enter or repeat back the time and date of the next planned call;
  • Reinforce social norms by saying that X% of job seekers normally answer these calls.


Interested in finding out how Esher House can improve jobseeker support with behavioural science? Learn more here.