Different countries share same workforce challenges

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) hosted a joint event with the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The conference took place February 20-22, 2013, and combined NASWA’s Winter Policy Forum with the WAPES Conference on Long-term Unemployment. It had been 14 years since the last joint event and united workforce professionals from all over the world.

NASWA President Laurie Warner

NASWA President Laurie Warner welcoming attendees in plenary session.

DirectEmployers had the privilege of co-sponsoring and participating in two workshops. New Job Seeker Online Behavior and New Internet Tools: Transforming the Public Labor Exchange was moderated by past DirectEmployers president Ray Schreyer of IBM and included panelists Heather Hoffman, VP, Digital Strategy, DirectEmployers; Rhonda Stickley, System Director, Providence Health and Services; and Scott Eychner, Manager, Workforce and Unemployment Insurance Program Policy, Texas Workforce Commission.

The methods and modes of communication have changed explained Ray, and the future will integrate all pieces including Internet, mobile, data integration and the .JOBS top-level domain (TLD).

Heather dove deeper into the TLD and explained .JOBS is:

  • A trusted domain
  • Sponsored by SHRM
  • A pure domain (true to it’s name)
  • Allows only vetted jobs from true employers
  • Free of duplicates & scams

In addition, she showed how companies could increase the visibility of their jobs through search engine optimization (SEO). When SEO is done correctly, a company’s website pages are more discoverable by online search engines such as Google. Using the .JOBS TLD has helped many company improve their search engine results page rankings.

Rhonda shared specific examples of how Providence Health and Services has used the .JOBS platform to rank high on search engine results pages for searches their prospective candidates conduct online. For example, when searching for Washington Nursing Jobs, Providence is listed within the top five results!

Rhonda of Providence Health and Services discusses owning branded searches.

Scott finished the workshop explaining how the .JOBS platform is a win for the workforce because of the minimal effort and cost, as well as leveling the playing field. The WorkinTexas.jobs site has experienced a significant increase in traffic since moving to .JOBS.

Some statistics of note from the workshop were as follows:

  • 94% of US jobs seekers look on the Internet
  • 86% of that 94% look on the company’s website, 71% use a search engine
  • Mobile Internet usage will overtake desktop Internet usage within two years
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results (on an online search engine)

The second workshop was titled Social Media Revolution: How Employers Use These Tools and Implications for Public Employment Services. Moderated by Richard D. Maher, Senior Consultant, NASWA, Information Technology Support Center (ITSC), and President, Maher & Maher, this panel included Katie Harbath, Manager for Policy, Facebook; Alex Brown, Social Media and Employment Branding Specialist, Waste Management, Inc.; and Sejal Patel, Social Media Strategist, Enterprise Talent Organization, Intel.

Panelist from Facebook, Intel and Waste Management discuss the social media revolution

Social Media Revolution workshop kicking-off.

Katie shared research from a survey facilitated by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) on behalf of the Social Jobs Partnership on how recruiters view using Facebook as a recruiting tool:

  • 50% of respondents are using Facebook in their hiring process
  • Nearly 90% of companies state Facebook has decreased the amount of print advertising needed with regard to recruiting efforts
  • 87% of recruiters suggest that candidates should “Like” a desired company’s page, followed by using Facebook as a networking tool

(To learn more about the Social Jobs Partnership, visit facebook.com/socialjobs.) She also suggested checking out facebook.com/business for information on how your organization can use Facebook.

Alex focused more on the strategy development and emphasized knowing your audience, tools, the big picture, process and goals. With your audience for example, identify who they are, how they communicate and where the conversation is happening. A couple of my favorite takeaways from his segment:

  • Nearly 20% of website traffic is from mobile devices: this cannot be ignored and mobile optimization should be considered at every step of your recruitment marketing journey
  • Social media is not a substitute – instead think of it as a supplement which enhances traditional recruitment processes

Sejal helped attendees better understand how Intel educates employees on using social media by providing several resources including a video, Social Media @ Intel: The Opportunity and Our Responsibility. She illustrated how the company connects the employer brand with the corporate brand from a national and global perspective. Her key takeaways:

  • Build into the roles and responsibilities
  • Tailor to your audience and network
  • Try, adjust and learn

An in-depth conversation followed, primarily centered around attendees trying to understand how to harness the platforms more effectively while working with limited resources.

One theme seemed clear throughout all of the presentations – we’re all learning and eager to improve and innovate solutions for serious challenges within the current and future workforce. With joint initiatives through organizations like NASWA and WAPES, we can continue to work together to share ideas, lessons learned and cultivate new approaches that will make a difference.

Sejal Patel of Intel and Alex Brown of Waste Management.

A huge thank-you to our Members Sejal, Alex, Katie, Rhonda and Ray for participating and representing DirectEmployers. These workshops would not have been possible without your support. Links to all presentations can be viewed from NASWA’s website.

If you found the topics covered in this post interesting, consider attending DirectEmployers 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference, October 21-24 in San Diego. Learn more.

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