On Wednesday, colleagues from across the Administration and I met with chief human resource officers and other executives of nearly 30 companies and community partners to hear about their progress since they joined with the President to take on the challenge of long-term unemployment by committing to a set of best practices around hiring and recruiting.
Over the course of this year, real progress has been made in helping the long-term unemployed get back to work. The long-term unemployment rate has declined from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent since the end of last year – reducing the ranks of the long-term unemployed by 900,000. And the companies that participated have been enthusiastic contributors to this promising trend.
But with long-term unemployment still at nearly twice its pre-crisis levels, we have to keep at it until everyone who wants to work gets a fair shot at a job. What was exciting about our discussion was hearing about the best practices companies have developed for more inclusive recruiting and hiring that are proving successful in helping to get the long-term unemployed back to work. And the executives we met with Wednesday are committed to working with the Administration to spread those best practices far and wide.
The topics we covered Wednesday included:
The executives we met with consistently touted these changes as good business practices that helped them find the best talent. A San Francisco-based data analytics company, Evolv, discussed their research showing that even people who had been out of work for four years had similar performance to others hired in front-line roles as measured by metrics like schedule adherence, average time to complete a transaction, customer satisfaction, and performance evaluations.
Some of the larger employers discussed strategies for spreading these practices through their supply chains and how to use their influence in their regions to educate small and medium-sized businesses about the benefits of more inclusive hiring policies. Some committed to doing webinars for other companies on these best practices.
Employers also talked about how they could help the long-term unemployed with their job search – even if they don’t have jobs to offer them within their own companies. Bank of America, which hires tens of thousands of new workers per year receives almost 2 million online applications to join the company, explained how it has created an online portal to provide job-search assistance for applicants it is unable to hire. Bank of America, Sodexo, and other companies are working to promote a jobseeker handbook that Deloitte and Rockefeller created –New Guide, New Destinations– through their own automatic response emails to unsuccessful applicants and their web pages
We were encouraged by the creativity and commitment of the companies and partners who attended. With their help, we will keep fighting to make progress until everyone who is willing to work can get back to work.
Below is a full list of companies that attended the session. More examples of employer progress in recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed can be found here.
Bank of America
Delta Airlines, Inc.
EJ Ajax and Sons
JP Morgan Chase
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Principal Financial Group
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Medicine