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Employer Marketing & Job Development

by Gary Shaheen

Available formats:    Word

The job market is …. made up of a wide variety of isolated entities, with a multitude of structures and points of entry. (Currently), employers' needs are flexible and they are growing increasingly accustomed to meeting the demands of a diverse workforce. Employers may have only incomplete information about their labor market, and effective job development involves brokering an exchange process, providing usable information to both job seekers and employers (Hagner & DiLeo, 1993).

In order to increase the chances for long-term employment success, a strategy is called for that incorporates marketing principles, rather than simply selling. The essential elements of such an approach are:

  • Needs: A need can be characterized as an issue, situation or problem which requires a solution. Once a need is identified and accepted as such by the person to whom marketing is directed, then features and benefits can be used to meet it.

  • Features: A feature is what a product or deliverable consists of

  • Benefits: A benefit is what is gained as a result of that feature

Components of an Effective Job Placement Strategy based upon Marketing Principles

Although your materials may need to describe your clienteles’ capabilities and your agency’s capabilities generally, remember that marketing and job development is a one-one proposition and the expected outcome each time is one successful and appropriate job placement-do your homework in advance! 

  • Precede marketing efforts by understanding the Features and Benefits to the employer of each individual you represent.

    • What makes them a desirable employee?

    • What makes this a good job match?

    • What are their educational and/or training qualifications as they apply to the job being sought?

    • What are the person’s core gifts, attributes and characteristics that indicate they can succeed in a work environment-in particular the targeted employer’s work environment

    • What particular employer need will this job candidate meet?

  • Approach job development like a business and define your agency’s  Features and Benefits

    • What characterizes your agency as unique employment agency?

    • What does your agency commit to do in support of the job seeker and the employer?

    • Who is the ‘on call’ contact if there is a problem on the job or if the employer just wants to say ‘all is going well’?

    • What ‘sweeteners’ do you have like tax or wage incentives, training on accommodations or addressing disability in the workplace that you could offer employers?

    • What is the benefit of hiring a worker through your agency instead of generally posting jobs?

    • What do ‘satisfied customers’ say about your services (do you have testimonials from employers that you can quote?)

Checklist for a Job Development/ Employer Marketing Kit 

Your kit will only be as effective as your track record and reputation in placing and supporting people with disabilities in the open labor market. All of the sophisticated materials in the world won’t help to open up the next job placement if the preceding placements were unsuccessful for both applicant and employer.

Your job development and employer marketing kit might contain the following:

  • A brief (no more than 10 minutes) DVD that features mostly employers talking about the value they receive by hiring people with disabilities. Remember that in this video you are trying to make ‘the business case’ so minimize ‘touching stories’ about life experiences of people with disabilities. When they are shown-they should talk about their job and we should see them at work as a member of the staff.

  • Myths and Facts Sheet about hiring people with disabilities. This is a leave-behind document that dispels some of the commonly held misconceptions of people with disabilities working at real jobs. The sheet should also offer that you can provide training on disability and work to their staff or human resource department with your contact info.

  • Accommodating people with Disabilities in the Workplace is another one-pager that lists the types of work accommodations proven to increase productivity and job tenure.

  • A Features and Benefits Sheet that is another one-pager that indicates what your agency will do to support the employer and employee. Should be in an easy to read bulleted format.

  • Testimonials are one page endorsements from satisfied employers on their stationery that express their satisfaction with your job placement services.

  • List of Tax or Employer Incentives that they can receive if they hire a person with a disability with a brief-one line description and website or phone number to call for more information.

  • Your Own Agency Brochure that provides more about how your particular agency supports people with disabilities.

  • Your Card and a commitment to call back by an agreed upon date to answer any questions

  • A Record book that you keep and enter contact dates and outcomes into your employment program database and to share with other job developers.

  • Other Items that the team feels could be valuable in making the case to hire.

Some Final Points to Consider:

The challenge in job development is to surmount issues of competition and turf. Developing a kit is only part of the process. True and sustainable results start to occur when all employment programs in your community meet regularly, share job leads, let each other know who are and are not employer prospects and give employers the strong impression that while they work with individual agencies, each agency is part of a strong and coordinated job development movement that adheres to the same standards of responsiveness, quality and consistency.

Good Luck!