2. Use technology. You can go to www.freeconference.com and set up a conference call with a small group of your job seekers at no cost. Schedule regular conference calls on the same day and same time for the best results. People don’t have to travel to see you and you can work with more than one person at a time. This can save people money on childcare, gas and bus fares. People in very remote areas often do all of their counseling by phone either one-on-one or in conference calls and I have seen it produce excellent results. Telephone counseling is a skill to be learned and I offer consulting on how to do it so you get the most out of the session. Telephone group sessions are a great way to save time and reach more of your job seekers. Also consider setting up a Facebook page or LinkedIn group for the people you work with if your job seekers are computer savvy.
3. Ask job seekers to do more of the work. Did you ever finish a counseling session only to discover that your to do list is longer than the one of the person you were counseling? While this might be appropriate in some situations, too often it’s the result of us over doing and the job seeker under performing. Make sure you are not doing tasks the job seekers can do for themselves. We want them to be self-sufficient and not dependent on us for help. It is important they take as much ownership as possible for their progress. I have seen many job seekers rise to the occasion when staff did not rescue them from a task. Working with job seekers should be a team effort. Make sure they contribute to the team as much as possible for their situation.
Do you have a strategy for better ways to serve more job seekers? Please send it to me using the contact section of the website and I’ll share it with other folks in our next issue.