Developing Social Media Strategies for Employment Assistance Programs

The country’s workforce system is continually in need of effective strategies to connect job seekers to job openings and to facilitate rapid entry into suitable employment. One promising tool is social media. Given its explosive growth as a primary communication method in both the professional and personal realms, social media potentially offers the workforce system a way to enhance the job search process and improve employment outcomes. In particular, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is examining social media strategies to improve Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants’ access to employment services provided at its American Job Centers (AJCs) with support from the Wagner-Peyser and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs.

As part of its State Demonstration Projects in Providing Reemployment Services to UI Claimants (commonly known as the UI Workforce Connectivity Project), DOL provided grants in 2011 to three states to develop and use social media tools for the workforce system. These three-year grants enabled the states to develop new opportunities and modify existing service delivery processes using social media tools as a way to improve employment outcomes for job seekers, including outreach to job seekers, connecting job seekers and employers, and promoting networking among job seekers. To assess the effectiveness of these tools, DOL sponsored an implementation study of the grants.

While using the social media tools appeared to be useful and resulted in time savings and productivity gains for agency staff, job seekers, and employers, thoughtful implementation of these tools should be exercised to account for the unique circumstances and environments the programs operate within.

Full Report: ETAOP-2017-01_Social_Media_Report_Final.pdf