skip to main content

Title: Examining the Use of Online Platforms for Employment: A Survey of U.S. Job Seekers
Online employment resources are now as important as offline personal and professional networks, which have been pivotal in finding employment. However, it is unclear, which specific online resources are key to employment and how job seekers take advantage of them. Therefore, in an online survey of 768 job seekers, we investigated which online platforms, specific job search phases, behaviors, and job search strategies job seekers used in their job search, and which of these were associated with positive outcomes. We examined whether these results correlated with demographic factors and found differences in online platform use among income, gender, years of education, and race. Our results suggest that higher-income job seekers were more likely to use different strategies and more likely to get callbacks than lower-income job seekers. We raise new questions around demographics and technology and discuss the need for practitioners to design for a wider variety of job seekers.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing System
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 23
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Technology integration in the workplace context has led to substantial growth in high- versus low-skilled jobs, and thus, further disparities between workers and those who were already unemployed. Technology use is also being used more frequently in the job search process, which could further lead to disparities, especially for job seekers experiencing marginalization. Thus, we conducted a controlled longitudinal field deployment of two employment-based tools—RevueCV and InterviewApp—among 46 Switzerland-based unemployed job seekers. Using the theory of planned behavior (TPB), we sought to understand how the tools affected job search self-efficacy, subjective norms and job search attitudes—the three factors that influence a job seekers’ job search intention. Although participants appreciated the support the two tools provided, and the inherent study benefits, our interview and survey results showed no substantial changes in their TPB values, primarily because the tools provided overlapping services with the local job placement offices. However, results of our interviews found autonomy, or the lack thereof, to be a key factor contributing to job seeker dissatisfaction. We introduce the concept of self-regulation to the TPB as an explanatory construct and contribute design and theoretical implications to support autonomy among job seekers with less control of their job search. 
    more » « less
  2. Rapid changes in technology are expected to limit the availability of decent work for millions of people worldwide. This particularly disadvantages socially and economically marginalized job seekers who are already being pushed into lower-wage precarious work with increasing levels of job insecurity. While the number of employment support tools that match job seekers to employers has been growing, marginalized job seekers still significantly rely on physical employment centers that have a track record of supporting the specific needs associated with marginalization and economic constraints. We drew from prior HCI and CSCW literature uncovering the employment and technology-related challenges that marginalized job seekers face and from the Psychology of Working Theory to frame our research questions and results. To complement this prior work, we investigated how employment center staff work with marginalized job seekers and moderate factors to securing decent work. We found in an interview of 21 employment center staff--career advisors and business services coordinators--that they performed significant work to prepare and encourage marginalized job seekers in applying to positions, while also training employers to be more inclusive and open-minded. Career advisors worked directly with job seekers to connect them with external resources, provide encouragement, strategize long-term goals, and mitigate feelings of stigma. Business services coordinators worked directly with employers to prepare job positions and employee support programs. Drawing from the expertise of employment centers, we contribute a framework for designing employment support tools that better serve the needs of marginalized job seekers, and outline tangible design implications that complement the support these organizations provide. 
    more » « less
  3. Technology allows us to scale the number of jobs we search for and apply to, train for work, and earn money online. However, these technologies do not benefit all job seekers equally and must be designed to better support the needs of underserved job seekers. Research suggests that underserved job seekers prefer employment technologies that can support them in articulating their skills and experiences and in identifying pathways to achieve their career goals. Therefore, we present the design, implementation, and evaluation of DreamGigs, a tool that identifes the skills job seekers need to reach their dream jobs and presents volunteer and employment opportunities for them to acquire those skills. Our evaluation results show that DreamGigs aids in the process of personal empowerment. We contribute design implications for mitigating aspects of powerlessness that low-resource job seekers experience and discuss ways to promote action-taking in these job seekers. 
    more » « less
  4. Online professional networking platforms are widely used and may help workers to search for and obtain jobs. We run the first randomized evaluation of training work seekers to join and use one of the largest platforms, LinkedIn. Training increases the end-of-program employment rate by 10 percent (7 percentage points), and this effect persists for at least 12 months. The available employment, platform use, and job search data suggest that employment effects are explained by work seekers using the platform to acquire information about prospective employers and perhaps by work seekers accessing referrals and conveying information to prospective employers on the platform. (JEL J22, J23, J24, J64, M53, O15) 
    more » « less
  5. BACKGROUND: The traditional job interview process can pose numerous barriers which may disadvantage job seekers on the autism spectrum. Further research is needed to understand the specific dynamics of the interview process that pose the most significant challenges to hiring success and possible ways to remediate these challenges. OBJECTIVE: This qualitative research examined the barriers to, and facilitators of, successful employment interviews from the perspectives of three stakeholder groups: people on the autism spectrum, employers, and service providers. METHODS: We used qualitative content analysis to derive themes from interviews with 23 participants, including individuals on the autism spectrum with job interview experience, employers with experience in interviewing job candidates on the autism spectrum, and service providers who provide employment support to people on the autism spectrum. RESULTS: Five themes emerged across stakeholder groups: (1) navigating unpredictability, (2) introducing flexibility and modifications, (3) relationship-building strategies, (4) importance of self-awareness and self-advocacy, and (5) nuances of Self-disclosure. Across the themes, participants described how to modify the interview process to be more inclusive of neurodiversity. CONCLUSION: We conclude with how rehabilitation service providers can more effectively provide direct services to individuals on the autism spectrum and consult with employers on workplace policies and practices to enhance neurodiversity inclusion. 
    more » « less