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The blue-collar job trajectory is increasingly becoming unattractive for the youths. The fact that the pay is lower than white-collar jobs and that physical labor comes with the image to be unpleasant adds to the stigma that surrounds blue-collar jobs.
While unpleasantness lies at one end of the spectrum, on the other end lies a huge demand for blue-collar workers across the globe. The instability in the supply and demand for blue-collar workers has resulted in a high employee filing timeline. According to research conducted by Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute, the number of days it takes to fill an open position in a skilled blue-collar job is somewhere between 70 to 93 days.
There are a number of reasons behind the growing instances of labor force participation decline, which according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is going to decline to 61% by 2026.
A number of blue-collar workers come with inflexible schedules and are only able to work part-time. Employers however are not very accommodating to their timelines.
While there are a number of forums and job boards working for white-collar employees, there is a shortage of blue-collar workers inclined platforms. This means they have to rely on classifieds, word-of-mouth, and agencies to find them potential employers – a service that is generally chargeable and thus non-profitable for them.
Probability of unemployment
Usually, the hour based work mode or blue-collar jobs work around seasonal demand. Even after partnering with employment agencies, there is no guarantee that the workers will be employed around the year.
With industries and firms automating processes and becoming efficient, there is an increasing fear among the workers that they will be replaced by AI. This unvalidated fear is keeping them away from looking at the blue-collar job landscape.
Lack of skill-based training
Countries focus greatly on capitalizing college degrees, while the need of the hour is to focus on the promotion of skills-based training. “Businesses are certainly responding to the labor need,” says Aparna Mathur, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “One way is with paid apprenticeship programs. Employers are reaching out to high schools and community colleges to recruit students for one-to-two-year, on-the-job training programs. These are paid positions and teach workers exactly the skills that the company needs for them to fill vacancies.”
Tony Liu and Billy Lan, the co-founder of JobGet, now a leading job hiring mobile app, came to us looking for a digital solution to solve the many blue-collar job hiring issues prevalent in the industry. They wanted to change the fact that there are a number of platforms enabling white-collar job seekers to apply through a one-click system, however, a blue-collar job seeker had to spend 30 to 40 minutes applying for a job.
We sat with them to get a grasp of his idea, the result he was looking to attain, and set a guideline of his technical requirement. Our team of product researchers worked with him to conduct a product discovery workshop and deliver prototypes, information architecture highlighting the app flow and user journey.
To make the jobseeking process discrimination-free, we used an AI matching technology that would make the job-seeking process locations specific – connecting hourly job-seekers with nearby businesses looking to hire them. The outcome of our efforts was that the job search and approval time which was earlier counted in weeks was brought down to days.
JobGet is a mobile-first job platform for blue-collar job seekers. The application has created a marketplace where the job seekers and employers can message each other in real-time, schedule meetings, and even conduct video interviews. The outcome of their vision to reshape the employment landscape for the hourly employees have been such that they have already placed 150,000+ seekers within 12 months of operation.
On a community level, Jobget has partnered with nonprofit organizations such as Action for Boston Community Development (provides low-income residents with tools to transition from poverty to stability), Bay Cove Human Services (provides services for the homeless), and More Than Words (provides services for homeless youth). Hundreds of candidates from these organizations are using JobGet to take the next step in their career search.
They have also launched hundreds of job training workshops to provide resources and support to help individuals across hundreds of nonprofit organizations such as Pine Street Inn and Saint Francis House (homeless shelters), Women’s Lunch Place (day shelter community), Roca (protecting at-risk youths), and More Than Words (services for homeless youth). The true impact of JobGet on the blue-collar employment landscape has been visible in the time of COVID-19 when they helped over 30,000 job seekers get placed in the retail, hospitality, and healthcare systems.
“During the pandemic, it has been humbling to help so many hospitality and retail workers who were abruptly out of work quickly get rehired as essential workers. We were happy to assist local businesses affected by the pandemic with open access to the platform to list job openings.” says Tony Liu, Co-founder & CEO at JobGet.
The impact that Jobget has been able to create in the blue-collar job search industry, has bagged them key global awards including the Global Grand Prize in MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge and the Gold Award from the MassChallenge. Additionally, they received funding of $2.1 Million in October 2020 to back their national expansion goals.
We are working on the next version update where the app will get a feature aiding jobseekers ti to apply for jobs without having to visit the employers’ profile. We are positive that this event will bring down the job application timeline from several minutes to mere seconds.