Better Jobs for the Poor – Breaking the “Friends and Family” Job Search Cycle

Better Jobs for the Poor – Breaking the “Friends and Family” Job Search Cycle

If you are poor in Latin America and the Caribbean, please don’t only ask your friends and family for job contacts and ideas!   As we explained in a previous post, job seekers that have poor contacts themselves, typically only find other low-quality, informal jobs when they ask friends and family, a “vicious cycle” that keeps the poor circulating among a range of poor quality jobs.

This stresses how important is to offer the poor more “formal” methods of connecting to jobs if you want to increase their chances of finding a good quality job.  Formal methods most importantly focus on accessing explicit services  –employment or what we call intermediation services– that you can walk into, call, or access online.  The basic form of these services includes a job matching service (matching job seekers with job openings, bolsa de trabajo in Spanish) and job search assistance (e.g. how to dress, how to interview, how to present your capabilities and skills).

What we are learning in the Inter-American Development Bank is that public and private employment services in Latin America and the Caribbean have been innovating in important ways, and more often than not, together.  They are expanding the range and type of services offered –labor market information, training, social assistance, career development, migration – and are working much more closely with employers (see Mazza, 2013, cases of Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, among others.)   Once crusty offices are modernizing to provide computer-based services and labor market information.  We have found they are emerging as “intermediation” services linking often disparate programs for training, social assistance and other services, as such, they are beginning to look different than the versions seen in the developed countries.

The first phase of this evolution is when countries have “reestablished” a public employment service on a more modern basis with new relationships with employers (e.g. Dominican Republic, Honduras). But many countries in the region are now well into a second phase when they are dramatically expanding coverage, efficiency and services (e.g. Mexico, Chile).  We’re now foresee a future phase; what we could define as a third phase of development where labor intermediation connects workers to a “public-private” network of job brokers and to human capital development (education, training and workforce development).

In the next posts, we will talk more about what Latin American and Caribbean services are doing to move through the different phases and the tremendous opportunities it brings to break the “friends and family”cycle.

Photograph by Sanja Gjenero

2 Comments on "Better Jobs for the Poor – Breaking the “Friends and Family” Job Search Cycle"

  1. RAMÓN DIEGO BORJA SANCHEZ | 23 octubre 2013 at 10:00 am | Responder

    Buenos días, desde Cali.

    La verdad es que las oficinas publicas de empleo como en el caso de Colombia que se realiza a treavés del SENA y su sistema nacional para el empleo,ha sido muy brillante su manejo porque entrega mano calificada a corde a las necesidades de la demanda y oferta laboral; desde su centrtos de capacitación vive actualizando la formación laboral; de tal manera que habilita pérfiles acordes a la necesidad del momento; sin embargo existe cierto temor en las comunidades más populares porque muchas veces cuando van a una entrevista los exaustos exámenes para evaluar los perfiles calificados, se ven escasos; esto ha de concientizar a las oficinas de empleo que cualifiquen al recurso humano antes de enviarlo a enfrentarse al mundo laboral; pero la verdad la tarea la vienen desarrollando bien.

    RAMON DIEGO BORJA SANCHEZ
    ASESOSOR Y CONSULTOR CER COLOMBIA

    • Jacqueline Mazza Jacqueline Mazza | 23 octubre 2013 at 5:06 pm | Responder

      Mil gracias Ramon por sus observaciones, muy importantes tomando en cuenta la experiencia que uds. tienen en Colombia. Su último punto tiene dos raíces: una, corresponde a la necesidad de revisar los perfiles de los buscadores de empleo muy de cerca antes de enviarlos a una entrevista de empleo; y la otra es la realidad latinoamericana, en que muchos buscadores de empleo no cumplen con los requisitos básicos para trabajos de mayor calidad. El segundo elemento requiere que prestemos más atención en América Latina y el Caribe al uso de servicios de empleo para intermediar con programas de capacitación y educación para contribuir al aumento de destrezas como estrategia complementaria a la búsqueda de empleo.

      Gracias por su comentario.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*