How Companies Can Partner With Schools & Communities To Reach Overlooked Talent


Most companies and organizations today looking to develop their workforce typically look to hiring platforms and traditional methods of attracting applicants (postings, job fairs, referral systems, etc.). However, the shifting job market with a shortage of workers and more employers makes these methods less effective, both in quality and quantity. Many employers are especially struggling to source talent for entry level positions and front line workers  positions from traditional methods, which requires hiring managers to think of new ways to recruit potential candidates.


Companies, especially those within labor-intensive industries like hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, etc., must develop partnerships with local communities, schools, organizations, and governments to help reach diverse talent in underserved communities to attract consistent overlooked job candidates and improve employee retention. 

Develop Consistent Applicant Channels


Many people from low-skilled jobs and underserved communities lack access to employment opportunities with the potential for career advancement, especially in higher-wage industries like health care or manufacturing. Therefore, employment partnerships are crucial to improving the economic outcomes for both low-skilled workers and businesses. Because these partnerships often leverage government and school hiring programs, this also helps develop consistency in applications and exposure, furthering your workforce development.


RiseKit, a technology company that helps connect employers with quality applicants from underserved communities by partnering with government organizations like the City of Chicago,  non-profits like the Chicago Urban League, schools, and Easterseals, finds that 50% of their applicants aren’t found on LinkedIn or Indeed, reaching a new talent pool with partnershipsthat traditional hiring methods wouldn’t have reached.

Build Diversity Hiring Programs & Make A Local Impact


Local governments and schools often introduce initiatives and programs that reach underserved communities and people that identify as people of color, veterans, or immigrants. For example, RiseKit and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) announced the launch of a two-year workforce pilot initiative for residents experiencing homelessness, residents who are unstably housed, residents with limited English proficiency, returning citizens, and other vulnerable job seekers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has allowed RiseKit to directly match applicants to employers who are actively recruiting candidates with their backgrounds. 


In a day and age where more brands are looking to take a stand, building local employment partnerships also helps diversify your application channels and aligns your company with the local community, building your brand, increasing retention, and furthering overall positive exposure.

How To Launch A Employment Partnership


Launching a new employment partnership requires collaboration from multiple departments, including human recourses, management, and marketing, to ensure that every partnership’s potential is maximized. Successful partnership building starts with identifying your ideal job candidate and the skill sets that are required for each opening. From there, identify nonprofits and government agencies that provide specialized employment services through job development and placement programs and determine if their potential candidates are a match for you and vice versa. To consistently develop new and maintain collaborations requires companies to expand existing HR departments and build regular outreach programs.


An alternative to building an in-house program is to partner with a company like RiseKit. RiseKit works with employers that can’t find diverse and overlooked talent, struggle with retention, lack consistency, or simply don’t see the ROI in building their own employment partnership program. RiseKit already has established excellent relationships with local government agencies like the City of Chicago, nonprofits like Easterseals, and countless community development organizations to find and source overlooked talent. With the help of our platform, applicants can match with your company’s openings, and access additional coaching, and training to prepare them for your role, all while delivering applications directly into your applicant tracking system (ATS). 


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