Stop, collaborate and Listen!

ViceI promise my music taste is much better than my blog titles suggest- one from McFly and now one from the original white rapper, Vanilla Ice!!  But he is wiser than his step haircut and garish shellsuit suggests!

However, if I ever quote Tinchy Strider and the Chuckle Brothers, you have my permission to stone me.

I don’t want this blog wouldn’t be a rant but a couple of things have happened this week which have confused, frustrated and annoyed me about some of the systems that exist in my sphere of work.  Previously good services or systems have been eroded through funding issues and cut backs that have resulted in them losing sight of their aims or even their entire raison d’etre.  My first frustration (and subsequently the theme to this particular blog) is…

…The Job centre…

The clue is in the title.  It is there to help those people who don’t have a job, get one.  Simple right?  To be a link to employment opportunities, to advise on ways to improve your employability and to be a centre where you can get a job!  Simple really.  The premise makes sense and by and large, thats what it does.

However, over the last few years, it seems to be more of a benefits surveillance service-there to make sure that those people claiming job seekers are actually looking for jobs.  I have had two people either turn down an interview or have to re-arrange the times for an interview, in order to go to the Job Centre to report that they still haven’t got a job……… is it just me, or is that ridiculous??  I know why its come about, but surely common sense should prevail here??  Bureacracy for bureacracy’s sake and creating more work and less time for everyone involved.

Its an example of people being busy getting busy- heads down and working hard to deliver meaningless KPIs which don’t actually feed into the ACTUAL goal- getting people jobs.  Rather than demonstrating how many people you have made apply for roles that are unsuitable, listen to what the jobseeker wants and work with them to achieve that.  And if their aspirations are unrealistic, then you either try and find a way to make it work, or you work on reviewing their aspirations to make them achievable.

Making people apply for roles not only creates more work further down the chain, but it also demotivates the jobseeker and makes them think there is nothing out there for them.

Surely, we can be doing better than this?

In the connected world, it should be easy to work in collaboration, not only with the jobseekers themselves, but with other organisations that can help support their aims.  Is there a remote way to make sure people are legitinate jobseekers, which can then mean that those people at the Job Centre can work in positive and proactive ways to help people get jobs.  They could link up with employers, agencies, training companies rather than work against them by passing the buck to them.  They could research areas that their clients are interested in and signpost them effectively rather than tell them to send their CV to every job possible no matter how irrelevant to their skill set.  They could promote their clients and empower them rather than process them as a number and demotivate them.

The current system is fundamentally broken and we need to fix it from grassroots level and on a local basis.  I’d be keen to know where this is happening well and how we can replicate this.

So whilst O2 are telling us to “be more dog”, I am starting my own viral call to arms…lets “be more Vanilla Ice” and Stop, collaborate and listen!

Vanice