One-Stop System Staff - Contacting Employers
Sometimes One-Stop system staff may contact employers on behalf of job seekers. If so, then One-Stop staff should discuss with the job seeker what they will say to potential employers about the job seeker. Three points are key:
- The One-Stop staff should contact employer's on the job seeker's behalf, only with the job seeker's permission
- The job seeker should be absolutely comfortable with what the One-Stop is going to say on his/her behalf
- Information concerning the job seeker's disability should be discussed with potential employers only with the job seeker's permission.
Here are some guidelines One-Stop staff should consider when representing job seekers with disabilities to employers:
- Emphasize skills, personality & interests: As with any job seeker, the goal is to highlight the "selling points" and talk about the person's skills, interests, and positive attributes.
- Use functional language that promotes solutions: Use terms that employers use such as job applicant, job description, workforce, etc. Avoid human service or disability-related jargon.
- Don't volunteer negative information: Employers don't need help in finding negatives.
- Orient to individual employer: As with any job seeker, the information provided about the applicant should respond to identified needs of the employer.
- Agreed upon by job seeker: The job seeker needs to be involved, informed, and in agreement with the activity. Job development efforts must be based on the job seeker's needs, interests, and desires.
- Contrast the past with present: Explain how any past problems or issues have been addressed. Focus on current activities that demonstrate abilities.
- Respect/confidentiality: When One-Stop staff assist in the job search, they are modeling behavior for the employer. Always be respectful in discussions with and about the job seeker, and as noted above, always respect confidentiality.
- Confidence & commitment: The employer will judge the candidate partly by how well he/she feels the One-Stop staff believes in and respects the job seeker. One-Stop staff set the tone with confidence and commitment.
- Honesty: Honesty is important in developing long-term employer relationships. Nobody can make guarantees. The most able employee has had a job that did not work out. Don't make promises, but if you do, see them through.
- Follow-up: Follow-up with employers is crucial, as that is good customer service!