CareerBuilder Liking Results of Its IT Training for Unemployed

Jul 2, 2012
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

CareerBuilder is wrapping up a six-month program — somewhat of a paid internship —  where it helped train 10 unemployed people in technical skills. None are being hired right now at the job board, but several will be hired elsewhere. That’s a sign, CareerBuilder feels, that the program was largely a success and could be duplicated.

Let’s start from the beginning.

About six months ago, CareerBuilder embarked on a very-mini program to do something about the issue of the long-term unemployed (a topic Ron Katz touched on here and in his Meryl Streep post). It chose 10 people, found using both CareerBuilder ads as well as help from government employment offices. About half the workers ended up being from the military. Most had been out of work for a year or more. These folks spent six months at CareerBuilder in Norcross, Georgia, with some of the hours spent at work, and some at local classes, paid for by the company.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources, says CareerBuilder got mainly people without much IT experience, but with some capacity to learn, and an interest in it. Current employees mentored the 10 folks in topics such as database mining, analytics, and business intelligence; Haefner says “an area for the likelihood for jobs created” was the goal.

Anyhow, with the six months having gone by, we have results — albeit from a small sample. A couple people didn’t make it through the program, one of whom went back to school. This, Haefner says, was partly due to their increased IT interest as the program progressed, something she regards as a success story. (“That’s still a win,” she says.)

Several others have job offers. So, roughly 40-50% placed, Haefner says. None will start work at Careerbuilder, but “we look at them as ambassadors to CareerBuilder in the workforce,” she says.

One thing she says CareerBuilder learned was that it picked areas that worked well for mentoring, and hopefully for future career success, but not for having open positions right now at the company. It’s going to debrief about the program for a couple of months and take a fresh look at whether and how it’ll do it again, maybe out of Chicago. Next time, she says, perhaps they should choose different technologies to address, ones more likely to be needed in the short run such as “help desk” sorts of IT work.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.