In February 2021, Indeed launched a new program called “Essentials to Work,” which is focused on helping struggling job seekers in the U.S. gain access to critical resources, such as technology, transportation, and criminal record-clearing services. This program is in support of Recruit Group’s ESG/Social commitments to help 30M job seekers facing barriers get hired by 2030. We spoke with Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Senior Director of Global Community Impact at Indeed, about the program.
Some Are Struggling At A Much Earlier Stage Than Applying
“I've been really impressed by Indeed’s authentic commitment to make sure to fully support job seekers who are facing barriers by forming partnerships like the longstanding one that Indeed has had with Goodwill®,” said Parisa. “But, what struck me is that when you look more deeply at this process, you quickly realize that there are many people who are struggling well before reaching the Indeed apply button.”
In fact, she realized that many people wanted to take part in the training Indeed provides in partnership with Goodwill®, but they could not join because they did not have a computer or an internet connection. Even if they wanted to come in person, COVID-19 or unreliable transportation were also hurdles to joining the training.
Another barrier to securing employment is that 1 in 3 United States adults have a criminal record, and even a minor infraction, such as a misdemeanor, can be a lifelong obstacle for a job seeker. One study showed that applicants who indicate that they have a criminal record were much less likely to be contacted by the employer. Parisa said, “Although we have made progress on ensuring people have a fair chance at being hired, there is still a long way to go.”
Providing Critical Resources So Everyone Can Access Quality Work
The Essentials to Work program offers the following support to those facing barriers across the U.S.:
To help those without home access to the internet, Indeed is providing computer devices, connecting public housing properties to wifi networks, and deploying mobile hotspots at no cost to 10,000 income-eligible job seekers through its partnership with PCs for People. Job seekers can create Indeed accounts, resumes, and conduct interviews on Indeed platform using the device and the internet connection.
Through the partnership with Lyft’s Jobs Access Program, Indeed is providing access to free Lyft rides for job seekers who need to get to job training programs, interviews or for the first couple of weeks of a new job. Job seekers can also get a free ride to participate in the Essentials to Work program including to pick up a computer device or meet with an attorney for record-clearing assistance.
Indeed is supporting service providers like Texas Fair Defense Project, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and East Bay Community Law Center to provide no-cost legal assistance to clear or seal eligible criminal records across the United States. Checkr provides technology-based solutions to job seekers who need help clearing their records. This support will assist those with criminal records to have a better chance of being considered after applying for a job.
No-cost legal assistance to clear or seal eligible criminal records across the United States
Indeed aims to help more people facing barriers get hired through more support, including setting up email addresses and finding additional job readiness services.
An Indeed Learning Endeavor
“Our vision,” Parisa explained, “is for this investment to be more than the direct services provided, meaning we won’t only be providing devices, rides or legal services. We will be learning from the job seekers, and take those insights to improve our platform in the process, so that we can continue serving job seekers facing barriers. It's about learning so that we can fully understand the needs of job seekers and clients which will make Indeed a more robust and comprehensive platform.”
She hopes that Indeed’s platform becomes an even more useful hub than it already is, as more and more people – job seekers and employers – use Indeed’s hiring platform.
Senior Director of Global Community Impact Indeed
Parisa has been a licensed attorney in the states of Texas and California. Her previous work experience includes being a Staff Attorney for Public Advocates in the San Francisco Bay Area, then working as the Head of Community Impact Strategy for Google Fiber. She was also chosen, by the City of Austin, to be a Management Fellow. Parisa brings to Indeed a successful track record of working with partners and communities to bridge the digital divide and create more job equality and opportunities for underserved communities.
This article was updated on May 22, 2023.