Extended Services: Growing into Labor Intermediation Services

Why do most employment services - public, private or non-profit - move quickly into, or even start out with, more than just the core functions? The simplest explanation is that job placement rarely works as simply as a Match.com single moment - job seeker A with good CV and advice matched with perfect job opening B equals an employment marriage (many find that Match.com doesn’t work that way either!). The extended services can serve either as incentives for creating placement openings where they might not otherwise appear, called “intermediation plus” type extended services in this book, or they provide information or support services that get job seekers in the door. Table 2.1 lists the three types of extended services discussed in this book: intermediation plus, information, and support services.

Particularly in employment-poor developing countries, where employers either through culture, custom, or bad experience will not list a job, where the economy isn’t generating jobs or the applicants don’t have the basic skills for the available jobs (large skill mismatches), offering only the traditional core functions would likely limit the reach of the service. The challenge for developing countries is both institutional and strategic - being highly selective in identifying one or two extended services to start off with. Starting selective is important so as to build institutional capacity and use the extended service to build credibility with the private sector and use the extended service to help improve the performance of the core functions. These extended services may or may not be run by the same institution that does the core job-matching functions, but connecting these efforts is very important in getting labor markets moving in developing countries. How developing countries can use extended services to build core functions and improve overall performance is discussed at length in Chapter 4. Here is a quick explanation of extended services in the three categories used in this book. These services come into play selectively in the later evolution of a public, private or non-profit intermediation service. For a more extensive review of these and more extended services, the reader can fast forward to Stage 2 in Chapter 4. It is worth repeating here that employment services of all origins principally focus on formal, wage and salaried work. It is through extended services that some adaptations can be made to other forms of work, although their comparative advantage does lie in supporting formal employment.

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