Jobcityusa Tries to Fill Diversity Needs

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Hoping to become an online platform for people of color and companies looking to diversify their companies, jobcityusa.com, a diversity-focused recruitment Web site, last week announced a series of 30-minute career Webinars scheduled to launch next month. Jobcityusa, New York, is set to kick off a number of direct e-mail campaigns to its existing registered user base leading up to the series.


The Webinars -- or the "Get A-Head Series" -- are scheduled to cover career-focused topics ranging from how to break into an advertising agency to handling tough questions in a job interview. The Internet seminars are also scheduled to feature live question-and-answer sessions, in which attendees can ask moderators questions via e-mail in real time.


Leading up to the series, jobcityusa plans to launch an e-mail campaign to its more than 10,000 registered users, 97 percent of whom are African-American and Latino. The company aims to collect e-mail addresses and other marketing information during the series from which sponsors of the Webinars could use for future campaigns.


Jobcityusa, which launched in January, also plans to promote the Web site via radio and other media channels. The company is a partnership of three radio stations in the New York metropolitan area -- Hot97, KISS-FM and CD101.9.


The radio stations -- all owned by Emmis Communications, New York -- decided to start a recruitment Web site targeting people of color for a number of reasons, said Deborah Esayain, director of jobcityusa. For one, she said, the tri-state area does not have a big recruitment market. Also, the partnership with the radio stations, which reportedly reach a combined 4 million listeners a week, allows jobcityusa to advertise to its niche market via three channels, she said.


More and more companies, in an effort to diversify their office makeup, are seeking out people of color. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, African-Americans, for instance, are projected to make up 16.5 percent of all new entrants into the U.S. workforce from 1998 to 2008. The Latino labor force, meanwhile, is expected to increase nearly 20 percent in the same time span.


"[Jobcityusa] is trying to create an environment where [people of color] feel comfortable," Esayain said. "We're filling a niche that basically has not existed before."


Jobcityusa, according to a July Web site tracking report, receives about 50,000 unique visitors each month. Upon visiting the site, job seekers can register their e-mail addresses and receive e-mail notifications every time a new job is posted, Esayain said.


"We develop a relationship with them by allowing them to customize what they want to see in the future," she said.


On the other end, jobcityusa reaches out to employers via traditional direct mail, Esayain said. The company recently used a mailing list from the Society for Human Resource Management, an organization for human resources professionals, to tap into more than 200 professionals in the tri-state area, she said. The response rate, according to jobcityusa representatives, was less than 1 percent. The company is in the middle of a nationwide mailing that aims to reach more than 50,000 human resources professionals.


Despite the low response rates, Esayain said jobcityusa has more than 5,000 employers signed on with the Web site. She said the company helps these employers develop customized programs to reach out and connect with the growing market. "Jobcityusa serves as a bridge," she said.


DP Staffing, New York, a staffing agency, has been a client of jobcityusa since its inception. Jobcityusa manages a large portion of DP Staffing's diversity programs, said Allan Ageman, president/CEO of DP Staffing. About 25 percent of DP Staffing's recruits, he said, come in as a result of jobcityusa's marketing initiatives.


"[Jobcityusa] handles a market that should've been addressed years and years ago," Ageman said.
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