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Digitised services for job seekers

The challenge

 

Government agencies are undergoing digital transformation to expand and improve our online service delivery. This transformation brings opportunities to meet growing customer expectations for faster and more personalised service delivery. There are opportunities to more easily connect with more customers. But there is also the risk of perpetuating existing gaps in service delivery, or leaving new groups behind—for example, people with poor internet access, low digital or English literacy or other accessibility barriers such as a disability.

 

To what extent could we design digital services to meet the needs of customers with complex needs?

 

We are interested in information about:

  • current experience of customers receiving digital services in government portfolios or other industries
  • what digital sites people with complex needs are already using with ease
  • national and international case studies on how to make digital services accessible and how to create a good customer experience for disadvantaged people
  • flexible digital services that scale and adjust according to end user needs
  • what other initiatives have worked for better connecting people to digital services (e.g. peer to peer learning).

 

Information we gain through this Challenge will be used to inform discussions about improving programs and services delivered by the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business. The Department is responsible for national policies and programs that help Australians find and keep employment and work in safe, fair and productive workplaces.

 

Challenge Opened: 03:00 PM, Thursday 08 March 2018
Challenge Closes: 05:00 PM, Friday 06 April 2018
Time to go: Closed

 

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The context

Challenge Opened: 03:00 PM, Thursday 08 March 2018
Challenge Closes: 05:00 PM, Friday 06 April 2018
Time to go: Closed

Do you want to contribute to this challenge?

Challenge Activity

Challenge Activity

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Rory Ford is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Rory Ford commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

There may be benefits in drawing from lessons in enabling digital learning for employment and entrepreneurship. Particularly around creating an engaging experience and different ways to connect people to digital services. 

This report includes cases studies of different initiatives to promote digital adoption developing countries by non-profits:

https://www.accenture.com/t20170206T201908Z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-42/Accenture-Digital-Adoption-Report.pdf

This report looks at how to design and scale digital and blended learning programs to improve employment and entrepreneurship outcomes:

https://www.accenture.com/t20160119T105855__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-5/Accenture-Digital-Learning-Report-and-How-To-Guide_Full.pdf 

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Peter Grimbeek commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

More generally, Jacob Nielsen many years ago set up criteria for usability in relation to websites and other human-machine interfaces, and applied it to the early Apple OS interface (to best of my recollection). His site is still of interest to those that aim for optimal user experiences (https://www.nngroup.com/).

I note that the challenge listed five points. The first of these was the current experience of customers receiving digital services. Previous comments suggest that these experiences are not entirely joyful. It is not surprising that some of the blackest joke lines involve attempts to access services digitally. It seems only fair that public services previously characterised as Kafkaesque should continue to maintain this reputation online.

The second was to enquire about digital sites that people with complex needs already use with ease. Facebook comes instantly to mind. It offers relative ease of use and a range of options. Certainly there are traps for the unwary, but not enough to deter users from entering in and creating pages that replace websites in many cases.

In terms of national and international studies on how to make digital services accessible, I would refer you to Jacob Nielsen (mentioned above).

A sub-clause asks about creating good customer experiences for disadvantaged people. This is a far harder question. I wonder if the disadvantaged don't in fact require face-to-face (3-D) interactions. Perhaps Centrelink and other agencies could (and perhaps already do) aim to provide a digital interface for those who can cope, while retaining physical facades for those that cannot.

The question about flexible digital services that scale and adjust according to user needs is another one of those impossible asks. A range of organisations have tried and failed to achieve this aim. The recent Census is possibly an example of how hard it can be to anticipate and scale to accommodate peaks in demand. ObamaCare's digital interface also crashed initially, and required specialist expertise to save the day. I wonder then if digital agencies don't have to be prepared to pay the price (external verifiable expertise) as opposed to relying on IBM or the in-house crew to save the day.

The final question concerns initiatives for better connecting people to digital services (e.g., peer-to-peer learning). In this regard, one option would be to enquire from universities how interfaces such as BlackBoard (commonly used for staff-student communications about courses, etc) have fared in terms of fostering peer-to-peer learning, etc.

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Peter Grimbeek is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Guy Collishaw is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Hans Tilstra commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

One potential way of helping protect the individual yet help target services, is to consider what Apple have coined as 'Differential Privacy technology. "Starting with iOS 10, Apple is using Differential Privacy technology to help discover the usage patterns of a large number of users without compromising individual privacy. To obscure an individual’s identity, Differential Privacy adds mathematical noise to a small sample of the individual’s usage pattern. As more people share the same pattern, general patterns begin to emerge, which can inform and enhance the user experience."

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Lindley Edwards is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Lindley Edwards commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

The most important thing is human centred design. Whilst this article references schools in the US it discusses what is needed to design around humans. it https://ssir.org/articles/entry/human_centered_systems_minded_design?utm_source=Enews&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=SSIR_Now&utm_content=Title

In addition it is not just about creating algorithms that match employers and job seekers, but important to give people pathways to make themselves more employable and link to appropriate micro credentialing education offerings that improve job opportunities and employability. 

Care and consideration should be shown to those people unable to access online digitized services who may not have computer or digital devices or broadband access, due to remoteness, family circumstances or skills or financial constraints.

So my bottom line is design is everything.  Also there are things in that will be in the Government remit and things that are not. That is where partnerships and alliances will come in. I believe you need a systems integrated solution not just a sliver of services approach.

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Elissa Doxey is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Elissa Doxey commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

Having recently used Medicare online (via MyGov) and the Medicare Express Plus App, I'd suggest there's still not enough cross-over of data that people expect should be shared by both platforms (i.e. being able to check on claim process).

For accessibility, it's not enough to have a responsive app - it also needs to have the option to get assistance from within the app - whether through a chatbot, or an option to call the appropriate area (rather than just referring the user to a generic contact page for the whole department).

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Gaith Bader commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

The digital landscape and Internet use has vastly changed in the last 10-15 years with major inroads in relation of shifting the thinking on the Internet from a play thing to a utility that is becoming a human right. In fact broadband in some countries, such as Finland, broadband has been legislated as a legal right to its citizens since 2010 (http://www.bbc.com/news/10461048) .

Now that the Internet is an essential mode of communication that all citizens need to use, accessibility’s importance becomes an order of magnitude more relevant. Which is why accessibility standards have come a long way since the early days of the Internet, which resembled the wild west!

The latest version of Accessibility standards The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) v2 with its three levels of compliance has reached maturity with less emphasis on ticking boxes of compliance and more on actual usability.

 

To get an equal for all digital presence the line of thinking needs to shift from compliance to usability; sites need to be built from the ground up with both accessibility and usability in mind. User Experience (UX) need to be the centre of web service design with actual evidence based methodology employed at every stage of development cycle.

 

What does all this mean in practice?

  • Employ UX experts
  • Have professional writing for the web guidelines
  • Utilise accessibility standards from the beginning and test every solution with available tools. Australia has one of the best companies to help and support others to comply with accessibility standards AccessibilityOz which makes compliance with accessibility much more manageable for small and large organisations.
  • Local and federal governments need to cater for people that are at a disadvantage with technology for one reason or another, this happens by extending support models in practical locations that all citizens are able to reach, such as at local public libraries with trained staff that are available to help people to perform online tasks related to government services if they are not able to do so themselves. This would be in addition to standard support numbers provided for regular issues with using the service during working hours.

 

If you go for example to a government website like Centrelink, putting aside what the government of the day wants the purpose of the website to be, trying to figure out how to do any procedure or process on the website require a very high degree of inside knowledge of Centrelink speak, laws, search process and understanding. A higher degree university graduate would not find the website easy to understand or navigate. This breaks all UX design and writing for the web principles. It is a good case study of what not to do for a digital transformation of a government service. Looking at that website makes it clear that most of the decisions were made by managers and not designers with no user testing of any kind.

 

So to me for a successful digital transformation of services we need to have most if not all of the below elements:

  • User Experience (UX) design principles used
  • Writing for the web methodologies followed
  • Usability testing performed
  • Evidence based solutions deployed
  • Accessibility standards with minimum WSAG 2 AA compliance baked into the design and continually tested throughout the live of the web service
  • Made available an extensive and searchable FAQ to answer general questions about the government service being used
  • Phone help support made available during working hours and answered and resolved in a reasonable period (within a maximum of 10 minutes for general inquiries from the time of phone calls initiated)
  • Make physical help available at a reasonable close locations to all users, such as libraries with staff trained to how to help people who, for one reason or another, are disadvantaged by using technology.
  • Make language support services available for users with language barriers
  • Regular external audit of compliance with all of the above as standard with appropriate powers to compel compliance when it is found to be lacking with fines and possible job losses for persistent non-compliance.
  • Dedicated location with appropriate funding for complaints with expedient resolutions matrix.
  • An overhaul of legislations at all levels of government to make the above a reality.
  • A look at having a bill of rights that spells out what is considered a minimum rights of all citizens which would enable to shape all above mentioned legislations and compel action to make it all happen.
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Tricia Braiding is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Hans Tilstra commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

One more point about privacy,  - increasingly people trade off privacy for 'free' services online (eg. Facebook, LinkedIn), and people with complex are particularly vulnerable in terms of developing potentially stigmatising digital footprints.  The article below sheds light on this trend where we think we're customers but become a product instead. In Australia's VET we have seen too many instances where people in positions of power considered it helpful to share data with RTOs. This was rationalised as 'user choice', but turned into a cynical selling exercise of online Diplomas.

Nitasha Tiku (9 Nov 2017) Al Franken just gave the speech big tech has been dreading
www.wired.com/story/al-franken-just-gave-the-speech-big-tech-has-been-dreading/amp

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Hans Tilstra commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

As long as data provided by clients is not disclosed to RTOs etc., they could be provided with customised maps of related services. To illustrate this idea, consider MIT's approach to visually representing related data sets - eg https://mapping.mit.edu/ . 

Technically, this means that services are represented nodes in a network of services that are most relevant to their needs and geographically near. Clients are then offered a map showing who can help, and who may need to collaborate or share information.  

To quote MIT's Karen Willcox (with some poetic licence), "navigating the service provision landscape shares many parallels to navigating the physical world: clients are often trying to get somewhere (e.g., a job, a certification, or a set of marketable skills), they may want to know what skills are “nearby,” and they may want to know what kind of roadblocks they may encounter along the way."

Mapping Unbundled Open Education Resources: Pathways Through the Chaos
November 2, 2016
Open Education 2016
Karen Willcox, Luwen Huang
https://www.futuoer.org/mapping-unbundled-open-education-resources-pathways-through-the-chaos/

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Casey Mills is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Martin Deering is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Ed Bernacki is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Ed Bernacki commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

When I was a 'job seeker' in Australia, the last thing I wanted was to see another website full of promises and no ability to provide insight, advice or support. Perhaps some consideration of the idea that digital alone is not enough.  We can design in a bilingual fashion....that is, digital and analogue. 

Talking about the user experience of some website after being rejected for another job or worse, never hearing back from senior roles. 

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Stephen Grey is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Stephen Grey commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

Watching my son, a recent IT graduate, search for jobs gives me some insights I think. Two, quite separate, points come to mind immediately.

 

1.

Many job seekers will have interactions with Centrelink as they go. Fragmentation of job seeker services between Centrelink and the placement agencies has not bee bridged by the associated IT systems. In my son's case, lax behaviour by the placement agency person whom he had been instructed to speak to by Centrelink led to my son being registered on Centrelink as having failed to complete reporting obligations when in fact he had reported as required but the placement agency had failed to register the information he provided. Centrelink say there is no way in the system to set the record straight. All they could do was place a note on the file.

Linear inflexible systems predicated on perfect data entry will lead to incorrect records in the system and possibly put job seekers at a disadvantage in future interactions with this and other government services.

2.

The diversity of employment opportunities and the richness of an individual's characteristics will never be captured in any data schema, questionnaire or matching algorithm. Online dating systems are reported to do fairly well at matchmaking so there might be scope to meet a proportion of the community's needs but a good system will leave room for human exploration and evaluation of options. 

Job descriptions that allow employers to include as much descriptive material as they wish and search facilities that allow job seekers to browse around material that might not be an obvious match at first sight are required to avoid driving people into poor choices or being unable to find anything. Armed forces recruitment adverts are in this vein. They don't offer a job description, they paint a picture of a lifestyle.

Some job seekers might not know what is on offer or what they might be able to do. Providing a means for them to offer summaries of what they feel they enjoy or other loosely structured inputs might allow employers to identify potential candidates who would otherwise not make a connection.

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Rosie Odsey is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Dario Bongiovanni is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Dario Bongiovanni commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

I believe there are various key elements that can be improved today to facilitate connecting companies with job seekers with complex needs:

a) Automatic skills matching of job seekers vs. requested by employers (this can include TAFE certificates, diplomas, tests, and on-the-job skills validated by former employers)

b) Simplified application for jobs (ie: eliminating barriers such as attachments CVs or a cover letter)

LinkedIn has achieved some level of success in those fields and could be used as an example, but I believe that much more can be done in that field and there is the need of an independent auditing process to maintain trust and validity with those systems.

 

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Gaith Bader is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Gaith Bader is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Hans Tilstra commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

I don't think "the user is in control".

I can think of several 'users' of the data, combined with a steadily eroding sense of data control. To illustrate this second concern, see the link to this 2015 study as in indication of the growing power of analysis with back-propagating algorithms: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/4/103

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Steven Clark is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Michelle DALE commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

which probably leads to an approach which clearly defines which clients will be expected/encouraged to use the digital channels, and retains the human pathways for those who need it (who also need to be clearly defined).

 

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Michelle DALE is now contributing to this challenge Digitised services for job seekers

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Michelle DALE commented on the challenge Digitised services for job seekers

Recent evidence is that, for disadvantaged groups facing multiple challenges/barriers to employment, warm referrals (ie human to human) produce the best outcomes.  

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Challenge Progress

  • Impact Reported

Impact Phase

  • Online discussion, editing & synthesis
  • Panel Selected

Consultation Phase

  • Solution drafted
  • Crowd gathered
  • Context Published
  • Challenge published

Framing & Gathering Phase

Hiver

Lindley Edwards Group CEO
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Peter Grimbeek Statistics & Methods Counsellor
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John Cokley CEO
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Liz Reece Entrepreneur training and efficient system creation in third world. Just returned from the Solomon Islands
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Steven Clark Lecturer
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Dario Bongiovanni Account Manager
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Bill Wyatte Integrated Criminal Justice Governance and Program Manager
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Ed Bernacki Innovationalist
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Gordon Dunbar
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Hans Tilstra Senior Coordinator, Learning and Teaching
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Anna Wodrow Senior Recruitment Consultant
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Ingrid PENBERTHY Assistant Director
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Michelle DALE Assistant Director
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Nerida Lithgow Manager, Major Projects (Teaching & Learning)
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Tricia Braiding Departmental Officer
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Gaith Bader Manager Online Services
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Gaith Bader Manager Online Services
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Stephen Grey Associate Director
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Guy Collishaw Transport For NSW
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Jonathan Nalder Founder and Director
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Elissa Doxey Strategy & Management Consultant
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Timothy Flor Policy Analyst
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Timothy Flor Policy Analyst
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Kevin Cox
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Martin Deering Executive Officer
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Casey Mills Director, Innovation and Women's Workforce Participation
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Rosie Odsey
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Rory Ford Client Success Lead @ The Garden, Accenture
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