Lehigh Acres Resident Helped By
Fifth Third Bank’s Reemployment Program
Barb Rose was unemployed for six months and so behind on her payments to Fifth Third Bank that every day was a struggle to get out and try to find work. The challenge was that much greater since at 63, Rose was at the older end of the job market.
Laid off from her secretarial job in 2012, the South Florida woman hadn’t had much success landing the position she needed to pay down her debt until she learned of Fifth Third Bank’s Reemployment program. Three months later, she accepted a job at the Lehigh Acres branch of Coldwell Banker, a position which combined both her real estate background and secretarial skills.
Rose attributes the help she got from the NextJob coach that was made available to her through Fifth Third with giving her the leg up she needed in her job search, particularly in revamping her resume.
“It made a world of difference — when I saw my resume even I was impressed,” said Rose with a laugh.
The program offers assistance through one-on-one coaching, online training and weekly webinars. On average, of participants out of work for 22 months or longer about 40 percent had found jobs through the Reemployment program within six months.
While a job reemployment program might seem a little out of the purview of a banking institution, Fifth Third — with 11 branches in the Jacksonville area — does call itself ‘the curious bank.’
Said Jon Wyville, executive vice president and executive creative director of Leo Burnett, the agency that helped create the campaign for the regional bank, “Most advertisers promote themselves. Fifth Third is actually promoting its own customers to help them — and others — get jobs. The curious bank is more than just a tagline. it’s how this bank behaves.”
Of course, there’s also benefits to the bank, which has been able to cut down on some foreclosures since it began offering the program in 2012, at that time just for customers who were behind on mortgage payments.
“A lot of people have kept their home because of this program,” said Brian Evans, Jacksonville city president for Fifth Third.
After seeing some good results in its partnership with NextJob, an Oregon-based national job placement firm, Fifth Third Bank expanded its Reemployment program to all its online banking customers in 2013. Now, to launch the program out to the general public, Fifth Third has created a social media campaign that showcases three actual job seekers.
“It helps get the profiles of these candidates out there and also creates awareness around the campaign,” Evans said.
While anyone can visit the website (www.53.com/reemploy ) to download a free “Job Seeker’s Toolkit,” the bank is also sponsoring a challenge: For every 53 retweets of the three candidates profiled, Fifth Third will fund a job search coaching package like the one Rose received for another unemployed person to take advantage of.
Some of the key points job coaches at NextJob work with applicants on, according to Christine Stiller, director of coaching:
“We have them focus on the things they’ve already tried and see what’s working and what’s not working and to fill in some of those gaps,” Stiller said.
You have to go beyond traditional searches such as online postings and classified ads to tap into the “hidden job market,” Stiller said. “Most jobs are not advertised, and even when they are having that networking contact gets you pushed to the top of the pile.”
“When you’ve been out of work for a while, it can be demoralizing — you can lose a lot of confidence, so we have them remember the things they enjoyed most about their [previous] job and the things they’re most proud of, which is also good practice for interviewing,” Stiller added.