COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal
The COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring portal was an online jobs board that connected short-staffed employers in select industries with workers who had lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. To ensure high-quality listings, each post was vetted to ensure employers were permitted to operate during pandemic-related closures and what safety measures they were taking to protect workers.
In March of 2020, hundreds of thousands of New Jersey workers suddenly found themselves without jobs as the pandemic ground the economy to a halt. Meanwhile, the businesses that remained open were left desperately short of employees as many residents were forced to stay home to care for children or loved ones amid school closures. The rapid policy developments and pandemic-related closures left many uncertain about where they could find reliable work and hesitant to use existing job listing sites - this created a tremendous imbalance in the labor market.
Innovation In Action
To help struggling New Jerseyans and businesses, the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) collaborated with the Office of Innovation to build a portal that relied on people’s trust in the government to connect them to vetted jobs. Within five days, OOI had built and launched the jobs portal. The team deliberately kept the site’s design simple both for ease of use and rapid development. Initially, the site was a list of employers with job openings, and for ease of access, neither job seekers nor employers needed to create accounts. Using an iterative approach, additional features were gradually added. But the priority was on releasing a usable product to immediately begin helping New Jersey’s workers.
Impact + Metrics
- When the portal launched, 8,000 jobs were posted. Another 4,000 were added by the second day. Eventually, 57,000 jobs appeared on the site from more than 1,200 employers.
- In its first week, the portal was used by more than 150,000 people. Throughout its lifespan, the Jobs Portal attracted more than 960,000 users.
- The COVID-19 Jobs Portal served as a model for the nation with several states re-using the design and structure of New Jersey’s site; one state even used the source code.
- The COVID-19 Jobs Portal is no longer in use as the pandemic has evolved and the State’s economy re-opened.
Resources and Additional Information
- NJ Economic Development Authority
- NJ State Department of Labor
Last updated on 10/26/23