As it stands, the readiness of businesses to accommodate Arab candidates exceeds the actual number of Arab applicants. Current research indicates that one of the major barriers preventing highly-qualified Arab candidates from looking for relevant jobs outside the Arab sector are the potential candidates’ fears and concerns regarding working in Jewish-majority companies. To remedy this, we are developing practical knowledge and tools from the field of social psychology to serve Collective Impact (CI), job referral organizations, and career centers at universities to help them more effectively refer and prepare applicants for the growing number of positions emerging outside of the Arab sector. aChord Center has completed the initial research, mapping, and diagnostic phase of this project, which culminated in the creation of a cutting-edge model that shows that the factors driving applicant behavior are based on inter-group attitudes, norms, and perceptions and takes into account the specific obstacles that stem from the applicants’ social identities as members of a minority group.
“I am doing very well with the employers but with the candidates... It does not work. I need to find a new approach.” Founder & Executive Director, Employment Assistance Organization.
No other initiative is tackling what it means to apply for, interview with, and actually join an “in-group” company as a member of an “out-group.” This seems to be the missing piece of ongoing efforts to better equip Arab candidates for employment by providing technical training, language courses, and teaching basic soft skills.
In the second phase of the project, aChord Center has begun working with Collective Impact (CI) and with Itworks to help them maximize their impact by developing specific tools and interventions based on the model described above. We are partnering with them to train their professional staff on the psychology of the candidates and working with them to implement tailored tools and interventions. These include but are not limited to messaging campaigns, improving outreach efforts, redesigning the support offered during the hiring and selection processes, a program to train Arab employees as change agents in their social networks, and other steps that could build trust with potential employees and renew hope for jobseekers.
Kehilot Morim (Teachers’ Communities) (a link within Israeli Hope in Education)
A logical extension of our TOT model and a natural fit for increasing the reach of our training program is to work with master teachers who are leading shared society education in their schools and who, once trained on our methods and approaches, will then work with the communities at their schools. aChord Center is in the nascent stages of partnering with the Education Ministry on Kehilat Morim (Teacher’s Communities), which bring together groups of master teachers in a given region of the country. aChord Center is working with representatives within the Ministry of Education’s Unit for Education for Shared Living to develop communities of teachers in their districts around the subject of shared society. These communities would be the first of their kind focused on a non-core subject. They would discuss best practices in shared society education, work together on lesson plans, and share knowledge and resources. Currently, we are in the first year of the pilot and are building the model with the Unit for Education for Shared Living. Next year, we plan to develop a district-level model, and then plan to co-facilitate the teacher community in two districts. We hope to encourage teachers to participate by also extending resources to participating schools and participating teachers.