Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) and NextJob (
), a nationwide reemployment solutions company, have teamed up to offer an industry-first program that gives unemployed mortgage borrowers job search assistance, including one-on-one dedicated coaching, weekly webinars and online job search software, fully paid for by Fifth Third Bank.
The two companies piloted the program throughout 2012 with unemployed Fifth Third customers who were in serious risk of default on their mortgages. On average, the individuals had been out of work for 22 months. In the pilot, nearly 40% were fully employed after six months and, as a result, the pilot was expanded.
With the signing of a multi-year contract with NextJob, Fifth Third Bank moves the program out of pilot phase and incorporates it into the way the Company does business. Fifth Third Bank is the first financial institution to offer this type of assistance to mortgage customers.
“Up to half of mortgage delinquencies are due to job loss,” said Steven Alonso, executive vice president and head of the Consumer Bank, Fifth Third Bancorp. “With NextJob, we immediately recognized an opportunity to go the extra mile to assist our customers. This is specific, one-on-one training that helps people identify their transferable skills and re-gain the financial stability of a new job.”
“Fifth Third Bank has demonstrated an inspiring level of customer commitment,” said John Courtney, CEO of NextJob. “The company understood that neither party benefits from a foreclosure. Job loss, followed by the loss of one’s home, is severely damaging to individuals and families. This program is a simple, but big idea and its time has come for the banking industry.”
NextJob’s service features three parts that work cohesively to help borrowers find meaningful employment: one-on-one job coaching, job search software featuring nine modules, and Job Talk, a weekly webinar on a critical job search topic. Together they help Fifth Third borrowers:
- Create an effective resume and cover letter that gets the attention of hiring managers
- Develop and carry out a detailed job search action plan
- Evaluate one’s career direction and identify skills that could transfer to another industry or field
- Discover jobs that are open, but never advertised
- Use the latest and most effective Internet tools and techniques
- Train and prepare for successful interviews.
One of the program’s successful participants, now working in the insurance industry said, “I just want to say how much I enjoyed working with my coaches. If it hadn't been for their work helping me, I probably would still be unemployed. They gave me such hope and empowered me in ways I never would have used on my own. My self-esteem was very low when I first started working with NextJob, and they were able to make me see that there was a position out there for me if I only believed in myself again and used the tools of NextJob to help me. If for some reason I am back unemployed, it won't be for long because of what I learned with NextJob.”