CIGEV, area gerontology: Research on Lifespan, Multidirectionality and Plasticity – Director: Matthias Kliegel

Jobs4U – Improving Job Search


The project “Jobs4U” proposes to study different aspects that can help job seekers find jobs. Specifically, it aims to examine and compare the benefits of three interventions: the first intervention targets improving the match between job seekers and vacancies, the second targets augmenting cognitive capacities of job seekers, whereas the third targets supporting job seekers to achieve self-imposed search goals. Further, Jobs4u proposes to explore the role of matches, brains, and nudges both individually and combined to test whether there are complementarities.

The objectives of IJS are both novel from a scientific point of view and designed to inform policy makers in practice.

We are looking forward to working on this sketch with the Public Employment Service of the Canton of Neuchatel in order to elaborate a joint implementation plan.


To start, all job seekers will participate in an extensive baseline survey. This will allow to establish a detailed profile of the job seekers, including information on her or his previous job, job search aspirations, current job search strategies, acquired work skills and their usual workstyle. The baseline survey further assesses job seekers’ cognitive abilities to plan activities, to work on multiple tasks in parallel, to be flexible, to make decisions, to control inappropriate reactions, as well as their level of self-control.

Next, for the first intervention group, the profile established at baseline will be fed into a newly developed tool, which aims to increase the likelihood of finding a job by mapping the jobseeker’s profile into the existing vacancies and producing a ranking of such vacancies in terms of proximity to the jobseeker’s profile, and other criteria (distance, availability, education, etc.).

The second intervention group will follow a state-of-the-art training program with the aim of increasing core cognitive resources that are needed in job search situations and that are severely compromised under stress. Specifically, they will train different domains such as planning and remembering delayed intentions (also called prospective memory), multitasking and resistance to interference.

The third intervention group will use different persuasive digital techniques that are designed to change behaviors in a predictable way without forbidding options or significantly changing economic incentives. Specifically, job seeker will use an interface allowing them to set their own deadlines for finding a new job, and to set self-imposed penalties for failing these deadlines, which will help them to be more engaged in job search.

Finally, follow up surveys will acquire information on job search strategies, aspirations, job offers, acceptance and rejection, and on personal well-being, and it will examine and compare the efficiency of the different programs to help find jobs.