Transcript of video: Innovation Lab - Behavioural Economics
ESDC is one of the main departments that delivers programming to Canadians and we communicate to them through a variety of channels; in person at Service Canada centres, 1-800 Oh Canada with our call centres and then through our websites. So here we’re looking to deliver a variety of programs and seeing how there’s a lot of decisions to had be made by Canadians on which programs they want to participate in and all of the various options, we thought behaviour economics would be a good way to guide them through this decision making process.
One of the major platforms we have online is the job bank service. A subset of Job Bank is a special service called Job Match, in that it is essentially a dating website where employers and job seekers get together, or a special algorithm brings them together to say hey, this person has the right skills and this job is looking for those specific skills. However in order to do that, both the employer and job seeker need to fill out all of this information before the algorithm can match them. And what we were noticing once we launched the Job Match service is that there were a lot of people, the employers, they were required to fill it out. But the Job Match for job seekers was a volunteer thing that they can apply for. We noticed that they would begin to sign up but they wouldn’t end it. So seeing how they weren’t ending the sign up we said this is probably due to behavioural barriers. Because they showed interest, however once they saw how much time was required, and the number of fields of information they were being asked for, they weren’t following through. So one of the projects we designed is, when they show interest to sign up for Job Match, but don’t complete their application, we can communicate with them by email to try to prompt them to say hey come back and finish your application. So we did just that. By grabbing the population of people who started the Job Match account but didn’t complete it, we took those emails and we randomized them into five groups. A group for the control email that was being sent before we were brought to bear on the project, and then four different nudge emails. And one was framing, one was based on priming, another was based on building a sense of commitment, and then the last one was around social norming. And then we tested using Google analytics and internal administrative software, datasets, how many people were clicking on which email, and then how those were translating into actual accounts created which is the purpose, because without them completing their account, they can’t benefit from the Job Match service which will match them with jobs. And what we found was that the behavioural economics inspired emails were much more effective at getting people to not only click but also to complete their Job Match application.
So following the trial we ended up actually doing two trials, at the end of both trials, we took the best email, the email that generated, that got people to come on and complete their accounts at the highest rate, and we implemented that as the go-to email that our systems automatically send out to Canadians who are signing up for Job Match but just don’t complete the profile.