Getting Unemployed Job Seekers Back to Work: The Development of a Process Model of Employment Counseling Behavior


  • An earlier version of this article was presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, April 2010, Atlanta, Georgia. This study was supported by AGENS.

concerning this article should be addressed to Gera Noordzij, Institute for Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, Room T12-45, 3000 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands (e-mail:


The aim of this study was to propose a tentative model of employment counseling based on 31 critical incident interviews with supervisors, employment counselors, and unemployed job seekers. The incidents (N= 599) mentioned in the interviews were inductively used to develop a category framework describing behaviors of employment counselors. On the basis of the interviews, categories, and incidents within these categories, the authors proposed a 4-phase preliminary model of the employment counseling process. Findings suggest that employment counseling is a complex and dynamic process involving several distinct and consecutive steps focused on clients, governmental funding agencies, colleagues, and employers.