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Reducing Barriers to Employment with Chase Bank: Case Study

The Company

JPMorgan Chase is a multinational investment bank and financial services holding company with a large commercial footprint in the Chicago area. Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and Chase Bank have partnered since 2012, placing over 260 job seekers in entry-level positions.
From 2018 to 2020, we served even more local candidates by teaching our job-readiness curriculum through Chase’s Fellowship Initiative.
In late 2019, alongside the Safer Foundation, Cara Collective, and Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA), Skills was invited by Chase to join their highly publicized Second Chance initiative, aimed at helping justice-involved individuals get back into the workforce. 
The program is part of a larger initiative championed by the Business Roundtable, a non-profit organization advocating for a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunities for all Americans through public policy.

Chase's Diversity Values are to recruit & hire, retain & develop, and involve & engage diverse talent. 


The Partnership

Chase became a Skills funder after we met with their local and global philanthropic leaders in 2012 to identify shared needs. Former JPMorgan Chase Vice Chairman Glenn Tilton served as the Skills Board Chair from 2013-2015. After cultivating our relationship with leadership at Chase, we began recruiting for direct hiring opportunities in 2013.

How We Work

chase case study - scfblog

Members of Skills’ Client Services and Talent Acquisition teams meet biweekly with local Chase recruiters to identify open opportunities. Our team sources and screens candidates, submitting up to a dozen each week. Chase recruiters reach out to each candidate and connect them with hiring managers for additional interviews. 

Once candidates meet with Chase hiring managers, they may receive an offer of employment. If accepted, they being the pre-employment process and receive a start date. 

Candidates who will not move on in the hiring process receive feedback on why they’ve been passed over, and they’re encouraged to apply to other companies hiring through Skills. 

Evaluating the Work


Skills reviews submit-to-hire and days-to-fill data to identify barriers to employment. With Chase, the long average span from submittal to start date can be an extremely difficult obstacle for unemployed job seekers. 

We have worked to reduce the average days-to-fill from 70 to 60 in 2021. On the Skills side, we’ve accomplished this  by adding resources to help job seekers procure necessary documentation required by banking regulators and remaining in close contact with candidates from the start of the application process until they’re hired.

Our partners at Chase have worked diligently to decrease the timeline by expediting second interviews with hiring managers and pairing job seekers with bank branches that have imminent interview dates scheduled.

Optimizing the Work

We realized that the strict compliance requirements in the banking industry require more from job seekers than most other positions we recruit for. With this knowledge, we entered into long, in-depth conversations with Chase about the pre-employment process so we could better prepare candidates early.

The sooner applicants can procure job, residential, and financial history, the more quickly they can get to work.

Communication is key: with dozens of candidates in process at any time, receiving regular updates from Chase is essential. Feedback then has to be relayed to candidates quickly to keep them engaged in the application, interview, and hiring process.


Through these changes, we’ve increased our applicant submit-to-hire ratio from 24% to 35% despite more than doubling our number of submittals in 2021.


Download the case study here.

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