What We Do
At the heart of Smart Works sits a two hour dressing and coaching service for unemployed women with confirmed job interviews.
Each client has a personalised styling session with two Smart Works volunteer stylists, receiving a complete outfit of high quality clothes and accessories for their specific job interview, which are free and hers to keep. We make sure that our clients look fabulous, feel confident and have everything they need, from a winter coat to a pair of tights.
After her dressing, each client receives a one-to-one interview preparation and coaching session with an experienced HR professional or senior manager. The interview session focuses on increasing the awareness of her own strengths, answering questions effectively and understanding what is expected of her at interview.
Once a client is successful at interview, they are welcomed back for a Second Dressing to receive five additional pieces of clothing. This means that they can start their new role with a capsule working wardrobe which will see them through until their first pay cheque.
When our clients re-enter the workplace, we encourage them to join the Smart Works Network, a membership group of women who have recently returned to work. The Network meet on a monthly basis to further their professional and personal development, helping and motivating one another to succeed.
Over 95% of our clients reported that a visit to Smart Works significantly increased their confidence in succeeding at their job interview.
Demonstrating our impact
At Smart Works, we place a significant emphasis on being able to demonstrate the impact we are having on our clients. We have an acclaimed Theory of Change that shows how and why our service is able to help clients succeed at interview. We have also refined our service to be able to follow up with as many clients as possible, and get their feedback on the impact of our service on their journey back to employment.
We were recently awarded a Level 2 validation of our work on the Nesta Standards of Evidence, a recognised framework for demonstrating impact. This means that we capture data that shows positive change, and can prove that correlation.
“The evaluation gives a strong indication that the Smart Works service effectively increases its clients’ chances of getting a job.”From "Measuring the impact of Smart Works" by The Social Innovation Partnership, May 2016