It is estimated that only 56 percent of students who graduated in the year 2011 managed to find a work position within the first year. Chase Bonhag and Tyler Bailey, students at Western Michigan University, found themselves spending a lot of time looking for work, only to find that they had to compete with others who were a lot older and had hands-on experience.
Bonhag and Bailey decided there must be an easier way to connect students with employers who were specifically looking to fill entry-level positions, so they created Hirestarts.com. Hirestarts is a social network that allows employers to post job vacancies suitable for recently graduated students. Students can also sign up and search for suitable employers based on their criteria.
When an employer posts a job position, they are presented with a list of graduates who fit the requirements and have the qualifications needed to fill the position. The site has about 300 registered and active job seekers from 20 different states.
The associate vice president for the community outreach a the school, Bob Miller said; “The fact that it was developed by students, while they were students, for students is a really compelling story. That is, in and of itself, a tremendous asset, because who knows better what would work relative to the students’ perspectives than students? It’s hard not to be impressed. They’re seasoned well beyond their years.”
Users of Hirestarts can also submit and view video introductions and search for a resume and cover letters. Once an employer has selected a few candidates they deem suitable, they can conduct online interviews. A few of the companies who are currently using Hirestarts to find employees include, Automated Solutions, Quicken Loans and Great Lakes Computer. Bonhag and Bailey have both quit their usual jobs to concentrate on their new project full time.