While hard work can help people climb the career ladder to success, prestige and networking are more likely to get their foot in the door at their first top company.
Elite universities offer an alumni network, prestigious reputation and recruitment opportunities that are unmatched by most schools. In fact, certain institutions have been found to mostly hire those who went to elite schools, effectively shutting the door to those who may be talented without an expensive degree listed on their resume.
Andrew Myers, a former student at Yale University, realised that this phenomenon unfairly affected many of his friends from back from in Colorado.
“I was very cognisant of the divide coming from different socio-economic backgrounds,” Andrew told TechCrunch. “I could see that a lot of my friends from home would be better hires for places than some of the people I knew at Yale. They just didn’t have the same opportunities.”
Working alongside with fellow Yale student and future co-founder Eric Ho, the duo believed that something needed to be done to level the playing field.
“We didn’t think of this as a business venture in the early days; it was a problem that our friends had that I wanted to solve.”
The duo then created RippleMatch, an AI-based graduate recruitment portal with an aim to offer equal employment opportunities to all, regardless of the prestige of their professional networks or educational institutions.
The platform asks users a set of questions about their career goals, desired geographical locations, interests and more, along with their resumes, GPA and relevant test scores. In total, about 300 data points are used to match job searchers with employment and internship opportunities.
Mike Troiano, the partner at G20 Ventures who led the latest funding round for the company, believes that RippleMatch offers a unique service for recent graduates compared to LinkedIn, the world’s most well-known online professional community. Young adults with newly minted degrees are unlikely to have a strong professional network to help them land positions at top companies.
“College hiring is kind of a black box through traditional channels,” he explained. “The surveys RippleMatch uses to collect info from students and employers about who they are and what they want to create is a proprietary data set.”
“LinkedIn is about relationships more than attributes. The college market is a niche they’re ill-suited to, and one I think they’ll leave alone for now.”
By removing professional networks, prestigious names and other employment pipelines from the equation, the playing field is levelled for candidates looking for their newest job or internship.
Employers also benefit from the service by receiving access to a greater pool of qualified applicants. This ensures that their candidate pool is determined by the applicants’ attributes and not just the prestige of the universities they attended.
RippleMatch has raised $6 million in Series A funding to expand its platform and further business development. The round was led by G20 Ventures with participation by Work-Bench, Accomplice, Bullpen Capital and AlleyCorp.
Robert Scott Lazar