Collegefeed today launched into a public beta a social network for young job seekers and the companies looking to hire them.
Students create resumes and portfolios and indicate what kinds of jobs they are interested in. Hiring companies create a page and can push content out to particular groups of students. The companies also receive notifications as new students with the qualities they are seeking join the platform.
“Every employer has two problems: a lot of people they don’t really want apply for jobs and a lot of people who they do want don’t apply because they don’t know about the job or may not think the brand is interesting,” said Collegefeed founder and CEO Sanjeev Agrawal.
Unlike LinkedIn and other job portals, Collegefeed is designed for the particular circumstances that confront first-time job seekers. The platform highlights employees at each company who have graduated from the same alma mater as the job seeker, for example. And it invites students to complete challenges, some offering awards, which can eventually constitute a portfolio of their work.
College grads notoriously have trouble finding appropriate jobs. And, according to Agrawal, a former Google executive, 40 percent of companies struggle to fill the entry-level jobs with qualified graduates.
Recruiting is particularly competitive in software engineering, which is the fastest growing field in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Collegefeed will tackle that field first, limiting the public beta to Silicon Valley employers and universities, before opening up nationally this May.
“It’s about time that everyone who wants to work for Facebook and Google also applies to all the thousands of companies that should be relevant to them based on their interests,” said Agrawal.
Collegefeed will also endeavor to educate students about some of the lesser-known companies that may be hiring by generating a list of potentially interesting jobs much like Amazon does a list of books the user might want to buy.
“In an early career environment, expecting students to be scrappy and knowledgeable about job opportunities is expecting a little too much,” Agrawal said.
To accommodate companies that may not want to spend time making their pitch to college seniors, Collegefeed delivers notifications when new students who meet the company’s criteria join the platform.
Collegefeed has also plugged in to a number of APIs, including at least one from LinkedIn, to supply social content from hiring companies.
Potentially overzealous, or spammy, companies will be thwarted by an algorithm customized to serve up information more narrowly relevant to users than what Facebook or LinkedIn deliver, according to Agrawal.
“All this content already exists, but you don’t want it all in one place, you want all this content going though a machine that just outputs the stuff I’ve told you I’m interested in,” Agrawal explained.
Collegefeed sees plenty of room for specialized professional social tools to co-exist with LinkedIn. But he and his team will be watching following today’s launch to see if the professional social network cuts off its access to its API.