St. Louis-based Better Weekdays aims to be the best option for college students and alumni searching for a career.
As millennials continue to occupy the largest portion of the workforce, Better Weekdays hopes to get the hiring employer’s brand out to young students early and often to help influence their career decisions.
Chris Motley, founder and CEO of Better Weekdays, explained that this has proven to be difficult for companies that don’t have a consumer-facing brand, or such a strong brand that millennials don’t readily associate potential jobs for them there. For example, two-thirds of the open roles at BJC HealthCare, the largest employer in St. Louis, are not healthcare practitioners.
“If you think about how companies tend to solve this issue, it’s always been with career fairs,” said Motley. “The problem is that with only a single touch point where multiple companies are just trying to convince students to apply to its jobs, it is hard to assess if individuals are a good fit before an interview. Marketers know that many impressions are needed to influence one’s buying decision. Why should it be different when recruiting?”
How Better Weekdays works
The Better Weekdays platform scrapes a million live jobs each day, and organizes them by location, description and college majors that fit well with each posting.
“A student can simply provide their major, and we can start matching specific jobs to them,” said Motley. “The more data they submit, the better are able to facilitate the discovery of relevant opportunities rather than subject them to an aimless search.”
Motley explained that the platform, much like Netflix or Amazon, matches the student with job opportunities that are more tailored to them as the platform learns more about what the jobseeker is looking for.
“We use machine learning and recommendation algorithms to curate opportunities that would be a good fit,” said Motley. “It’s kind of like online dating.”
Matching jobseekers to personalized opportunities
Motley explained that the platform is a new way for students to discover opportunities that are out there beyond a basic job description and a paragraph, something that may be confusing for millennials who’ve never completed an online job search before.
With over 90,000 companies on the site, Better Weekdays uses simple language and incorporates maps, photos and videos of the business’s atmosphere to better showcase the employer’s brand and culture.
“It’s not just about the job,” said Motley. “There’s a variety of reasons individuals pick the jobs they decide to apply for, we like to focus on those details.”
Upon signing up for Better Weekdays, the jobseeker has the opportunity to complete a career assessment to better understand what the student is looking for.
“In a scientifically validated way, we can understand a person’s professional values, personality, and motivation drivers to better understand what type of company and what type of role they would be successful in,” said Motley.
Better Weekdays takes the results of things like the career survey and serves up jobs to the jobseeker that other students with similar likes and backgrounds have expressed interest in.
Helping businesses show off their brand
The startup also helps businesses get more involved in the campus recruitment process by supplying more opportunities for the employer to showcase their brand.
“Are you writing interesting articles about the innovations that you’re bringing to market?” said Motley, explaining a few of the employer functions behind Better Weekdays. “Or cool projects that a first or second year associate completed? What does success at your company look like?”
Better Weekdays also supplies data to employers. They are able to pull what types of college majors fit well with certain jobs, and how their employer brand is trending among the students they are trying to reach.
“The recruiting process becomes much more efficient for employers,” said Motley. “They are increasing their brand’s reach and quality of hire, while simultaneously reducing the cost and time to fill open positions.”
Motley explained that effects of employer brand awareness goes beyond an easier hiring process.
“If graduates can’t find jobs quickly after graduating from college, the U.S. economy suffers,” said Motley. “Student loan grace periods end six months after graduation, and if one is not employed, they are less likely to buy products and services.”
Motley said that the future is what keeps him motivated and passionate about the platform.
“I am passionate about this because it is our future,” said Motley. “To me there’s nothing more important than creating personalized career pathways for students and graduates entering the workforce. Everyone wins–the graduate, the company, the university, the parents, the region and the U.S. economy.”
Last year Better Weekdays closed a $1.6 million round of funding and received another $350,000 from other resources. With over 30,000 users on the site, the company has over $250,000 in annual recurring revenue after four months of sales, and is currently looking to double their team size in the next 12 months.
“Better Weekdays would not be where it is if it weren’t for all the players in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Motley.
The team of 13 also recently signed a partnership deal with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, and will be launching a new talent solution next year that will benefit all the chamber’s members.
“We are really excited about this because it highlights the type of collaboration necessary for innovation,” said Motley. “Many have tried to solve this problem unsuccessfully, but our access to paying clients gives us a competitive advantage.”
Better Weekdays ahead
When it comes to the future of the startup, Motley said that the vision of the company is to create personalized career pathways for college students and alumni.
“Career pathways [are] a function of experiential learning, enhanced curriculum, and guided pathways,” said Motley. “Better Weekdays will develop or facilitate these solutions to the folks that need them most so that any person can have a private, personalized, and curated experience to manage their career.”
For Motley, experiential learning includes co-ops, internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships and networking events. Enhanced curriculum means complimentary courses or modules that professors can incorporate into their teachings that tie the learning outcomes from class to the competencies that employers require.Guided pathways include how the platform and Better Weekdays staff can best match the best jobs, internships, events and, most importantly, mentors to the jobseeker based on their current interests, preferences and intent.
To learn more about recruiting through Better Weekdays, visit their employer-facing demo site.
Mel Lucks is a regional freelance journalist and former intern for Silicon Prairie News and AIM.