For most young adults, finding work out of school isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Two-thirds of recent college graduates struggle to launch their careers in the first few years, according to There Is Life After College author Jeffrey Selingo, and as many as 49 percent of them don’t land a job related to their field of study.
That’s why Yale graduates Eric Ho and Andrew Myers created RippleMatch, a machine learning-powered recruitment tool for college students. It recently raised $3 million in a funding round led by Accomplice and Bullpen Capital.
RippleMatch was borne out of frustration with what Ho and Myers described as a “broken” system.
“We thought there had to be a better way than standing in a line outside of career services or a job fair or applying to a million listings on Indeed,” Myers said. “You get tons of rejections, and it’s a frustrating experience.”
Their end-to-end solution connects employers with vetted, highly qualified college seniors who might not have years of job experience under their belts, but who share values, beliefs, and core competencies with candidate profiles hiring managers define.
“The companies see who the students are as people,” Myers said. “They see not just what they’ve done, but where they want to move after.”
Here’s how it works: Students complete a 10-minute signup process during which they enter their class year, school, major, job skills, personal values, and other information. They’re then asked to supply standardized test scores, a CV, and a list of internships they’ve had and clubs and sports in which they’ve participated.
Once they’ve filled out a profile, they can follow updates from companies and visit their RippleMatch pages, which include brief backgrounds about the company, photos of offices, and links to social media profiles.
On the hiring side of the equation, recruiters narrow down candidate results by filtering for schools and locations. They can also choose to emphasize certain factors like GPA, work experience, and test scores over others.
Myers and Ho, taking cues from the competition, focused on making the onboarding process as quick and painless as possible. Over 80 percent of students who sign up complete the entire survey flow, Myers told me.
“The experience is good enough that it keeps them engaged,” he said.
As applications come in, recruiters see a list of top candidates ordered by Fit Score, a number determined by the information they’ve uploaded to their profile and the recruiter’s hiring preferences. Playful, colorful badges denote standout would-be employees with high GPAs and relevant internships.
Myers and Ho took a grassroots approach to building out RippleMatch, targeting the top clubs and organizations on over 100 college campuses including Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. “We wanted to strongest, most diverse selection of candidates,” Myers said.
They claim that a quarter of Ivy League seniors are using RippleMatch to find a job, and that 60 percent of candidates are selected for a first-round interview.