College graduates have come to understand the stress and competitiveness of the job market all too well, and bridging the gap between college grads and companies has become a job in itself.
Gradspring, an online job board and career resource for new graduates, might be the solution for students seeking post-graduation employment.
More than 3,000 users have signed up for Gradspring since its launch this past May, and about 300-500 new jobs are posted daily from CoreLogic, Lovell Communications and Alliance Bernstein. The site is designed to match recent college graduates with entry-level jobs and seeks to simplify the job search process.
“More than 53 percent of current college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed so the misconception is that there are no jobs,” Sean Clem, president of Gradspring, said. “The truth is, companies actually have positions to offer but the two audiences haven’t had a good matchmaking resource. We work with recruiters in every industry to provide the best entry-level opportunities available to our users.”
The project began a few years ago when Clem heard stories from friends and family who had graduated and had difficulties finding work, according to Kimberly Kump, senior account executive at Lovell Communications.
After some research, Clem found that companies were having difficulties finding qualified entry-level job candidates with a college degree. Applicants were either overqualified in job experience or underqualified in education. He then founded Gradspring.
According to Clem, the site reaches out to recruiters to expand its reach and the number of students the website comes into contact with. It also features video resume hosting, resume critique and job recommendations depending on the job seeker’s preferences and webinars.
Unlike some other job boards, Gradspring has a stringent screening process for companies and users in order to prevent scam postings and save companies time wading through unqualified applicants. The company has workers that verify each job posting instead of computers, according to Clem. The same thing goes for verifying users. Clem said that Gradspring declines more jobs than are accepted and is very particular about what it offers to students.
John Baker earned his bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University in 1998 and his master’s degree in public administration from SF State this past May. Even after attending grad school to expand his employment options, the recession is impeding Baker’s opportunities to find steady work.
“I’ve applied for about 20 jobs since May, but I’ve only managed to snag three interviews,” Baker said. “There’s been such a cutback in my chosen field lately that I’m competing against people with a lot more specialized experience. And employers are rarely advertising entry-level jobs, knowing that they have plenty of candidates with experience.”
Clem said Gradspring’s success rate in finding graduates jobs is so high that he has only had to give three refunds to people saying they didn’t feel it worked. All complaints go directly to Clem and he takes pride in how they are attentive to their users’ concerns. Gradspring will supply users with surveys soon to collect data on the website’s progress and the site will feature online job fairs in the near future.