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GradLeaders and The Whether Partner to Launch First Social Network to Automatically Connect Students’ Skills and Values to Best-Fit Jobs

Dublin, OH, July 12, 2018 –(– GradLeaders, the market leader in campus recruitment and career services technology has announced an exclusive partnership with The Whether, a St. Louis tech firm offering an innovative college recruitment marketing platform. Together, they will address some of the biggest problems in the entry-level job market today by creating more meaningful connections between college students and employers before, during and after career fairs via a new social media-like mobile app for casual career discovery and employment branding.

Traditional recruitment methods such as career fairs and static career websites make it difficult for students to find right-fit career paths and for employers to highlight career opportunities to interested job-seeking students. Furthermore, those same traditional recruitment methods fail to facilitate relationship building before companies arrive on campus for career fairs. As a result, the average cost-per-hire for entry-level, college-educated talent is $4,000 today.

GradLeaders and The Whether have found a better way to match students and employers with a new values-based approach that will revolutionize campus recruitment and career discovery. The app gauges how students’ interactions with career content correlates with their professional values, competencies, soft skills and interests, all while making them feel as if they’re simply playing on their phone. The integrated assessment, vetted by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, helps close the language gap between students and recruiters by helping students to increase awareness of their strengths and values in a work environment. The app then recommends ideal roles and attributes of organizations where the student will thrive. Employers can also assess students based on their compatibility with company culture.

“We’re thrilled to collaboratively offer university recruiters and local employers a better way to nurture job-seeking students at their core schools while delivering a dedicated mobile app and social network for career discovery,” says GradLeaders CEO, Jack Gainer. “Employers can also expand their reach to campuses around the globe and track exactly which students are engaging with their content by way of likes, shares and overall engagement levels. With 4 million students graduating each year in search of opportunities, companies quickly see a compelling business case to partner with us. For students and career centers, The Whether has created a seamless content discovery experience similar to those of Facebook and Instagram, but highlights content focused solely on hiring companies and career paths.”

GradLeaders has begun rolling out the platform to its customers with an initial focus on diversity hiring and delivering more effective job matches before, during and after on-campus recruiting events. Students and career centers can take advantage of the app free of charge. For employers, annual subscriptions begin at $300 per campus, making it affordable for companies to build deeper relationships with students at their core schools and reach students at schools they’d never visit in person.

GradLeaders’ Vice President, Bill Donnelly, is looking forward to delivering value to students, employers and career centers with the new offering.

“The Whether is not a traditional career services platform. In talking with several of our current customers, they’re most compelled by its intuitive social media-like design and ‘thumbable’ experience that makes it easy for students to discover best-fit careers based on more than hard skills and qualifications. Additionally, The Whether only requires about 30 minutes to set up and there’s no ongoing maintenance for schools or employers. We’re prepared to provide a ‘no work’ way for students and employers to connect, while saving schools money to diversify their budgets.”

By leveraging GradLeaders’ partnerships with university, college and association career centers cultivated over the company’s 30-year history, The Whether will offer more than 1 million job-seeking students free access to “check The Whether” to easily discover the right career path for them. The free mobile app, included in the GradLeaders suite of products, lets students interact with brand and competency-specific content to discover companies, internships and job openings of interest, creating a casual user experience through curation and personalization of career-related content. At the same time, employers can “check The Whether” to instantly access and automatically nurture diverse, pre-screened student pipelines ahead of recruiting events. Throughout the process, both schools and employers can review engagement reports and real-time analytics on the connections made between students and companies.

Creating career paths for others has always been close to The Whether founder and CEO, Chris Motley’s heart. Born to a 13-year-old single mother, Motley was part of “A Better Chance,” a program that provides promising middle school students of color increased awareness and access to elite college preparatory schools. During a summer program, he met a Goldman Sachs executive who inspired him to enroll at Columbia University and pursue a career on Wall Street. After graduating, he spent four years at Goldman Sachs as a commodities trader, then returned to his hometown of Chicago as an executive at 1888 Mills. It’s the combination of these experiences that has influenced his desire to leverage technology to create serendipity for students who are not aware or don’t have access to promising opportunities.

“The Whether was born out of my own experience as a student,” Motley reflects. “My career path has been serendipitous in many ways. As an African-American first-generation college grad, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. There are certain careers (and networks) a person is exposed to when growing up, but they represent a subset of relevant opportunities one could pursue.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with GradLeaders to increase student engagement with their career center partners by 30% all while accelerating our vision to personalize career paths for every student,” says Motley. “Together, we’ll also make it easy for employers to interact with job candidates before and after the career fair while showcasing their brand in a unique way. This new recruitment marketing model scales career education for every student while also saving employers up to 75% of recruiting spend —It’s a real game- changer.”

Motley plans to grow the solution to solve for these challenges using a $775,000 grant he received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to personalize career pathways for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Employers are already taking notice. Large companies such as Express Scripts, Edward Jones, Monsanto, and Wells Fargo are currently using the platform to identify diverse candidates to recruit to the St. Louis region for internships and full-time jobs.

Together, GradLeaders and The Whether will redefine the campus recruiting process for employers and the career discovery for students across the country by matching employers’ internships, job postings and company culture to relevant students based on their soft-skills, courses taken, career preferences and professional values.

Employers can learn more and sign up for the waitlist here:

Career centers can learn more and sign up for the waitlist here:

Students can get started at

About GradLeaders
GradLeaders is the result of a merger between two student recruitment and career services technology providers, MBA Focus and CSO Research. Combined over the last 30+ years, we have helped connect over 26,500,000 students from more than 1,000 career centers to their dream jobs at more than 100,000 companies around the world. Our exclusive school partnerships, extensive campus recruiting network, and industry-leading software solutions, make us the #1 choice of schools seeking to increase employment outcomes and companies seeking right-fit student talent to join their team.

About The Whether
The Whether is a recruitment marketing platform that helps university recruiters build and nurture diverse talent pipelines. It recommends diverse candidates to employers through employer-generated career content that is targeted to students based on their soft-skills, strengths, and values. Our values-based approach and automated content marketing engine saves companies 75% of recruiting spend while personalizing the candidate experience at scale. Based in St. Louis, we’re on a mission to scale career education for all college students and make recruiting them easier.

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Source: GradLeaders

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Ryan Pratt
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