It’s not every day a Silicon Valley start-up sponsors a Wednesday night dance party at Toad’s Place. But that’s exactly what Identified — a company that offers employers an innovative new way of recruiting — did to recruit users last week.
The dance party, during which Identified sponsored an open bar for those over 21 and free entry for other partygoers, was one of a number of events the start-up ran during the week in an effort to promote their Web site, which connects students to employers.
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Identified, which brands itself as an online platform that uses Facebook as a job-search and recruiting tool, also hosted students for dinner and spoke at the Yale Entrepreneurial Society Thursday night.
Identified’s Director of Campus Outreach, Tate Huffard, said that he went to five dinners Monday night, targeting in particular people writing for newspapers, captains of teams, leaders of fraternities and sororities and other people who have influence on campus.
Huffard said the company’s presence on campus over the week had been very successful, with more than 300 Web site sign-ups associated with their Toad’s party and over 600 sign-ups overall. In addition to the Toad’s event, Identified has been placing posters around campus in a further attempt to enhance brand recognition.
“It’s just been really exciting to be here at Yale and see the enthusiasm grow from Monday to Friday,” Huffard said.
All 10 students interviewed who were at the Toad’s event could recall signing up with Identified, but only half could identify what service the company offered.
Huffard said that in the three weeks since Identified started to actively market itself, it has picked up over 6,500 students.
“We’re selling a job recruiting site — it’s not that sexy,” Huffard said. “So you have to find some incentive to get people on, because once they’re on, a lightbulb goes off in their heads, and they start telling their friends.”
According to Huffard, there are over 250 companies actively recruiting students through Identified’s Web site. The companies include McKinsey, Teach for America, Google and Deutsche Bank.
Director of Undergraduate Career Services Phil Jones said tools like Identified complement the work of UCS.
Max Uhlenhuth ’12, the president of the Yale Entrepreneurial Society, said his organization was impressed with Identified’s offerings.
“Their platform takes information on Facebook and uses it to solve a real-world problem people will actually pay dollars for,” he said. “They’ve got a smart team and are capitalizing on a huge opportunity Facebook totally missed.”
And students have actually been getting jobs through Identified’s Web site, Huffard said, though he did not know exact figures.
The first person to get a job through the service, Nicole Stiffle, was a student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business when she heard about Identified from a friend.
“[It] already had twice as many users as Stanford’s career site,” said Stiffle, who landed a job at iPhone app developer Tapulous through Identified. “Without Identified I never would have found the opportunity at Tapulous nor would have even considered the mobile gaming space,” she added.
One senior, who asked to remain anonymous because she has job applications pending with companies who also recruit through Identified, said she was wary of giving her résumé and other school information out to a third party.
But Huffard was quick to assure students that Identified would neither share Facebook information to employers nor have access to students’ application materials. “There literally cannot be any breach of privacy, because if that happens, it spreads like wildfire and that shuts down our company,” he said.
The Identified team was at Yale as part of a college promotional trip, during which they will visit eight other launch universities including Harvard, Princeton and Stanford.