Ripple Recruiting, a startup founded by Yale students to help employers recruit, target and hire top students, has raised $700,000 in a funding round.
The funding round, dedicated to attracting investment, was led by Kevin Ryan ’85, the founder of Business Insider and one of the startup’s advisors. While the recruiting platform is currently only available to Ivy League students, the funding will allow the startup to continue expanding, as well as build its product team, according to co-founder Andrew Myers, a former member of the class of 2017 who left Yale to work on Ripple full time.
According to Myers, Ripple Recruiting was started out of frustration with the current recruiting process at top universities, which funnels students into working for big firms. Co-founder Eric Ho ’16 turned down a job offer from Facebook to work with the team.
“The typical information session Yale students are getting dressed up to go to is extremely expensive,” Myers said. “It can easily cost over $50,000 to do the sort of info session you see from Bain and McKinsey, renting out The Study, having a spread and sending recruiters to campus.”
Myers added the high costs prevent startups, midsize companies and nonprofits from competing in university hiring. The goal was to “create a tool that allows smaller companies to build their dream applicant pools without setting foot on campus.” Myers said that Ripple eliminates barriers for employers, allowing them to reach out to as many students as possible and allowing students to appear on recruiters’ radars.
According to Ho, college students who use Ripple Recruiting first register online and are then taken to a questionnaire that asks for the students’ experiences, achievements and career preferences in order to create a representative profile of the student.
“What we’ve done is talked to a bunch of recruiters to nail down exactly what they look for in a hire and what they need to know in order to form the best possible judgment in deciding whether to reach out,” Ho said.
At this point, interested companies use Ripple’s platform to reach out directly to students. The Ripple team also sends out scouting reports to companies with written blurbs about students who are good fits for their jobs and internships.
Ho said his team wanted to create more of a personal connection, making recruitment less “mass-email-focused” and instead more focused on individuals interactions between students and employers.
Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, said Ripple allows students to diversify their options and establish a personal connection with employers they had not considered. However, she acknowledged that Ripple will not replace the on-campus recruiting process at Penn, which is already strongly integrated into the undergraduate experience. Gutierrez recently secured an offer through Ripple with KCG, an American global financial services firm.
Gutierrez is Ripple’s marketing lead at Penn, acting as a campus ambassador and encouraging others to sign up. She noted that many students are not aware of Ripple, so having students sign up and upload their resumes has been challenging. In particular, Gutierrez noted that students are sometimes hesitant to upload their resumes to a company they know little about, as opposed to their school’s career services website.
Myers noted that while other recruiting platforms exist, Ripple is more suited to college students. Additionally, Myers added that because Ripple is private, college students are more willing to elaborate on things like their GPAs and past experiences, than they would on public platforms like LinkedIn.
According to Ryan, there are currently a higher percentage of Ivy League students on Ripple with full resumes than on LinkedIn, citing an internal study comparing the two platforms using a comprehensive statistical analysis.
“The early traction, the quality of the team and the size of the marketplace gives [Ripple] enormous potential,” Ryan said.
According to Myers, roughly 10 percent of Ivy League students and 40 employers use the platform. However, the team is planning for their first round of national expansion in January. Myers also noted that the size of the team will be doubling in January to comprise 12 full-time employees.
Myers also said that the team is thinking about other ways to improve the career services process, and will be launching Ripple Journal in the coming months. According to Ho, Ripple Journal will be a platform for students to share resources and experiences during the job-seeking process.
“With Ripple, we will go in and be your biggest advocate in making sure employers will know your story, more than just major and GPA,” Ho said.
According to the 2015 Yale Office of Career Strategy First Destination Report, 15.7 percent of that year’s graduates entered the consulting industry, with a further 15.7 percent entering the finance industry.