Necessity may be the mother of invention, but so too is frustration. This crushing feeling is especially prevalent in the job search and recruitment process, as experienced by both students looking to start careers and employers trying to find the perfect applicant to fill a position. In 2017, Chris Motley, a former corporate executive vice-president, sought to remedy this distress with the launch of an innovative recruitment platform called The Whether – the flagship product of St. Louis-based startup, Better Weekdays.
“Our company was born from personal experience and frustration of having to rely on serendipity to find a great career opportunity, and later in life, when hunting for talent to fill open roles,” says Chris, CEO & Co-Founder of Better Weekdays.
The company’s story begins at a 2011 Startup Weekend in Chicago, where Chris presented his vision for a recruitment tool that he wished would have existed during his own college years. The idea sparked the interest of fellow entrepreneur Kunal Parbadia. Together, the two founded Better Weekdays, and set upon building their ideal recruitment solution.
The Whether is the realization of their dream, a career discovery platform that personalizes the search process for each user, connecting college students with career opportunities they may otherwise never have known were available. The startup targets first-generation and underrepresented students pursuing a post-secondary degree or certificate, ensuring that they become employed after completing their studies.
Job seekers are invited to regularly #CheckTheWhether where they’ll find personalized career advice and opportunities that match their skills, while currently employed users can explore tools to help them develop within their role. Employers can log-on to search a talent pipeline containing one million students, and discover relevant prospects in under 30 seconds, reducing the headache of the recruitment process. Chris explains, “Our product personalizes career opportunities to students based on their strengths, values and interests and reduces the cost to hire them by more than 75%.”
Better Weekdays initially began with just Chris and Kunal, now VP of Operations. Today, the startup counts ten employees on its team, with plans to expand to fifty within the next three years. To help bring their innovation to market, the company received grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Strada Education Network. The startup also partnered with GradLeaders, which provides distribution to more than 1.5 million students and 100,000 employers across 600 universities.
Chris hopes that participating in the Michelson Runway Accelerator can help accelerate growth, saying, “By the end of the program, I would like our company to have achieved product-market fit with students, employers and post-secondary institutions. We’ll then use the summer to scale our operations and impact in a way that reaches more than 20,000 underrepresented students by the end of the year.” The entrepreneur is eager to tap Michelson Runway’s network to help expansion efforts so that The Whether can match more relevant job seekers with employers, making recruitment a lot less frustrating for everyone.