Koru Inc. offers new online job-finding platform

Koru Inc., a job-finding company, is launching a new online job finding platform for college students and graduates. The job finder works to bridge the gap between employers and potential employees by creating a platform where job seekers can showcase their abilities. This service connects college students and graduates with coaches who polish resumes and applications and then make connections with employers.

“In today’s race for high-performing talent, many employers are looking for more than a resume,” cofounder and CEO Kristen Hamilton said. “Our new job finder helps grads present their best authentic selves and get noticed.”

Hamilton and cofounder Josh Jarrett saw a need for a platform like Koru due to the need for connection between potential employees and major companies. According to Koru Marketing Vice President Christina Mautz, 53 percent of recent college grads are either unemployed or underemployed. Meanwhile, Koru received feedback from major companies that were struggling to find the college graduates qualified for hiring.

“We were hearing this need from both sides, from the employers and from these bright, well-educated students who were more than qualified to fill the jobs that these companies were offering,” Mautz said. “We saw that we just needed to find a way to make that connection that had been missing before.”

For the past two years, Koru has partnered with the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to promote business “boot camps” for students. These immersive sessions gave students a chance to improve hard and soft business skills, practice problem-solving by creating presentations to solve real-life business problems and meet with a coach to build a game plan for the future. Ten students participated in these boot camps, and six are now employed with businesses such as Zulily and LinkedIn.

USC graduate Vannessa Sanchez attended two different boot camps. One lasted for two weeks online and two weeks in person, and the other lasted for four weeks in person. The events — which Sanchez described as “very intense” — partnered with Yelp and LinkedIn and gave participants hands-on opportunities to approach marketing challenges, pitch marketing strategies and hone skills in design, presentations and networking. After partnering with LinkedIn during the second workshop she attended, the company hired Sanchez as a recruiting coordinator straight out of college.

“I’ve gained mentors that I never would have met before,” Sanchez said. “They advocate for you, but you’ve also proven that you’re worthy of that through the work you put out in [the workshop]. You use the skills that they give you, and that’s what makes you succeed.”

The new job finder program provides prospective workers with direct contact with the employers to whom they are applying. Koru users first take a test that sets them up with available jobs that best fit their strengths — or what Koru calls the “seven key areas.” The user then creates an application for those jobs, which goes beyond a simple resume. Koru provides a system for users to write briefly about their strengths and create a video, that showcases their personality.

The video feature is one that Mautz is proud of, saying that it communicates more to an employer than any resume or application can. She also emphasized the helpfulness of the coaching services provided by Koru, which give direct feedback on how users can improve resumes, writing sections and videos in order to appeal more to employers.

Koru provides connections to employers in nine main categories, mostly in the marketing and business fields. While the program helps job seekers improve their applications, it also provides a direct connection to companies that have agreed to partner with Koru. These companies provide job listings, which Koru makes available to users whose interests and strengths match up with the available jobs.

“Our goal is to get graduates into real jobs, jobs that can turn into future careers,” Mautz said. “We focus on their strengths, and that helps them to successfully match with a job that they can truly excel in.”

The company beta tested the new job finder service last spring with a select group of users. Taylor Denton, a pilot user who graduated from Seattle University in 2015, applied to work at pet insurance company Trupanion and wasn’t asked to interview. She applied again through Koru, supplementing an improved resume with her video and writing sections. This time, she landed the job.

“My resume didn’t say enough about what I could really do,” Denton said. “Koru’s job finder was so different. I could really show off what I was capable of. Employers could get to know me versus what I looked like on a piece of paper.”

As Mautz points out, this system of connecting employers directly to college students and graduates is new for the companies as well. But with an increasing need for college graduates to stand out while applying — and an equal need from the companies looking to hire them — she believes that Koru will excel in guiding graduates into successful careers.

“So many companies say that they just can’t tell the difference between one resume and another,” Mautz said. “Koru takes the guessing out of that. We let graduates showcase who they are, and that’s what makes us — and our users — so successful.”