A Peer Advising Community for Diverse Student Talent
It’s expensive, time consuming, and complex to implement quality career services at scale: On average, universities have an average operating budget of $34K for career services and only reach 52% of students. Most of the budget is generated via career fair registration revenue.
Students from less elite-schools have the support of less-elite career centers; so the students who apply to jobs through traditional means aren’t necessarily interview-ready. Chris Motley of Better Weekdays believes the situation is in a downward spiral. “Enrollment is down across the board so no funding is allocated to career services. This impacts the school’s ability to prepare students, recruiters lose confidence in quality of candidates, placement rates suffer and prospective students decide to go elsewhere. Repeat!”
Motley says that his company is gaining traction for his diversity recruiting solution because campus recruiting is hard and expensive. JP Morgan recently scrapped its campus recruiting program in favor for a more efficient solution: submit videos and play games to assess potential. Companies spend $8 billion recruiting college students, $2 billion of which is allocated to campus visits — and students don’t even want career fairs. “We can provide those companies with a pipeline of diverse talent from the comfort of their offices for a fraction of the cost to attend career fairs.”
The Whether by Better Weekdays is a peer advising platform where diverse students network and share resources with peers with similar backgrounds and career goals. This safe space fosters collaboration while providing an opportunity for Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Acquisition leaders to promote their employer brand to instantly build pipelines for internships and entry level opportunities. The platform’s content is categorized by attributes that tie into job requirements and workplace culture. Over time, the platform learns the hiring preferences of employers and makes recommendations based on student assessments and their engagement with content and individuals in the app.
Their employer revenue model allows them to do something interesting: partner with schools at no cost to the school. Everyone would agree that assessments that help student get clarity around their strengths, values, and personality are beneficial. However, they cost money so schools aren’t incentivized to promote them. We make ours free because it improves students’ self-awareness and helps us make great recommendations to our corporate clients.
Better Weekdays was the recipient an “Innovations in Career Advising” grant by the Bill & Gates Foundation, which helped to stimulate their growth and impact among students at Historically Black Colleges & Universities. They also partnered with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions to launch a fellowship program to educate students about entrepreneurship while providing paid experiential learning opportunities. The work has impacted more than 10,000 students of color and he hopes to triple the number in the next 12 months based on insights learned from the Gates funded project.