This Founder is Using Software to Find Jobs for NYC Students
Photo Credit: Riley Jones
As college students begin applying for positions at the top companies in their respective industries, many are learning that job searches are no walk in the park. Despite tools like Glassdoor and Indeed, finding employment shortly after graduation can seem nearly impossible.
For employers, the pile of applications can be hard to sift through but Join the Bloc is helping organizations streamline their hiring processes. It’s specifically for workforce programs with a software that allows them to track and optimize results for those on the prowl for jobs.
Join the Bloc originally launched in 2015 as a conference to help Black college students find internships and jobs after graduation. The event consisted of about 500 students nationwide with professional development panels spanning from law, tech, education, and more.
“People really wanted the community aspect of what we were doing,” co-founder and CEO, Riley Jones, said. “I meet people to this day who’ve come to our conference and say that it changed their life.”
Join the Bloc quickly became popular with students but began to be too much for Jones’ team of ten people. After a few years of hosting the conference, Jones and his team decided to completely revamp the company.
“The biggest challenge was doing that in a way that is operationally scalable,” Jones said. “We couldn’t do with 500 people what we could do with 1000 people. Financially, it was much harder to do.”
Join the Bloc went from being an annual conference to being a business-to-business software that bridges the gap for employers and job seekers. The company targets career development centers, coding boot camps, high school college prep programs, and other organizations geared toward pipelining students and recent graduates to employers.
The company currently has partnerships with The Knowledge House, a Bronx- based organization looking to train tech workers and digital entrepreneurs, then pipeline them into top positions in New York City.
“If we can figure it out in New York, then any other place will just be a lot easier,” Jones said.
The software gives organizations like The Knowledge House real-time insights on the quality of client resumes and which jobs they are applying for. Join the Bloc also integrates with other job search engines like LinkedIn and GitHub.
The company is holding off on expansion to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles to focus on its clients in the NYC area.