- AstrumU, a company looking to build a more transparent marketplace for college and early-career recruiting, raised $7.65 million in Series A funding, it announced July 28. The Seattle-based startup employs around 30 people and its total funding is now $13.2 million.
- "This is about providing employers with trusted insights into who college graduates are in ways that go well beyond the college transcript or a resume," AstrumU founder and CEO Adam Wray said in the press release. "It's about leveling the playing field by helping students — and colleges — translate their experience into an incredibly dynamic world of work."
- AstrumU said it aims to help employers, students, and universities quantify how much certain experiences, including courses, extracurricular activities or internships and on-campus jobs, translate to the workplace.
Recruiters have long recognized that recruiting college students, having only knowledge of their major, GPA and maybe internship experience, is a challenging endeavor. Those who are best at navigating this uncertain environment can unlock the value of hiring, and keeping, the best talent entering the labor market.
"There's a stream of research that shows that top talent creates disproportionate value in organizations," Brooks Holtom, a management professor at Georgetown University, previously told HR Dive, "so organizations need to pay special attention to people who are highly talented in the recruiting and selection process, but also in terms of retaining them."
Internships and campus recruiting strategies that focus on getting to know prospective employees may allow employers to assess for "soft skills," such as the likelihood of being a team player, in a way that goes beyond bullet points on the resume.
In terms of evaluating college experiences for workplace relevance, employers and employees are in disagreement on the value of specific undergraduate majors, a 2019 Handshake study said. Employers have also been better able to meet their talent needs by relaxing academic requirements, according to an Alexander Mann whitepaper from February.
Recruiters and hiring managers also frequently report skill gaps among college graduates — a July Gallup study found that this group says it lacks networking and computer software skills. Gallup said its findings "offer a lens into declining American perceptions of the value of a college degree," and that these gaps "could help explain why Americans are less likely today than in 2013 to believe a college education is 'very important.'"