Early career hiring is a pain point that most of us have felt firsthand (or will feel) at some point in our lifetime – either as the candidate spending countless hours deep in applications or as an employer attempting to pick standout resumes. While we’ve all heard the usual tips and tricks, Co-Founder and CEO, Andrew Myers built RippleMatch to fundamentally re-define what this end-to-end process looks like.
We sat down with Andrew to hear about the career fair frustrations that sparked the idea behind RippleMatch and how he engages with customers to buy into this modern approach. Check it out below:
What does RippleMatch do? What are you trying to disrupt?
RippleMatch is the AI-powered platform for next generation early career hiring. We are disrupting early career recruitment by tackling the top challenges in the space, including the inefficiency of job boards, difficulties in reaching diverse talent, challenges managing applicant volume, and the prevalence of spam in candidate interactions. By automating inbound applicant review and outbound sourcing, we help companies reach the right talent more effectively.
What’s your background and how has your expertise helped you tackle this problem / build this product?
I founded RippleMatch in 2016 as a student at Yale after seeing problems with the job search process firsthand. My classmates landed jobs by waiting in line at career fairs for companies that only visited a select set of campuses. On the other hand, my former high school classmates missed out on opportunities due to the school-centric nature of recruitment at the time. This initial spark of an idea led me to leave Yale before the start of my senior year and work with my co-founder, Eric, to develop the platform.
As we delved deeper into the problem, we realized the numerous flaws in the student job search process, and over the years, new challenges have emerged in our changing landscape.
But throughout this process and even as we expanded to serve hundreds of customers over the years, I’ve made it a priority to stay closely connected to our user base, ensuring that we continue to address real problems and build features that cater to the modern recruitment team's requirements.
This hands-on approach, combined with my personal experiences and dedication to improving the early career job search, has been instrumental in guiding RippleMatch to transform the recruitment process for both employers and candidates.
What’s the #1 thing you’ve learned about building and engaging a community of customers?
Building a strong community of engaged customers means taking a holistic approach to understanding customers' needs, concerns, and feedback, and then crafting different avenues and touchpoints to engage with them.
We proudly work with customers like EY, Estee Lauder, PNC, Ebay, MongoDB, Palo Alto Networks and more. We prioritize our relationships between our customers and customer success managers, with many considering RippleMatch an extension of their team. We invest in hosting high-quality educational and community-building events, providing professionals in the recruitment field with a space to discuss critical topics, connect, and learn from each other. We also celebrate our customers' expertise by inviting them to share their successes at industry events, both in-person and virtual. Finally, we maintain dedicated channels for feedback sharing and incorporating product suggestions into our future roadmaps, actively involving our community in shaping the evolution of our offerings. This multi-faceted approach fosters a sense of connection, collaboration, and partnership among our customers and within the broader RippleMatch ecosystem, empowering our customers to engage with this community in the way that resonates most with them.
What’s been the #1 hurdle selling to your customers? How are you overcoming that hurdle?
Any product that’s disrupting the traditional way of doing things can face pushback, especially selling to industries and large companies that are often set in their ways and processes. Many organizations have been accustomed to the status quo of recruiting, which often involves manual processes, job boards, and campus visits.
Convincing them to embrace a technology-driven, data-centric approach has been a challenge at certain points.
However, the world-changing events of the pandemic transformed the landscape of work, and that included how companies recruited early career talent. So many companies considered the new ways of working remotely, as well as how to recruit talent remotely. This shift in thinking gave us an opening to transform how companies hire, but to continue to grow it requires constant innovation and hard work from our entire team. This is more important than ever in a macro environment that’s forced many companies to cut costs and only invest in what feels necessary.
What’s the long-term vision for RippleMatch? How do you plan to scale it there?
So much about the current job search process is broken. Gen Z candidates are submitting hundreds of applications and aren’t connecting with the right jobs, while employers are drowning in applications and struggling to prioritize the applicants who are the best fit for the roles. Our long-term vision is to transform the fundamental way we find work at all experience levels, but starting by building upon the foundational AI-driven technology we’ve created to connect the next generation of talent with employers. We get there by continuing to build great technology that empowers recruitment teams to focus on the human-centric parts of recruitment and by providing our Gen Z users with a radically different job search experience than submitting countless resumes to job boards. We get there by retaining the great talent at our company that contributes to all parts of the business, all the way from marketing to customer success to engineering. It’s not an easy road ahead, but I’m confident and so excited about the technology and team we’ve built to make it happen.
How would you summarize your fundraising experience?
Finding the right investors (like Work-Bench!) has been a critical part of our growth journey. Jess and Jon are incredible investors (and even better human beings). They are genuinely humble (which can be rare in VC), roll up their sleeves, and fight to do what is right for their founders.
They’ve helped us expand our team and hire the best talent to develop our product, expand our customer base, and drive innovation in the early career talent recruitment space.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you wish you knew earlier that you would share with other founders early on their enterprise software journey?
Getting hiring right is a crucial part of building a successful company early on. It’s impossible to get it right every single time, but figuring out how you can minimize the potential of getting it wrong will pay dividends over time. Each person you hire has the potential to heavily influence the course of your company, so think critically about the skill sets that you’re looking for. Hiring a top-performing account executive from an established corporation or a lead engineer from a top tech company might seem promising, but certain skills around adaptability and scrappiness may not transfer in the way you expect. Think deeply about who can move the needle early on, and seek advice from seasoned professionals on building hiring processes that assess these core competencies, while also adding a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds to your team.