It’s all Greek to firm that aids recruiters | nnbusinessview.com

It’s all Greek to firm that aids recruiters

John Seelmeyer
jseelmeyer@nnbw.biz

Employers, increasing disappointed with sifting through big haystacks to find occasional needles at campus job fairs, are fueling the growth of Reno-based Greek Ladders.

Launched by 4PillarTalent LLC less than two years ago on two campuses — the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Arizona — GreekLadders has added the University of New Mexico and The Ohio State University to its job-matching network.

And about five more campuses are expected to be participating by next spring, says Pete Parker of Reno, who launched the firm with Matt Noble of Tucson.

Their big idea: Employers who are recruiting on campus aren't satisfied with a five-minute drive-by from students cruising the aisles of a job fair. Instead, employers want the opportunity to develop a more well-rounded look at applicants — and, all things being equal, they'd like to find students who have a track record of campus involvement.

Members of fraternities and sororities, in short.

"We're going after a niche market," says Parker. "Both Matt and I were frat guys. We want to target student leaders."

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Campus greek organizations provide a pre-screened pool of campus leaders in which Greek Ladders can fish for good candidates for employment. Greek-life offices on campuses help open doors. The company spruces up job-seeking fraternity and sorority members with free seminars and workshops on subjects such as resume-writing and interviewing skills.

Employers pay $500 per campus for the ability to sort through Greek Ladders' profiles of students. And not all of them are seniors who are nearing graduation. In many instances, Parker says, employers want to begin developing relationships with promising students, sometimes as early as their freshmen year, that can be nourished into internships and job offers after graduation.

Corporate recruiters who are weary of online job searches and expensive, time-consuming job fairs, have been strong supporters of the Greek Ladders approach.

More challenging, Parker says, has been getting the attention of students. A 19-year-old member of a fraternity or sorority still is a 19-year-old — lost, uncertain or filled with irrational overconfidence.

But word about Greek Ladders has traveled through the national grapevine of greek organizations and their alumni. The company, getting regular proposals to expand its services to new campuses, has added a sort of "Greek Ladders light" on about 60 campuses. While it's assembling student profiles on those campuses, the company isn't offering the same intensive services and personal attention that it provides at its four bellwether university locations.

Parker says the company has found that it needs to provide a large dollop of free service to the students at its primary locations. That acts as a brake on fast expansion into other campuses, whose needs might sink the small Reno company.

"We're a typical start-up," says Parker. "We're putting in our capital and our time. But we're still keeping our day jobs."