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The Whether, a platform powered by St. Louis startup Better Weekdays that helps employers more easily attract, engage and hire job seekers, will receive a $200,000 investment from the Helix Fund, it was announced today at the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership’s Annual Meeting. This represents the single largest investment to one company from the fund. County Executive Steve Stenger and STL Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney made the announcement at a luncheon attended by 750 people held at the Chase Park Plaza.
“It’s critical to invest in innovative startups in the St. Louis region to ensure they get the support they need to grow and prosper in our region,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said. “I’m proud St. Louis County is able to back Better Weekdays, a cutting-edge tech company that will strengthen our workforce development.”
At the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership’s annual meeting, Better Weekdays CEO and founder Chris Motley showcased the online platform, which allows job-seekers and hiring managers to interact in fundamentally new ways. The Whether provides ideal conditions for job-seekers to explore career opportunities stress-free, and to interact with career services in a whole new way. With The Whether, job-seekers can weigh both company culture and professional compatibility. As a result, companies receive real-time feedback on how their brand is trending among potential hires.
“The Whether is a model for how we rethink workforce development,” St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney said. “Already St. Louis businesses are seeing the positive difference it can make for their organizations. We’re thrilled to not only invest in the technology, but also adopt it.”
Motley shared the new app at SLEDP’s Annual Luncheon attended by over 700 regional business leaders. Edward Jones, BKD, Express Scripts and Wells Fargo have already signed on as clients. Thanks to the Helix Fund investment, Motley announced The Whether will offer a free tier of service for a limited time to St. Louis-region businesses.
“The Whether provides visibility to my blind spots when engaging with candidates,” said Andrew Toussaint, Senior Recruiter at Edward Jones. “The software helps me nurture candidates who are interacting with my content. Ultimately, our goal is to leverage the Whether by utilizing its data to move candidates through our recruiting process in a more personalized fashion.”
Better Weekdays has partnered with regional colleges and universities to deliver a better career discovery experience to graduates with The Whether. Potential hires will have a newsfeed with curated content of St. Louis companies of all sizes and educational opportunities, and each will have a mentor. Companies are able to nurture relationships with prospective hires by providing them with content about their corporate culture, “a day in the life” examples or an executive profile before they even apply.
Employee recruitment methods have largely remained static, with career fairs and website postings continuing to be the most popular. Companies often bemoan workforce recruitment as a pain point and consider current methods ineffective—despite spending $8 billion on them annually.
“We are solving a common and widespread social problem in workforce development,” Motley said. “And we’re making it a more effective and enjoyable process at the same time for both job-seekers and recruiters throughout the country.”
Today’s announcement follows The Whether being announced winner of the 2017 Launch startup competition at SXSWedu. The Whether was selected out of ten finalists. Locally, Better Weekdays is a portfolio company for Capital Innovators and Arch Grants.
Also announced today was a new brand identity for St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the launch of its new website at www.STLPartnership.com.