Without experience, it’s hard to get a job. And without a job, it’s hard to gain experience.
It’s a frustrating dilemma, one that Las Vegas-based Qualifyor wants to fix.
The business startup used to focus on mentoring small groups of high school students, but this week it switched to an online, competition-based platform in which members potentially can score jobs.
Competitions level the job application field, founder Kacy Qua said, by allowing young people to showcase their talent based on specific requests from employers. It also levels the playing field by reducing nepotism. In the competition scenario, the best applicant wins.
“It’s about showing how you use the medium you’re really good at to bring out a deliverable,” said Keath Lewis, “the boss” at Qualifyor who handles marketing and sales.
For businesses, using the platform reduces the work of comparing résumés and reveals the best candidate. It also offers them young peoples’ perspectives and engages them with the brand.
Qualifyor said it’s in talks with a few major brands but can’t disclose details yet.
Another of the company’s core goals is to provide a path for students who are not college-bound.
The group stresses they are not anti-college. They seek to improve the training and hiring process by cutting out résumé comparisons in an age when online education is prevalent.
The better way, Qua said, is to show, not tell. “It enforces creating a portfolio, not just a résumé,” Lewis said of the new platform.
For now, it’s free to compete on the website, but in the future it will charge for access to training and online curriculum.
To launch the new model, Qualifyor is hosting the “Rebrand for a Grand” logo-redesign competition, in which participants ages 13 to 23 can take any logo they like and revamp it for a chance to win $1,000.
John Cervantes, “media man” with Qualifyor was in the company’s first round of apprentices and was offered a job. He handles images, video, social media, information technology and website management and design.
From Qualifyor, he said he learned to seek expertise and learn from it.
“It made me realize that asking questions is OK,” Cervantes said. “People do have the time and they care and they want to help you.”
Contact reporter Kristy Totten at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3809. Find her on Twitter @kristy_tea.