If you hate your corporate drone job but don't know where exactly you want your career to go, a new social venture startup might have a solution for you -- and for your next employer.
The new website, called ReWork, is trying to flip the conventional recruiter arrangement on its head. Instead of companies paying big bucks to headhunters to find top talent, ReWork wants to make it possible for skilled mid-career workers to offer themselves out to non-profits and companies that want to do good.
"Don't settle" is ReWork's motto, and co-founder Abe Taleb says he hopes to live up to it.
"We see so many people not taking their whole self to work," he said. "And a lot of us were in that same position."
After going to school for industrial engineering, Taleb didn't have trouble finding jobs after he graduated. "But nothing ever clicked," he said, so along with a crew of four others, he's dug into savings and hit up angel investors to launch ReWork.
Since it opened for jobseeker applications in March, ReWork is now up to a 300-person talent pool. More than 3,000 people have applied or are in some stage of the application process. Another 50 to 75 people throw their hat in the ring every week. And, while Taleb is close-lipped about which non-profits and companies are using his services, he says that so far six people have found full-time jobs and another 75 have found part-time work.
"From a kind of growth perspective, we've been very focused on bringing in talent first to be able to make matches," Taleb said. Now that those numbers are up, he expects hiring to start in earnest. Companies have the option to pay upon hiring, or for access to the ReWork candidate database.
And the price, Taleb said, will be "a lot less" than at a traditional recruiting firm. "We view ourselves as a social enterprise. This is mission oriented for us, so we like to think of ourselves in the same boat."
The biggest benefit ReWork offers to both talent and employers, Taleb said, is to "reduce the noise." Instead of combing through the applications on another do-gooder jobs website like Idealist, someone who has a good but not satisfying job can wait for ReWork to send pre-vetted opportunities their way.
Taleb is based in Pittsburgh, but his collaborators work out of Boulder, Color., and the company says much of its pool comes from places like San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Washington, DC.
ReWork, which grew out of the social venture incubator The Unreasonable Institute, has now partnered up with talent-producing organizations like the Monterey Institute and Bentley College to collect more applications. And someday, Taleb envisioned, the website will be there not just for a first job, but for a lifetime.
"This isn't a one time transaction, building our talent pool," he said. "We see this as a life-long community."
This profile is part of a series featuring innovative small-business owners taking part in The Huffington Post's Entrepreneurship Expo in Tampa and Charlotte, in conjunction with the 2012 political conventions and HuffPost's "Opportunity: What Is Working" initiative.
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