In the current economic climate, it has become increasingly difficult for job seekers to find meaningful work. Employers have the upper hand, but for them it’s just as hard to find great people. Job descriptions get lost among the thousands of others that look exactly the same.
In an effort to create better solutions for both parties, [re]start, a Columbus-based company, launched an online platform last month that helps people find new jobs and gives hiring employers free access to hire candidates.
“My goal is to simply help people find new jobs,” said Chad Silverstein, founder and CEO of [re]start. “We’ve been trying to help people since 2013, but recognized the need to have an online presence that makes it easy for both job seekers and employers who are hiring.”
Silverstein, originally from Beachwood, now resides in Columbus and is a member of Congregation Ahavas Sholom in Bexley. He started his first business, a collection agency
called Choice Recovery, while attending The Ohio State University in Columbus in 1997.
In 2013, he founded [re]start, within Choice Recovery, with the purpose to help people sent to collections find a new job so they could afford to pay their bills and get out of debt. And in 2018, he separated [re]start as a separate limited liability company and started offering other companies the opportunity to help their customers the same way Choice Recovery does.
“Basically, I’m trying to create a simple way to make the connections, similar to how the Jewish world connects people dating when making a shidduch,” Silverstein said. “It shouldn’t be so hard for people to find a great job, and it shouldn’t be so expensive for companies to hire, so I figured I would just build something I would want to use and let others use it for free.”
Thus far, more than 750 people have found new employment opportunities through [re]start, he said.
Business clients of [re]start, called “sponsors,” care about their customers being able to pay their bills, so connecting them with new career opportunities is a win-win for everyone, Silverstein said. Sponsors come from a variety of industries such as real estate, health care, financial services, higher education and nonprofits. Sponsors then gain online access that comes with their own landing page and referral portal so they can send complimentary invites to customers, or job seekers.
Once received, customers are able to log into [re]start’s career development platform and connect with a career adviser who tries to make warm introductions with employers that are signing up to be partners on the platform, Silverstein said.
Because the service is free for employers, [re]start plans to onboard thousands of companies over the next few years. It also recently launched two new websites: restartworks.com, for sponsors to sign up and refer customers, and joinrestart.com for people to accept the invitation and sign in using their complimentary access code.
Silverstein is aware of the frustrations that job seekers experience. He has interviewed more than 1,000 people over the past 20 years and knows the pain employers experience while trying to fill open positions, he said. He believes [re]start is providing a solution to alleviate all of the problems job seekers and employers experience.
“The entire system is broken,” he said. “If you look at job boards today, you see a long list of job descriptions that all look alike. Employers spent thousands (of dollars) with no guarantee that they’ll get what they’re looking for.”
The company also provides other businesses with an opportunity to transform the rejection process after job interviews. Employers can use a service called Applicant 360 to turn a candidate down for the job – which is typically felt as a negative experience. Companies can then show their appreciation for the applicants’ interest by giving them access to work with [re]start and find another company that may be a better fit.
Silverstein said he is confident [re]start offers a solution that can scale and help thousands of people find jobs they love, as well as help companies find new hires without the high expense.
“I’m most excited about the hiring partnerships and collaborative partnerships,” Silverstein said. “I’ve been able to tap into my network and add partners who provide content and resources for the job seekers. Making other entrepreneurs’ expertise available on our platform is a big win for people taking advantage, and the hiring partnerships are a no-brainer for employers because they are completely free.”
Ben Blotner is a freelance writer from Westerville.