Most job searches have moved online to platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed, but that’s not true for the restaurant and hospitality industries. Many people still walk around handing out paper résumés that often end up getting stuffed in a filing cabinet or lost without ever making it to a manager.
It’s not easy for employers to find the best people, either. A Craigslist or classified ad could bring in 250 responses, few of them with the correct qualifications.
That is a problem that a young startup called Industry is trying to fix. Based in San Diego, the company is in the process of launching its service in Seattle. Industry has formed a partnership with the Washington Restaurant Association to get 6,000 member restaurants in Washington State using the app.
Matt Cecil, co-founder of Industry, said his company is trying to make it easier for qualified job seekers to connect with employers.
“We understood that LinkedIn does not cater to blue collar workers, and it only really caters to people that are in sales, or PR, or vice presidents of companies, but for a bartender or server to be on LinkedIn, the opportunity isn’t there,” he said.
Industry was voted the audience favorite at this summer’s TechCrunch Seattle Meetup + Pitch-Off in June.
Matt Cecil founded the company with partners Cody Barbo and Errol Asuncion about 18 months ago. Barbo founded a photo sharing startup and Asuncion owns several restaurants in San Diego. All of them have worked in the restaurant industry and know the frustrations of hiring or trying to get a job.
They originally launched the app in San Diego. They decided to take it down and rebuild the next version, which Cecil said will be easier to expand across the U.S. It relaunched about three months ago.
Employers can set up a filtered search with specific qualifications, such as a bartender with two years of experience. The app would then put that listing in front of prospects who meet that threshold. Employers pay Industry for every qualified applicant they get. The average is about $3 per qualified applicant, but it differs depending on the position, Cecil said. The service is free for jobseekers. In addition, the company raised about $250,000 from angel investors last year.
One recent addition to the app is a video resume feature. Since charisma and interaction are an important part of the hospitality and restaurant industries, Cecil said a high quality video resume gives applicants a way to stand out.
“If you are 17 years old and you want to go get a job, you don’t have the experience,” Cecil said. “All you have is your personality and drive, and you can showcase that through a video resume.”