College Recruiting Gets Punched In The Face 17 Comments

Talk to Ted Williams, CEO and Founder of GrouperEye for a few minutes and you’ll quickly understand the difference he’s attempting – and about to make in the college recruiting space.

Over the past decade not much has changed with college recruiting.  For the most part companies  have focused on building relationships with Career Centers and staff, Faculty, and Student Organizations.  Many sponsor events and clubs, hold information sessions, and attend career fairs.

Characteristics of this approach has always been more focused on specific Universities vs. talent across thousands of Universities, and lets face it, boring yet a fairly safe bet for Recruiters.  John Sullivan wrote an article and estimates this is the approach being used by 95% of companies.

For Ted, what has been missing in all of that is very clear.  A platform to build relationships and a true talent community (not just a database of names), in addition to observing and assessing students real work talent with case competitions.

Until now…  GrouperEye is set to launch on September 15th, and plans to take the college recruiting landscape in a very different direction.  A direction that is truly talent centric and one that focuses on communities, interaction, and engagement vs. a costly approach based on the number of schools and career fairs a Recruiter visits.  And, a direction that engages Faculty and Career Centers in the process, in a more meaningful and mutually beneficial way.


While the focus until now has been focused on events and job postings (niche boards for those that talk about innovation), this approach enables organizations to have students engage in a process and enter into a relationship a lot more meaningful than applying for a job online.  Think about the possibilities…  A company like Disney can ask engineering students to design their next ride. Insurance and investment companies can ask actuarial students to design new products.  A marketing company can ask marketing students to design a product launch plan.  All of this done simultaneously from students anywhere that you choose to engage in the process with.


While the concept of case competitions is not a new, I think Ted and his team are pretty pumped.  With a platform like GrouperEye and the opportunities that exist with College Recruiting, they have every reason to be.

Interested in being an early adopter? You can e-mail Ted directly or contact him at 202.431.7509.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Monday, August 31st, 2009
  • This Post Has 17 Comments

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    4. Amod Damle says:

      This is definitely a much needed tool. When we launched our Investment Mgmt & Research case competition – we had everything well organized and planned but were lacking a hosting platform. This would have been very helpful. Case Compeititions are by far the best way to evaluate college talent!

    5. I really like the approach that Ted and his team are taking with GrouperEye and I had the good fortune of meeting him at a dinner earlier this summer. My only major reservation is the lack of transparency between the employer client, GrouperEye, and the student. These competitions are wonderful ways for employers to assess talent as they require the candidate to prove her performance, but the same tool can be used by employers as ways of getting students to do a lot of work for little to no money and little to no hope of converting those “internships” into full-time, permanent positions.

      At a minimum, there should be full disclosure by the employer as to their intention regarding the conversion of entrants into the competitions into full-time permanent employees. Even better, there should be an eBay-type system where candidates who have completed one competition for that employer can rank the employer and post comments. The employer should also be required to provide proof as to whether they hired anyone from the competition and, if so, how many and for what positions.

      If these employers are serious about using GrouperEye for hiring rather than just cheap or even free labor, then they should welcome this transparency as it will allow those employers with good hiring records to stand apart from those whose intentions are not as pure.

    6. Ted says:

      Hey Steve, great points and you are 100% correct. We kick out clients who try to use it for crowd sourcing or free labor – we don’t do business with people like this because we don’t like them.

      We also are rolling out several features that will answer all of your transparency questions. Great companies don’t have anything to hide and we do business with great companies. We will embrace the heck out of transparency. And I will be open and honest with all of our students/businesses about what works and what doesn’t.

      Thank you for the feedback. And of course, we are brand new – so we’ll do some things great and we will need to improve others. We have built this iteration-sprint-mentality into the business so that we continue to get better, rapidly.

    7. Ted says:

      Agreed. And, from a student standpoint, it’s exciting to do real world stuff for businesses instead of textbook problems. We are also crazy enough to believe that we can make a real impact on education. Imagine if Harvard Business Cases were real time.

    8. Amod Damle says:

      Cannot agree more! real world cases help students understand what the firm/company/business is all about – and recruiters/hiring managers can see how the candidates will tackle work issues and tasks before spending the money to bring them aboard. Taking try before you buy to another level!

    9. Ted,

      I’m not surprised that you’re well down the path of providing the transparency and accountability that we first discussed over beers in Minneapolis, but how exactly are you determining which clients you need to fire and how are you making that process transparent so that the candidates using GrouperEye can make their own, informed decisions about to which organizations they should offer their free labor?

    10. Ted says:

      Right now it’s on a case by case basis because we are small. You are right, we will need to implement a better systems with guidelines as we grown. We’ll get there.

      Also, the top three students in each case are compensated with cash rewards ($100) to avoid free labor – so not only are they getting noticed for internships/jobs, they are also getting paid. It’s cool and the student response has been fantastic.

      But, you are right – there is a thin line between crowd sourcing and engagement recruiting. All I can say is that this is brand new area and we will continue to learn and improve.

    11. […] College Recruiting Gets Punched In The Face By Jason Buss […]

    12. Joshua Kahn says:

      Jason, nice article man! Concise and well written.

      Ted – you’re on your way man, not that you didn’t already know that. Great conversation happening between you and Steven. You both make some great points. I’m personally jazzed to see where this thing goes for you.

    13. This post and comments are a reminder to me about how easily these conversations can be sparked when people meet (have met) in person. I did not get a chance to speak with Ted (like I had hoped but was distracted with the event) while he was in Minnesota but I am thrilled that Josh did the introduction/invite and that Ted and Steven were able to meet.

      Hmmm, this has me a bit fired up as I think about the Minnesota Recruiters event in November.

    14. Ted:

      I applaud your efforts, it’s time that we all figure out a better way for organizations to source, assess and recruit their future leaders.

    15. […] The only thing I can think of is that our content is getting better and people are starting to talk about us. Sure, we are still in tiny site, but we haven’t even taken the cover off of our new […]

    16. A different direction indeed. Certainly, the college recruitment environment has changed with the advent of mobile and social technological advancements. Thanks for the great post and the great follow up to Dr. Sullivan’s original article.

    17. […] are already springing up to meet this need. A company called Groupereye is providing a platform for organizations, career centers, faculty, and students to communicate and […]

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