Since its launch in 2014, Fairfield, CT-based QuadJobs has created thousands of jobs and forged a presence at more than 500 colleges, partnering with schools such as Fairfield University, Sacred Heart, and University of Bridgeport, and expanded into Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and
Philadelphia. We talked to the three founders—Betsy O’Reilly, Andra Newman and Bridie Loverro—about their new initiatives, partnership and what they’ve learned along the way.
Your latest launch is QuadJobs for Business, a platform that makes it easier for local businesses to find the right college workers. Can you tell us about that? “QuadJobs for Business emerged in response to the many local businesses who began posting on the site. We saw huge demand from people who work for themselves or from home, and needed help on specific projects or events. Our business employers include hedge funds, special events companies, caterers, retail stores, interior decorators, authors, restaurants and country clubs. Students are eager to find this kind of pre-professional work, so the response rate from strong applicants has been excellent,” says Betsy O’Reilly, co-founder and CEO.
What do you consider your biggest success with the business? “Our greatest achievement has been helping students in a real way. Nearly 85 percent of college students in this country are on some form of financial aid. Our students want and need to work, but the structure of academic and extracurricular schedules can make it difficult to commit to steady part-time jobs. We made it our mission to unlock community jobs that could fit into any student’s schedule. Our students value that flexibility. Through QuadJobs, they’ve been able to make more money, build their networks, and gain invaluable experience. For some, this is the difference between staying in school and dropping out. For others, it’s led to a full-time job after graduation,” says O’Reilly.
QuadJobs has a large number of college students in Connecticut and New York in its job bank. Why is this student population so active on the site? “We launched in Fairfield County and it remains the epicenter of our business. We spend a lot of time engaged with students. On campus it quickly went viral; sororities and sports teams spread the word and signed up in large numbers,” says Andra Newman co-founder and COO.
There are three founders of QuadJobs. What is that partnership like? “Our partnership is one of the most successful parts of our business. Our backgrounds and strengths are different, so there is never much debate when it comes to divvying up tasks and the collaboration is natural. Betsy, our CEO, has 17 years of experience working in finance and led the Global Sales Teams at Deutsche Bank. Andra headed recruitment at J.Crew before starting her own executive search firm. Bridie has authored six books and has creative marketing experience. The partnership has organically evolved with time, which continues to help us push the business forward,” says Newman.
Where did the idea come from? “As small business owners and parents, we saw a wall between campus and community. You could live near a campus and want to hire a college student to help with something, and there was no streamlined way to do that. At the same time, we felt we could be of service to college students who need to work, want to work—but may not be able to commit to steady part-time employment due to their academic or extracurricular schedules,” says Bridie Loverro, co-founder.
What was the moment when you realized you were on to something? “It was a milestone when we saw employers coming through in Chicago, New York City, New Jersey, and throughout Connecticut and Westchester—and we had no personal connection to them. The need for easy-to-find, smart, talented local help has proven to be widespread. Employers feel great about helping hardworking college students, and students are grateful for flexible jobs that fit into their schedules. It is exciting and validating to see real demand on both sides,” says Newman.
Who is your typical client? “QuadJobs has become a go-to resource for those looking for babysitters, tutors, party help, dogwalkers, errand-runners, organizers or tech whizzes. We also have seen a variety of jobs that show some creativity: guitar lessons, face-painting at a neighborhood block party, standing in line to sign up for dance classes. With the launch of QuadJobs for Business, there has been a surge of jobs in data management, event help, retail, social media and office work,” says Loverro.
What has been most surprising so far in terms of launching this business? “Millennials often get a bad rep, but we have been constantly wowed by their creativity, work ethic, dedication to their studies and commitment to creating opportunity for themselves. I don’t recall being nearly as accomplished when I was in college. We feel incredibly fortunate that the QuadJobs students are so talented. They are a remarkable workforce,” says Newman.
Can you tell us about your recently launched app? “Our app makes it easy for employers to post on the go. Students check their job dashboard between classes. It speeds up the whole exchange and makes it that much easier to post and fill jobs,” says Loverro.
What are your goals for the company in the future? “The ultimate goal is to have QuadJobs become an integral part of the college experience for every student in the country—move into your dorm, buy your books, sign up for QuadJobs to pay for those books,” says O’Reilly. “To that end, we will continue to launch new markets over the next five years, grow our student and employer population and create as many employment opportunities as possible for the students who need and want them.”
Photos by Trisha Estill; iphone: apple