Media Highlights

Opportunity Nation Welcomes to the Coalition

by Jennifer Jordan   •  

As the country gradually emerges from the Great Recession, too many young workers are being left behind. While the national unemployment rate is 7 percent, it remains significantly higher for 20- to 24-year olds – 12.9 percent as of September. And a recent Gallup poll found that fewer 18- to 29-year-olds had full time jobs in June 2013 than they did in the past three years., which joined the Opportunity Nation Coalition in December, is working to change that.

The online career service is designed to help “ambitious, aspiring young professionals whose careers have been derailed by the economy,” according to the company’s website. The service asks job seekers to include valuabe, transferable skills they’ve acquired through work, education and volunteering, and works with employers who “understand that most entry-level hard skills are easily taught.”

The website values so-called “soft-skills” that are increasingly seen as essential for today’s jobs such as:

  • Communication
  • Self-management
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability
  • Analysis
  • Leadership

For each skill, job seekers are asked to submit a reference who will vouch for them, giving potential employers increased confidence in the skills of these applicants.

Entry-level job seekers can create a profile for free, or pay $5 per month to shoot their resume to the top of the pile of companies looking to fill positions. Companies can build a profile and search for employees for free, but must pay $75 a month to list a job and reach out to candidates.

For the past several years, many young professionals have been excluded from entry-level positions as a result of employers’ emphasis on specific hard skills and in-network employee referrals.  Meanwhile, says that employers have found that their existing approach to hiring has fallen short, ignoring a significant population of driven, intelligent potential candidates who will be able to succeed today and in the future.

“We think there’s a solution to both groups’ challenges: an online marketplace for jobs where the initial screening of candidates is based on who they are and how they think,” said CEO Geordie McClelland. “In other words, we believe employers should evaluate candidates on the soft skills and attitudinal measures that are often only addressed far too late, or sometimes not at all, in the traditional hiring process.”

McClelland said was created because “we are deeply concerned about the problem of un- and underemployment in America, especially in the case of young people.”  In prior work with companies ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to start-ups, saw a disconnect between the measure of a great employee and the way that most employees are hired. 

“We are excited by the opportunity to work together with other like-minded organizations within the Opportunity Nation Coalition to address these issues,” he said. is an online career advancement service designed to help entry-level job seekers find work at companies where they are best positioned for success.  We provide searchable, reference-based professional profiles built around the soft skills and personal characteristics that define how people work, and a job search engine that matches aspiring young professionals with companies looking for workers who will be valuable over the long-term.

Jennifer Jordan

Jennifer D. Jordan is Opportunity Nation’s Senior Writer. She shares the campaign’s mission and accomplishments and those of its coalition with diverse audiences, seeking to heighten awareness about expanding economic mobility to more Americans. Read Jennifer's bio.

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