The Good Jobs Snags $350K To Help Companies Promote Culture

[Updated 4/22/14, 1:13 p.m., to include executives’ full titles.] Milwaukee startup The Good Jobs has secured $350,000 in funding that will allow it to expand staff and step up marketing for its Web tools that help companies showcase their office culture to jobseekers.

The funding includes $180,000 from investors, led by Oshkosh, WI-based Angels on the Water and Milwaukee-based BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a nonprofit investment organization. The Good Jobs also received a $170,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., the company said.

“This is a lead-generation year for us,” The Good Jobs co-founder and CEO Anne Nimke told Xconomy. “It’s all about customer acquisition and taking our website to [version 2.0].”

The startup is also hiring three full-time employees, growing staff to five full-time workers and one part-time, Nimke said.

The Good Jobs previously raised $268,000 in seed investment from local angel investors and Wisconsin startup accelerator Gener8tor, with Nimke also putting money in. The company graduated from Gener8tor’s inaugural three-month accelerator program in summer 2012 in Milwaukee, then launched its website in January 2013.

The Good Jobs started as an online jobs board, but pivoted during the Gener8tor program to become a Web marketing company, Nimke said. The startup helps employers—from small businesses to large corporations—publicly underline their company culture by earning up to seven electronic “badges,” including corporate responsibility, perks, career development, and fun.

The Good Jobs vets customers’ offerings through either an online application or an interactive seminar with various departments, like human resources and marketing. The Good Jobs primarily makes money by signing up customers to annual subscriptions that allow the companies to promote the badges in their online job postings, on their website, and through social media.

Company profiles, including badges, are also listed on The Good Jobs’ website. Job candidates can click on these badges and read detailed information about company characteristics, from the office foosball table to career training opportunities to examples of ways the firm gives back to the community.

The idea is to quantify a company’s culture, making it tangible for job candidates before they even fill out an application. Culture is a key consideration for jobseekers and an increasingly important battle that employers want to win in the war for talent, Nimke said.

“Jobseekers today are much more discerning in making decisions on where they want to be employed,” Nimke said. “ Jobseekers are wondering and need to know what to expect from the employer and … how it fits their lifestyle.”

Nimke and co-founder Betsy Rowbottom previously worked together at Pinstripe, a Brookfield, WI-based recruitment company co-founded by Nimke in 2004. While at Pinstripe, Nimke and Rowbottom noticed that companies of all sizes don’t always know how best to differentiate themselves when trying to attract employees, Rowbottom said.

“With Google and Zappos and companies that are winning talent based on their cultures, we wanted to create a conduit for companies of any size to be able to explain to jobseekers what their value proposition is,” said Rowbottom, the company’s “chief culture officer.”

The Good Jobs has nearly 60 customers around the country, Nimke said. Arguably its biggest win was signing up Zappos, the Las Vegas-based online shoe and clothing retailer owned by that has a reputation for a fun but unconventional culture.

So what value does The Good Jobs bring to a company like Zappos, already well known for its culture? For one, the startup provides data analytics like tracking badge clicks and the positions that candidates subsequently apply for, Rowbottom said. (Zappos’ culture badges are getting more than 200 clicks a day, she said.)

The Good Jobs also helps Zappos staff better articulate the company’s culture, and the badges ensure that Zappos is sharing specific information about its culture with every single candidate that visits its website.

Most clients earn two or three badges, not all seven, Nimke said.

“Companies don’t need to be all things to all people,” she said. “They should focus on what’s important to them.”

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