The current job market is rough, but you don’t have to remind James Augustus, Jr. of that. The co-founder and CEO of GREX (pronounced G-REX) was let go from his position at Spherion over two years ago. While he was still employed, Augustus shared his idea for a tool that would make it more effective to match companies looking to hire with qualified job seekers with his then boss. It wasn’t met with the warmest of welcomes, and, shortly after, he was back on the job market. He figured it was time to work on his idea; thus GREX was born.
“Why not take the brain of a recruiter, and put it into technology”, says Augustus. “I am only one recruiter. I only have so many people I can work with, and only so much time I have to put people together.”
So after more than two years of working on the “secret sauce” algorithms and developing the software with his co-founder Kyle Bailey and several concept “pivots,” Augustus launched GREX.
GREX at first glance is an online tool that companies can use to build and distribute business and job profiles, interact with candidates, and update applicants on the status of a position. Applicants use the online recruitment tool to complete a profile, apply for positions and get up-to-date notifications on the status of the job they applied for. While that sounds similar to what your typical job board currently offers, the value-add of GREX is in its matching capabilities. Based on the evaluation of a company’s job requirements, and a candidate’s qualifications, individuals are shown a position that best matches their qualifications.
When a candidate applies for a position within GREX, they can opt to get a score that helps them better understand how they compare with other candidates who applied for the same position. “When you apply for a job you are actually able to see where you rank for the job and what the status is. That provides transparency,” says Augustus.
Transparency is something you don’t typically see when scouring online job boards looking for employment opportunities. If you’re lucky to put in the right keywords to find a match, you either have to rely on that job board’s “apply online” function, which may or may not reach the actual employer, or you’re taken to the company’s own internal site where you have to build yet another profile just to be considered for the position. After you hit “submit” all you can do is wait in most cases.
GREX looks to cut down on the amount of job sites both companies and candidates have to manage, giving them better quality matches with rankings and making the application process clear and straightforward.
Prior to GREX’s launch, Augustus was all ears to feedback from companies like Google, Disney, Toys R Us, Apple and Coca Cola, all of which have signed on to use the system.
GREX’s future updates include a social platform that allows companies and candidates to interact with each other faster, and mobile capabilities that keep candidates updated no matter where they reside. The platform is currently based on a “freemium” model where job seekers can use the basic features of the site at no cost; additional features such as how you rank against other candidates will be available via subscription upgrades. Revenue will also come from companies that want to use the site to find better-qualified candidates to fill their positions.
Even though a bulk of the revenue will come from companies looking to buy into GREX, Augustus notes that his heart is with the job seekers. “GREX was built to bring candidates out of the dark and help them stop wasting time looking at, applying for, and waiting to hear back from jobs they were never going to get in the first place. I believe if everyone had a recruiter to work with, [finding a job] would go a lot smoother.”
Augustus wants companies and candidates to consider GREX as their very own “digital recruiter.”