Photo credit: Meaghan Evans
Above Photo: Justin (left) and Jack Litchfield, co-founders of JobJunxion Inc., aim to make it easier for students to find relevant employment and help employers find the talent they need to grow.
JobJunxion is the brainchild of Justin Litchfield (BHK 2016) and his brother Jack. While in university, they noticed their classmates were stressed about finding relevant jobs and paying down debt after graduation.
Justin says he saw a two-part problem when he was in school: “First, a lack of awareness of what you need to make it when you join the real world, and second, an easy way to meet the people that matter to get a job while you’re still in school.”
The brothers also knew from their entrepreneur father that recruiting is time-consuming and frustrating for employers, who often have trouble finding the right people. “That problem is complicated by the labour market disconnect: the skills being produced by higher education aren’t matching those in demand by employers,” Jack says.
The Litchfields concluded that connecting students with potential employers, while they were still in post-secondary studies, could solve multiple problems. “If we can solve students’ and employers’ problems with one solution, that’s a great net social good,” Jack says. So, they spent the past year talking with employers and schools and working with a developer to build a platform for their “employment futures exchange.”
How it works
Students at any stage in university or college (including recent grads) can now sign up for free at jobjunxion.com, listing their experience and interests. Their identity remains private until an employer reaches out and the student agrees to connect. Motivated students who want to build their experience in communications, human resources, or networking can also apply at jobjunxion.com to be an on-campus Student Ambassador.
Employers can also sign up for free and should contact email@example.com for more information. Employers can post opportunities or search for potential future employees and decide if they want to offer interviews and orientations, co-ops, internships, or part-time jobs in the intervening years until graduation.
By starting a relationship early, employer and employee can gauge culture fit, build loyalty on both sides, and fine-tune courses and skills. Students can find out if they are truly interested in employment in their field of study before they finish their degree.
Employers told the Litchfields that registering with existing co-op programs is complicated and time-consuming because every school has a different interface. Many don’t bother registering with more than one or two schools. With JobJunxion they can quickly sign up once and reach students from any institution.
JobJunxion currently focuses on southern Ontario employers, with plans to expand. Students from any school can sign up but should expect to find employers mainly in Ontario for now. JobJunxion is a member of Communitech, giving the brothers business support and networking potential with 1000+ companies in the Waterloo region. As JobJunxion’s database grows, it will be able to provide employers and students with anonymous data about which academic programs produce successful relationships and what skills are in demand.
The Litchfields are excited to see their first matches this semester. “I just want to get out there and start solving problems,” Justin says. “There’s a disconnect between the expectations that you’re given in school and the reality of job searching afterwards,” Jack says. “The idea that you need three to five years of experience for entry-level positions — how are you supposed to get that? Now there’s a way.”
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