A swarm of students surrounds a brightly painted bus parked in the middle of the campus quad. Is this a local radio station promo? Nope. Call it a Web-based resume workstation, if you will.
So how does a successful Web site fit in to this scenario? Combining low-tech marketing (the bus) with a high-tech business (the bus is equipped with laptops linked to their Web site) is just one way Sara Sutton and Rachel Bell stay in touch with the college students who search for jobs through their company, JobDirect.com.
Instead of just posting resumes and job listings on its site, JobDirect.com allows employers to search for qualified candidates in its database. Those candidates are notified via e-mail and can decide if they want their resume forwarded to the interested company. "It takes the inefficiency out of job searching," says Sutton, 24, who started the Stamford, Connecticut, business with her childhood pal, Bell, 24, in 1995.
Sutton and Bell began their venture while in college, and though they put their degrees on hold when the company took off, the pair haven't forgotten what it's like to be a student. Job-seekers post their resumes on the database for free, and all revenue--$3 million in 1998--comes from companies who pay up to five figures monthly for access to entry-level applicants. Marketing efforts, including a job drive and student reps who earn money for collecting resumes, give the company its "grass-roots feel." Says Sutton, "It's a great way for us to keep in touch with the student population."