Chatstrike startup allows for personal connection between employees, recruiters

Cynthia Bent Findlay
For Columbus CEO
Cam Levy, founder, Chatstrike

Some see frustration in applying for jobs. Cam Levy saw opportunity. Levy says the motivation for his startup, Chatstrike, lies in solving the “black hole” information sink faced by job seekers.

“Folks will apply for a job via a job board, or a job fair, then they never hear anything back. You get no feedback,” Levy says.

Recruiters are frustrated too, swamped with hundreds of cold applications that pile up, and often turn to personal networks to fill positions, possibly missing excellent prospects. It’s a pet peeve Levy says he’s been itching to tackle.

Chatstrike is a way for tech job seekers and recruiters to connect quickly—and personally. “It’s about access, for candidates [and] recruiters, and if you’re a job fair host, it’s about giving their audience access to recruiters as well.”

After years of work in startups including AI-powered job matching firm Beansprock and a couple of different Chatstrike iterations, Levy and team came up with the concept of the job lobby.

“We think of this as an asynchronous job fair,” Levy says.

Chatstrike offers “lobbies” for hosts, which can be tech associations, schools or boot camps. One pilot host is Women in Analytics, the Columbus-founded industry association.

Recruiters then post jobs and screening questions in the lobby. Job seekers can explore job fit and compensation, and they can request chats with recruiters, who can offer quick answers and then decide whether to accept further chats with the candidate.

Chats can be asynchronous or in real time. And if a recruiter rejects a chat, they provide feedback about why.

“They get some personalized feedback, like ‘We’re looking for someone with that TensorFlow experience,’” Levy says. “It sounds so simple, but that alone is a big step up over the job board experience.”

The recruiter pays only when accepting a chat and can quickly identify qualified candidates. The lobby host earns a portion of that fee, monetizing its niche audience. The candidate gets quick answers to questions about whether the job may be right for them.

Chatstrike also features the ability to message through Slack and integration with some applicant tracking systems. Some heavy hitters have already joined on board, posting positions in several lobbies, including Root Insurance, Nationwide, Cardinal Health and Upstart.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.

Chatstrike

Chatstrike.com

Business: Digital job fair platform

Co-founder/CEO: Cameron Levy

Launch: January 2021

Investment to date: $1M from local angel investors