Alumni Spotlight: Joe Hallett

 

 

Emma Barge

After graduating from Colgate as a computer science concentrator in 2002 and earning his PhD in the same field at Boston University, Joe Hallett worked at several New York City-based tech companies as he tried to find the right fit for a future career. Three years ago, he started work on his true passion, a site called Company Connector that gives young people insight into the not-so-visible dimensions of a variety of companies and industries and matches employment preferences with the jobs that fit best. With its seven employees, the site has already indexed 1,500 companies. 

While Colgate offered a solid base for Hallett’s computer

science and programming knowledge, he also recognizes the value of developing his people skills as he works to coordinate projects and manage personalities as the company’s CTO.

1. What goals did you want to accomplish when you founded Company Connector? 

Company Connector’s goal is to provide a way for people to tackle these two large hurdles when job searching. The first is that there’s a crazy amount of data about employers (sheer number of employers, job posting at each employer, network contacts at each employer, reviews of what it’s like to work at each employer, etc.) and second, visibility into employers is limited. We’re building tools to allow people to sift through all this data and focus in on the pieces that most interest them. We do this by asking the people what they’re looking for and then using our algorithms to match them with employers. We use lots of criteria when matching: industry, job-function, location, culture surveys, compensation data, management data and so on. 

We also provide the ability for people to anonymously contact existing or former employees at a particular company.  This allows people to get the “inside scoop.”

Earlier this week, one of my teammates had a nice way of describing what we’re doing.  He said, “In an environment where potential employers can put on their best face to applicants, Company Connector adds some much needed accountability.”

2. What makes you different from indeed.com or other job finder with filtering options?

I cringe when I hear people explaining what we’re doing as a job-search site. We believe that the days of viewing job posts on web sites like Monster, CareerBuilder or Indeed are behind us. There’s just too much to wade through!  And no one gets back to you! Specialty sites are decent for finding out about a particular industry. And sites with information about companies, like Glassdoor.com, do help to break down the huge wall between what a company is really like and what it claims to be.

But most people get jobs through someone they know or met.  More modern sites are starting to understand this and build better tools. These kinds of next-generation tools are where Company Connector comes in. Company Connector is a place where people go to learn about companies (even ones people have never heard of) and meet people at these companies.

3. What part of this project makes you the most proud?

I’m most proud of the team we’ve put together and, as a result, the tool we’re in the process of building. We’re a talented and dedicated bunch with a view that we can make some changes (for the better) in the way employment happens. I believe those changes will be a result of who our team is and how they function.

4. How has your experience at Colgate shaped your professional self?

I think the open dialogue at Colgate and the diversity of views helped me understand that I could explore different career paths besides the tradition. I do think it helped develop my entrepreneurial spirit. I also met a lot of people who have started their own business. I’ve learned a lot from them. I also had some top-notch computer science professors. 

Contact Emma Barge at [email protected]