When Rich Camacho’s father-in-law was looking to hire an auto-body painter for his body shop, he placed an advertisement online and received 80 resumes—for house painters.
Online job platforms typically search for keywords, a system that usually works just fine for white-collar jobs, but often gets lost in translation for blue-collar jobs. Camacho recognized this problem and founded his own solution: Blue Recruit.
“We will be the first platform to market that does away with resumes, that does away with job posts,” Camacho said. “We want to allow America’s workers a very quick and efficient way to get their expertise, their experience out there.”
Founded in October 2018, Raleigh-based Blue Recruit is a job marketplace designed for the unique skills and needs of blue-collar workers. It was slated to present at the now-postponed CED Venture Connect Summit, but you’re in luck—you can watch Camacho tell the Blue Recruit story in this short (1:32) YouTube video.
Camacho came up with the concept for Blue Recruit after he worked for years in recruiting and talent acquisition. While many of the jobs he looked to fill were white-collar, like project managers, he also saw the tremendous need for good construction workers and other blue-collar employees.
Instead of requiring job-seekers to upload a resume, Blue Recruit has them list their skills. Camacho said this is because, on average, blue-collar jobs require more hard skills than white-collar jobs, and employers need to see what kind of work potential hires are qualified for.
“Resumes are awesome if you’re applying for an accounting job at a big firm,” Camacho said. “Frankly, why should a diesel mechanic waste his or her time writing a resume? Most employers care if that person can fix an engine, not write a one-page, qualitative resume.”
Blue Recruit is currently in a pre-registration beta period, but Camacho said he anticipates being fully functional by the end of August. It will use a B2B business model, where companies will pay a monthly subscription fee to view candidates that match their particular needs. When a company sees a candidate they think might be a good fit, it will send them a request, and a candidate can choose to accept the request if they are interested.
Job-seekers will be able to pay to have a criminal background check done on themselves, as well as a driving license check and certification verification, to help employers more fully understand their application. Camacho, a military veteran himself, said there will also be an option to mark if you have veteran status.
While Blue Recruit has been bootstrapped by founders Camacho, Matt Smith and Gina Camacho since its inception, it is hoping to raise a seed round this year. Camacho and his team had hoped to kick off that effort at Venture Connect, which obviously won’t happen. But the need and demand for blue-collar workers will still be strong when the coronavirus crisis passes; just think about the extra workout the pipes in your kitchen and bathroom will be getting with your whole family staying home all day, every day for the next few weeks.
“Right now, for the first time in a generation,” Camacho said, “the stigma against blue-collar, trade schools, apprenticeships, vocational-type training is starting to deteriorate, and I think that’s a good thing… We want to be part of the movement to tell America that an apprenticeship, a vocational training, is not only an awesome living, it’s a great way to live and create a professional career.”