"Millennials are struggling under the weight of student loan debt and persistently high levels of underemployment," said Brian Weed, Avenica chief executive officer. "With the sponsorship of University Ventures, Avenica will expand its successful model to more cities, more colleges and more industries to provide clear pathways to meaningful career opportunities for tens of thousands of new college grads."
With the acquisition, Weed replaces retiring CEO Bob LaBombard, who will remain on the company's Board of Directors. Weed is a seasoned business leader with nearly 30 years of experience helping companies of all sizes improve processes and outcomes, particularly in the higher education market.
In the wake of the acquisition, the company also announced it is rebranding as "Avenica," reflecting its innovative approach to entry-level recruiting and hiring. The new name, derived from the French words for "future" and "career," speaks to the professional aspirations of the more than 100,000 recent college grads that applied with Avenica in just the past year.
Founded in 1998, Avenica makes the entry-level job market more efficient by recruiting, on a year-round basis, recent graduates using relationships with over 900 four-year colleges and its advanced digital marketing capabilities.
Using its proprietary behavioral science-based interviewing process, Avenica helps candidates discover their transferable skills and career interests, and coaches them to succeed in interviewing and adapting to working in a professional environment. Last year, Avenica filled nearly 1,500 positions with more than 250 clients in 37 U.S. states.
"Market research shows that many hiring managers want to hire new grads for their entry-level job openings, but can't find qualified candidates," said LaBombard. "Avenica does the work for them, and then provides employers with a unique trial period – allowing them to evaluate candidates thoroughly before making the final hiring decision."
Avenica works with companies to refine their entry-level roles and recruiting strategies, streamlining their hiring processes by identifying the right fit for both the graduate and client and utilizing a multi-month "evaluation-to-hire" period, which reduces the risk for both parties. Avenica's success is evident in its outcomes: high conversion rates after the evaluation period (more than 85 percent), as well as high retention rates of its placements two years into their careers (double the average retention rates for all college graduates).
After many years of sustained growth, LaBombard and company founder, David Weyerhaeuser, sought the University Ventures investment to more quickly achieve the scale necessary to meet the widespread need for innovation and specialized services in the entry-level hiring field.
Edited by G. Davila