Holland-based startup to launch two options of video résumé platform
Wedge helps job seekers create ‘video first impression’ for prospective employers.
Wedge is hoping to boost job seekers’ résumés.
The Holland-based startup on Aug. 29 will debut a video résumé platform at competitivewedge.com.
Matt Baxter, a Hope College graduate who was a participant in the Hope Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded Wedge in 2015. The business now has four employees.
Baxter’s first brush with entrepreneurship was when he founded a lawn care company in his hometown of Ann Arbor when he was 15. He sold the business during his second year of college.
His experience with hiring taught him that No. 1, it’s easy to miss a great personality on paper, and No. 2, it doesn’t take a long meeting to discover whether someone is a good or bad fit for the company.
“So I said, ‘Why don’t we give employers a chance to see whether someone is a good fit before the interview?’” he said.
“If you think about an hourlong interview or 30-minute phone screen, that’s a huge amount of time. Our process can make it more efficient.”
The video résumé feature joins the company’s first product on the same website, a B2B video interviewing tool used by hiring managers to screen candidates.
West Michigan Works! now uses the first tool for conducting mock interviews with clients.
How it works
Job seekers can sign up for a Wedge account on their phone, website or tablet by creating a username and password, filling out a bio and uploading a profile picture.
Wedge offers job seekers a free version of the video résumé platform and an enhanced version for $10 per year.
The free version gives users unlimited takes to record a Wedge, with three guided questions to answer and a max video length of three minutes. Users can make one Wedge per free account.
Once completed, the Wedge video — along with optional PDFs of résumés or cover letters — becomes shareable via a link. Employers don’t need to have a Wedge account to view the link.
The $10 version offers users unlimited takes to create a Wedge, access to a greater range of questions, the ability to adjust the length of the video from 1-5 minutes and space to store multiple videos of different durations for up a year.
Wedge’s video résumé platform is better for this business than YouTube, Baxter said, because the content of the questions is controlled by Wedge and/or the employer and built into the tool, rather than YouTube’s freeform approach.
“We’ve developed about 150 prerecorded possible questions designed around behavioral-based interviewing,” he said. “We hired a consultant from Hope who helped us with those questions, Mary Ellen Kettelhut,” interim director of entrepreneurship at the college.
Baxter said the questions are more nuanced than typical interview fare such as, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Additionally, the production values are consistent for each video, which is meant to create a level playing field for the candidates who aren’t as tech savvy as others.
Unlike live video tools including Google Hangouts, Skype and FaceTime, Baxter said Wedge is designed to keep the videos brief and let the applicant “do it on their own time” and the employer “view it on their own time.”
Mentors and supporters
Along with the many guides Baxter found at Hope, he counts among his mentors Karl Droppers, president of MVP Sports Clubs; Dan Barcheski, chair and CEO at Axios HR; and Shannon Burkel, executive vice president at Axios, who are members of his board of advisors/directors. Axios also was Wedge’s first client.
Axios is sponsoring the product’s launch event from 4-8 p.m. Aug. 29 at Big Lake Brewing, 13 W. Seventh St. in Holland.
West Coast Chamber and Lakeshore Advantage will be present for a ribbon cutting and remarks at the event.