May 9, 2018
A free website frequented by many college students has become a fertile hunting ground for job recruiters looking to hire computer and engineering professionals, based on a report posted by Bloomberg on May 7.
Silicon Valley-based Piazza Technologies. Is a private company that provides homework help for some 2.5 million students majoring in computers, engineering, math and science.
Largely unknown to the general public,.the site welcomes students to ask and answer one another’s questions — all under the supervision of their professors.
Seven years in, Piazza told Bloomberg that fully 98% of computer science students at the top 50 universities access its site; and students report using it on average for at least three hours a day. (Or, more likely, per night.)
Piazza fans abound in Palo Alto: “I have used Piazza extensively throughout my education,” Vickram Gidwani, a Stanford grad student in electrical engineering, wrote to Bloomberg in an email. “It provides a great forum for any topic in the course.”
Now, reports Bloomberg, the company is doing the obvious thing—monetizing all those eyeballs. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Pooja Nath Sankar says her site has become an ideal space for tech employers and students to meet.
In late 2016 the company launched Piazza Careers. Companies pay for access to students who opt in; they can see if a student was ranked a top participant in a class on the site—and they can narrow searches to, say, “Show me a Bio major who has taken an AI course.”
Their success rate is excellent. Piazza told Bloomberg that 90% of the messages companies send to students get opened. The career feature is particularly appealing to companies that need tech talent but aren’t necessarily on students’ radar. So far, 80 are on-board, including Whirlpool, Airbnb, Nvidia, Quicken Loans, Barclays, and Roche.
What’s next? Now that it’s ubiquitous among computer science majors at top colleges, Piazza is pitching itself to recruiters at less-sought-after companies as a way to find better candidates.
Research contact: @petercoy