A few years ago, Jasmine Silver was a divorce attorney. She cut back on full-time work to raise her young children, but still wanted clients. However, she had no idea how to find them.
Runa Knapp was a senior manager in KPMG’s credit practice. When her kids were born, she too left the full-time workforce.
The 2 women met through their children’s Westport pre-school. Realizing how many friends they have with corporate backgrounds — “intelligent women who took time off for their kids,” but who wanted either part- or full-time jobs — they brainstormed ideas.
“There are so many super-educated, super-ambitious people here, and in the rest of Fairfield County,” Jasmine says. “They’re untapped talent. But they needed a resource to re-enter the job market.”
Now, they’ve got one. ConneCTalent helps both stay-at-home professionals and employers by, well, “connecting” them with each other. Opportunities include law, engineering, finance, marking, public relations, non-profits and “creatives.”
They’re also a great resource for commuters looking for opportunities closer to home. Plus people already employed, hoping to move up the corporate ladder.
It sounds like it’s aimed solely at women. Yet, Runa notes, many men face the same job market issues.
In some ways, conneCTalent is like a typical recruiting agency. Employers pay a commission, based on the first year salary. However, Jasmine explains, their rates are lower than others.
In addition, there’s a human touch lacking in most keyword-driven agencies.
She and Runa source jobs personally. They also hear of opportunities directly from employers.
Their database of job-seekers is filled with people who are not listed elsewhere. Some are just beginning their search. Others simply like Jasmine and Runa’s personal touch.
“We don’t just match buzzwords on resumes with jobs,” Runa says. “We have conversations with people and businesses. That’s how we make thoughtful, curated matches and connections.”
ConneCTalent is growing rapidly. It will grow even more after a launch party on September 5 (6:30 to 8:30 p.m., B:Hive Southport). The event includes a career transition coaching workshop led by Morgan Mermagen; a resume writing workshop with Lesley Vanderlee, and a roundtable discussion on social media tips headed by WestportMoms co-founder Megan Rutstein.
ConneCTalent will sponsor more workshops this fall. Runa and Jasmine hope to see many new faces at those events. After all, the idea is that everyone in their current database will be busy working.
(For more information, or to RSVP for the September 5 event, email firstname.lastname@example.org)