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Hyre KC makes hiring teens a higher priority

Area high schoolers have created a company to help teenagers get hired more easy. It is a free online service that is geared towards helping teenagers find jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities.

by Claire Molloy and Helen Krause

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story by Claire Molloy

Rockhurst High School senior Orion Taylor and St. Thomas Aquinas High School senior Josh Bethel were so exhausted they were wondering if it was all worth it. They had just worked for 30 hours in one week. They thought they were finally getting somewhere, until Taylor received a call. It was from the developer telling them that he couldn’t finish their website. Bethel and Taylor were both dismayed, being only two weeks out from completion. Now they were set off schedule, just like the time before, and the time before that. Bethel and Taylor have gone through four different developers to get to where they are now with their company, Hyre KC.

Hyre KC is a new website for teens looking for work, internships and volunteer opportunities. It currently has about 200 users, and Taylor and Bethel are in the process of getting more companies to post job openings. Their goal is to have thousands of students on the website from schools all over the Kansas City metro area, and enough job listings for all.

Taylor and Bethel have focused on making their website different from others that are similar. They distinguish themselves based on the fact that they cater to teenagers, and they provide service opportunities and internships, as well as jobs. They are still working on getting students and companies to sign up, so they haven’t had anyone officially use their website yet.

Bethel and Taylor have contacted students at various local high schools to be representatives for Hyre KC. This entails getting the word out and trying to get as many people as possible to sign up. At STA, juniors Emily Livingston and Lulu Fiss are representatives and first heard about it through Bethel, who is Livingston’s neighbor.

Both Fiss and Livingston are involved in Future Business Leaders of America, which helps them spread the word to other FBLA members who are looking for jobs. Livingston has also been getting the word out by sending messages to all the juniors in a gradewide GroupMe. She plans to send another one before summer break this year, to make sure people remember to sign up if they are looking for a summer job.

Even though there haven’t been any official pairings between a job and a student, they did do a test run earlier this year with Rockhurst senior Kevin Crawford. Crawford was looking for a summer job and found one at Taylor Sterling Construction Company while testing out Hyre KC.

“The whole process was made super simple and I only needed to hit a few buttons to apply for my new job,” Crawford said. “I may try out working at Waterway, or maybe even at a golf course this summer. I know I’ll be using Hyre.”

All Crawford had to do was click a button on the website to get started. From there, he could see which job, internship or volunteer opportunity appealed to him the most. Once he found the job he liked, he signed in and submitted his resume. And if a student doesn’t have an account, he or she can make one that will save his or her resume as well.

The website is free for students, but the businesses that post jobs do have to pay. Prices range from $40 a month to $600 a year, depending on what features the businesses want and how many jobs they intend to post.

Dave McFessel was the position manager at Taylor Sterling Construction Company when Crawford was hired. McFessel has been working in construction management for over 10 years now, and according to him, it can be difficult to find the right people for any given job. McFessel thinks that teens are perfect for labor and cleanup crew, but it can be difficult to find teens in need of a job.

“I didn’t really have any initial reservations about [the teens] working, because the applicants are all pre-screened, and I had a chance to review all of their resumes,” McFessel wrote. “It’s a neat service. Teens are easy. They get the job done and get out.”

Bethel and Taylor are still calling companies and setting up meetings to try to get them to sign up for a few postings. The two go to the library to work out strategies on the weekends. But the actual phone call is generally left up to Bethel.

“I was [nervous],” Taylor said. “I suck at sales. I get really nervous and I’m not very good at it, but I’d say [Bethel] is pretty excellent.”

But this isn’t a problem because Taylor handles the more creative side of the business. They work well together, but that may be because this isn’t this first time they have collaborated. The first time they worked together, they were trying to come up with a battery to share between iPhones. This was not a successful venture, but it didn’t deter them from trying to make Hyre KC a reality, which has already proven successful.

alternative coverage by Claire Molloy

 

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Hyre KC makes hiring teens a higher priority