While most clients of Career Horizons (as well as myself) are quite a few years removed from the challenge of finding work right out of college, rest assured that this segment of the professional population hasn’t been in any way exempt from the economic challenges of the past few years.  Age discrimination, while most commonly associated with people in the “protected class” of the 40-year-old-plus age bracket, also affects those people just starting out in their careers — and who are struggling with the catch-22 question of “How can I get the hands-on work experience every company seems to want if nobody will give me the chance to acquire it?”

So given that the majority of the websites I review in my blog are aimed, in general, toward a more experienced level of professional, I thought I’d throw a token review in today for a website (and recruiting firm) geared to the early-career professional: CampusPoint.

With offices in Seattle and Portland, CampusPoint specializes in helping employers fill entry-level and junior-level positions throughout the Pacific Northwest marketplace, and based on numerous comments I’ve heard from some of my younger clients who are working with them, they do a bang-up job.  I’m also happy to report that they’re still under the original ownership of two homegrown UW graduates, Jason Granlund and Griffith Owen, at a time when many staffing agencies have been absorbed by national and international conglomerates with far less “skin in the game” in terms of the Puget Sound marketplace.

So as for the CampusPoint site itself, if we just concentrate on that resource for a moment, one quickly notices that they’ve gone to great lengths to provide lots of added-value to their Internet portal, versus just having it be a sales-focused destination.  Browsing around, you’ll uncover a directory of local employers containing profiles of thousands of local organizations with a track record of hiring younger professionals.  Each profile not only includes a solid description of the company in question, but goes on to include hard-to-find information such as their dress code, work schedule, benefits package components, and the like.  Does the company subsidize employee bus passes?  Have a ping-pong table?  Let people bring pets to work?  All of this information, and more, can be found by browsing through the CampusPoint listings.  In this sense, this directory might therefore be a valuable resource for even more experienced senior people to review, even if they’re not the primary target audience for the firm.

Additionally, we were happy to note that CampusPoint does NOT handle staffing projects related to 100% commission roles or unpaid internships.  Sadly, there are many so-called “placement” firms in town that seem to just be a superficial pass-through for companies seeking free labor, and even some of the big national job websites seem to be little more than a spam factory these days for an endless stream of work-at-home schemes, 100% commission roles, insurance agent opportunities, and the like.  With all due respect to some of the legitimate corporations seeking to fill such roles, most people are NOT in a position to be able to work without a steady paycheck attached, so any services or sites that traffic mainly in these types of leads — without advertising this fact to the job seekers that visit them — are being awfully deceptive, in my opinion.

At any rate, while CampusPoint may not be a tremendously valuable resource to every member of my client base, I definitely thought they were worth a mention — both for the younger professionals I work with who haven’t yet discovered them, as well as for those of you who might have college-aged kids seeking to enter the workforce in the near future.  Everything I’ve observed about them has impressed me, to date, so I wish them well in helping get more young adults off the couch and into the workforce into a productive capacity!