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Dive Brief:

  • A group of Silicon Valley executives with $4 million in venture backing is launching a jobs platform to better connect workers and their skills with construction companies who want to hire them.
  • Palo Alto, California-based Core says its mission is to address the massive labor shortage in the world’s largest industry. Led by Google alumni Di-Ann Eisnor, Gene Gutnik and Jenny Austin, Core touts itself as an in-app construction labor marketplace that leverages algorithms to produce a “match score” between workers’ actual skills and companies’ open positions, while streamlining job searches.
  • “We don’t want people scrolling through lots of irrelevant positions,” said Eisnor, Core’s CEO, in an interview with Construction Dive. “Instead, we want to give you a few of the best jobs available using that match score, which requires a lot of heavy lifting on the technology side.”

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Dive Insight:

The company joins an increasingly crowded field of technology firms trying to solve the seemingly simple yet intractable challenge of connecting tradespeople looking for work with construction companies who are hiring.

In July, California-based construction project management software provider Procore launched its Construction Career Board to help workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. That followed the launch of Boston-based Trade Hounds, an app with backing from Suffolk Construction and others, which took in $3.2 million in seed funding this June.

Eisnor said the problem of construction hiring is so massive that there is plenty of market share for multiple construction-specific job placement apps.

“We love Procore’s Career Board, which is an additional feature they’ve added because their contractors requested it,” Eisnor said. “To me, that just says it’s still a really big problem that the industry needs all of us working to try to solve.”

The app — called Crews by Core-Construction — files workers’ certifications, licenses and references, which staff from Core verify manually, while the algorithm pairs job seekers and open positions. The data is accessed via a QR code, which can be scanned on the jobsite, and could eventually include other make-ready information such as COVID-19 test results. 

The key, Eisnor said, is that the workers will own that data, and have control over whom it’s released to. “Coming from tech, privacy is in my DNA,” Eisnor added.

Eisnor, who grew up in a family of tradesmen and truck drivers in Brockton, Massachusetts, shares that background with chief technology officer Gutnik, who, in addition to applying for more than 100 patents and working on the Chrome browser while at Google, also drove trucks in Russia.

Eisnor said she personally interviewed more than 1,500 construction workers to develop Core. One of the common traits she noticed? Construction workers are often better at doing their jobs than promoting their capabilities.  

“In tech, people are very good at using the right buzzwords to talk about what they’re good at,” Eisnor said. “But in construction, a lot of times workers’ resumes don’t really do their abilities justice. We need to work a little harder to bring out the skills in the trades.”

To do so, Core’s technology is paired with real human engagement and its “global people team” to scale referrals, deploy talent and grow careers, the company said in a release.

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