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Virtual Hiring Events Company Grows Amid Remote Work, Labor Shortages

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Founded in 2007, Clarendon-based Brazen experienced significant growth since the start of the pandemic.

And it’s no wonder, since the company has offered virtual hiring event technologies before virtual-anything was a societal norm. Brazen aims to help companies, universities and organizations engage students, job candidates and employees and improve recruitment and retention, via virtual job fairs and other online events.

“While the mission has remained the same, the types of organizations that saw a need to leverage virtual technologies to help with recruiting and retention expanded greatly in the past year,” the company tells ARLnow.

Brazen said its clientele has expanded from recruiting teams at Fortune 500 companies to state and regional workforce organizations to universities.

The mid-sized, remote-first startup has raised $13.4 million in funding and maintains headquarters in Arlington. Amid pandemic-era labor shortages, it has managed hiring initiatives for Spectrum, University of Southern California and CVS Health, among others.

The company says hiring in general is on the rise right now.

“The war for talent took a break but it’s only heating up more,” it said. “When you add the pressure of 2020’s events and the call for action around diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s more important than ever for employers to hire, for universities to stand out and support their students and alumni, and for associations, organizations, and government entities to connect more people with more opportunities.”

Ryan Healy and Ed Barrientos of Brazen, in 2015

While Brazen’s offerings have also evolved over the last 14 years, its focus remains virtual hiring events.

“Our product innovation has accelerated in the past couple years to make recruiting and hiring even better,” Brazen said. “We’ve added live video broadcasts, video chat, a live chatbot, and more to help facilitate more meaningful connections for all people.”

Those features distinguish Brazen from the likes of Zoom and Cisco WebEx, to which companies rushed to keep up business and host virtual events.

Unlike the other platforms, Brazen said its platform supports everything a team needs to host a virtual event: customizable landing pages, chat management tools to ensure recruiters chat with the most qualified candidates, live broadcasts and follow-up features.

Like Zoom and Cisco WebEx, Brazen says its platform attracted new customers during the pandemic.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns and remote work, companies all over the world flocked to Brazen to allow them to continue to hire and retain talent through virtual hiring events and virtual career fairs,” it said. “The genie is out of the bottle and virtual hiring is here to stay.”

The company pointed to in-house research, which found that 83% of surveyed talent acquisition professionals — who are not Brazen clients — said a majority of their hiring events will remain virtual post-pandemic.

“Now that organizations, from enterprise businesses to universities, and anyone working to connect employers and job seekers, have turned to virtual event platforms like Brazen, they’ve seen first hand the benefits of these tools,” it said.

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