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Guy Friedman, like most entrepreneurs, saw a problem and found a solution. This problem wasn’t encapsulated in a small demographic. He noticed the problem with the current employment situation and college graduates inability to land jobs.

“We want to level the playing field by letting candidates show their skills,” he said.

Friedman said many corporations decide who to hire based on where they graduated from, which eliminates many highly qualified candidates. Through HigherNext, which launched December 2010, develops online tests to measure business knowledge and applicable skills to be used in the workplace. Candidates are able to harness those skills and put them on display – increasing their chances of landing the job of their choice. Employers are able to view the candidates’ results and be better informed in their hiring decisions.

“We’re targeting knowledge and skill,” he said. “We’re able to measure how much people have learned in the business field on their own.”

Friedman said both sides – candidates and employers – have been very receptive to the new hiring business model.

“It’s a high-value proposition,” he said in regards to employers. “It creates a more efficient way of doing things, which they love.”


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HigherNext’s model is quite similar to that of an MBA. It offers many of the same subjects like accounting, finance, and marketing through its Certified Business Laureate program. The program also focuses on Microsoft Office and business writing.

“It’s a win-win on both sides of the market,” he said. “A lot of these skills are really applicable.”

Friedman said his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School completely influenced his business model and also how he approaches his own business.

He added that his company is planning to analyze data from different institutions. He said once enough users take the tests they will be able to see how well education is being taught from various schools. He said the end result will be that employers will be enabled to recruit better from certain schools.

“There is an oversupply of graduates,” he said. “This creates a more efficient system to rake in more (candidates).”

Follow Dustin Bass on Twitter @dustincbass.