Rollin’ toward new homies: Upstart talent agency promises to pair you with better jobs in new cities

This startup is trying to sell you a 30% raise. What’s the catch? Well, it’s also going to take 10% of your income for the next 3 years -- and ask you to move to a city that you’re not allowed to choose.


November 22, 2019

SF-based startup Placement launched on a fascinating premise. It guarantees undervalued biz employees a 30% raise on their (ASTERISK ALERT) *cost-of-living-adjusted* income, provided they’re willing to relocate.

I(‘m reluctant to) move it, move it

CEO Sean Linehan saw a huge opp in the sizeable chunk of Americans (10m strong, he says) marooned in cities poorly matched to their skills. 

Aside from the ~2 major geographic decisions people generally make following high school/college graduations, there are few kick-in-the-butt moments forcing professionals to reconsider their (literal) place in the world.

And for most, the daunting — and often pricey — prospects of job hunting and uprooting are shudder-inducing. Plus the inertia (and free laundry services) of moving back home can be pretty darn strong.

Placement aims to inspire a new ‘moment’ to make life moves

That sound you hear is of soon-to-finally-be empty nesters across the nation high-fiving at the news of their 34-year-old son moving off their couch.

Placement matches clients with relevant job opps in hip-yet-affordable cities (e.g., Denver, Raleigh) before providing recruitment guidance and negotiation coaching. If they succeed in procuring a higher cost-adjusted income (even with a lower salary), the client pays in the form of 10% of paychecks for the first 18 months.

Sounds great. What’s the catch?

It’s hard not to be skeptical of a newcomer with a website splashed with lofty promises like “Payment pays for itself!” But so far, no evident catches detected. The startup is financially incentivized to win high salaries for clients in solid cities, and they’ve established payout caps as well as a 5-year contract limit. Seems pretty legit — and investors in the recent $3m seed round seem to agree.

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