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MBA Student & XU Gallagher Student Ctr. Dir. Joe Christman Featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer for Innovative Partnership with BlackBookHR

Program works to have summer interns return to Cincinnati after graduation.


 By the numbers

• 34:  Local companies hiring interns who are staying at XU this summer.
• 130: P&G interns staying at XU. GE Aviation is next at 75.
• 74: Universities represented among XU interns.
• 34: States represented by XU interns.
Xavier University and BlackbookHR are partnering this summer to help summer interns get the most out of their stay in the region, and give local companies the edge in attracting and retaining future talent.
More than 400 college students will stay at XU while they intern at companies including Procter & Gamble, GE
Aviation, Kroger and Fifth Third Bancorp. 
The interns and co-ops will have access to BlackbookHR’s Yocal app, which matches an individual’s interests with complementary content, activities and resources in a given city. BlackbookHR’s tools also help connect people who have similar interests through social media.
The Cincinnati-based technology startup’s software is designed to help people engage with the places they work and live, which it says ultimately helps employers predict and lessen employee turnover.
Daniel Bloom, who leads BlackbookHR’s sales and implementation, says the partnership with XU is an example of proactively engaging future talent. “This is an interesting way of saying, ‘We really value that you’re coming to this town. We want to make sure you get what you need and see the city as a space where you can live and grow and meet your professional and personal goals,’ ” Bloom said.
Yocal’s analytics help employers better understand the interests and needs of their future workforce. Employers cannot track the interests or activities of individual workers, but the software will collect pre- and post-internship data and measure the interns’ engagement – or embeddedness quotient – with the region.
Georgetown researcher Brooks Holtom developed the embeddedness quotient; BlackbookHR says Holtom’s
research shows highly embedded employees are more loyal and better performers than less embedded employees. BlackbookHR’s analytics also give employers important feedback on what incoming employees want from the cities where they work.
“We can say, ‘Let’s look at males that are from the coast that went to this school.’ We can show you exactly the
likelihood of that person staying here, in the job and in the community,” said Chris Ostoich, Blackbook HR’s
founder and chief executive officer. Xavier is covering the $150 cost of Yocal for the interns. Joe Christman, director of XU’s Gallagher Student Center, connected with BlackbookHR through Julie Bernzott, who manages the HYPE Young Professionals program at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Christman said he wants XU to help give interns a rich city experience.
“The goal is not just to provide them housing, but to take it a step further and provide their company with something that’s going to help attract and retain them, and hopefully bring them back to Cincinnati after they graduate,” Christman said.
Ostoich formed BlackbookHR in 2007. It has extensive relationships with the region’s companies, and is currently expanding into eight cities. CincyTech is an investor. Ostoich said he hopes to engage with institutions like XU in other cities, which could help expand BlackbookHR’s business more quickly and efficiently than meeting with individual companies. “If we partner with somebody at the regional level, we can kind of parachute down and expand,” Ostoich said. “It allows us to scale intelligently, but also to have a thought leadership position in cities.”