Out local launches global LGBTQ professional networking site

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Out entrepreneur and local resident Dennis Velco launched OutBüro (outburo.com) on April 3, a global and professional networking website focusing on the LGBTQ community.

“It’s a bit of a mash-up,” Velco says of his creation. “OutBüro is similar to LinkedIn and it’s similar to a couple other websites, with a huge focus on GlassDoor.com. Every single person can join the website around the world and create a profile, begin networking with other people, join groups [and] add your resume to the job portal.”

Velco says that to his knowledge, OutBüro is the only LGBTQ job portal which also features a resume repository.

“Recruiters, when they join the site, can search that database to receive active candidates,” he says. “But also proactively search those passive candidates as well. The best time to look for a job is when it comes searching for you, right?”

Users are given the option to utilize OutBüro’s review system, which “empowers every LGBTQ person to add their current and past employers, if not already present,” the start-up’s press release reads. “OutBüro is open to all company sizes from the small local business to Fortune 100. OutBüro’s Company Rating directory is worldwide. No matter where an LGBTQ person lives and works they can have a voice in praising their employer or offering constructive feedback to be a catalyst for change.”

Should a user review a former or current employer, they’re required to indicate if the company offers a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy, a gender identity non-discrimination policy, domestic partner benefits, support for LGBTQ equality on the global scale should it operate internationally, competency in LGBTQ inclusion, a public commitment to LGBTQ equality and if it requires similar policies for its contractors and/or vendors. Companies may also claim their listing to verify their accuracy.

“Just having a policy does not indicate the true culture of a company,” Velco says. “Having domestic partner benefits is wonderful but it’s not enough. That is where OutBüro’s company reviews are stepping in. We want to have praise; we want people to rate companies high. We also want that candid and constructive feedback.”

OutBüro offers free and premium memberships and since its launch has drawn hundreds of members. The OutBüro-branded LinkedIn group created by Velco 10 years ago, now serving as an extension of the new website, currently has 47,000.

“Eventually, OutBüro’s website is going to eclipse and surpass the OutBüro LinkedIn group,” Velco asserts. “[The] website is specifically for LGBTQ people… LinkedIn is still viewed as not. It has a lot more flexibility and features for you, in addition to a growing list of interested corporations who are actively recruiting LGBTQ people.”

Velco says that it’s more difficult for employers to find members of the LGBTQ community on websites like LinkedIn. “It’s not easy,” he notes. “So this provides one more source of visibility to recruiters actively seeking you as an LGBTQ person and helps you stand out, as opposed to on LinkedIn where you’re mashed in with millions and millions of our heterosexual friends.”

“This is going to be a resource for people to find companies where they can be comfortable in being themselves,” Velco says. “That’s powerful, that’s absolutely powerful…and that is why OutBüro is so different.”

For more information about the free and premium membership levels of OutBüro or to join the website as a jobseeker or recruiter, visit outburo.com.

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