Jobs are not what they used to be for both employees and employers. The average worker stays at each position just 4.4 years, which leaves employers looking for new staff members at a rate drastically higher than that of just several decades ago. For the employee, the market has become more competitive and a college degree is no longer a guaranteed ticket to a profitable and happy career with a single company.
Due to the competition in the job marketplace, employers need help finding the best candidates for the job. Companies spend on average around $3,500 on each hire, which is the primary reason that talent acquisition has quickly turned into a $124 billion industry.
One startup tackling both sides of this problem is internrocket.com, co-founded by young entrepreneur Michael Somers. Michael describes internrocket.com as “a dating website, except for your career.” The site helps people find “quick projects to micro-invest in their future,” and can be described as an internship finder. These micro internships allow people to quickly test drive relationships at low risk. “It’s faster and less risky and ends up in a place where everyone understands the truth of the matter which allows people to make better decisions,” Michael said.
Getting the Engineers to Build the Rocket
Every Friday for two years, Michael and his team would leave their day jobs to head straight to hackathons they hosted to work and develop with the best coders in the area. “We started at 5pm each Friday and went until 5am on Saturday for about two years.” On average they would get between 10 and 15 programmers, two of which are now employed full-time by the startup. “It was a fantastic way to eat our own dog food as they say. We believe in getting to work quickly to cut through all the talk. We think it brings the truth to light. You know, is this actually going to work, the working relationship. So we created a short, quick way to start working with programmers. They come for a night and if it’s something they like and we like — they keep coming back.”
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur so far?
A: Trying to will things into existence.
Job hunting is similar to dating, but it’s not approached by most job seekers in the same manner. “People don’t typically jump right into marriage…If you were to purchase a car, you wouldn’t typically purchase one blind unless you had a lot of experience.” There is a significant amount of pressure and uncertainty in both instances. Michael sees internrocket.com as that courtship period where both parties can get to know each other and see if there is a perfect match.
After creating a profile on internrocket.com, users can provide what line of work they want to go into and their confidence level of that decision. If a user is not 100% sure of their career choice, recommendations created by the site’s algorithm will help them explore several other types of careers in different industries to make sure they find what works for them. Users can then apply for and do the work all within the website in a matter of hours depending on the project. “You can quickly determine if this is the right fit.”
When asked what the end goal is for internrocket.com, Michael replied “[To ensure] everyone is doing what they’re designed to do.” The low risk for both parties and convenience of these opportunities make internrocket.com a startup to check out, and look out for.
Don’t self-destruct, take your day to the moon and listen to the full interview audio below!
Additional Interview Highlights
Q: What’s the biggest barrier you have had to overcome up to this point?
A: There have been many. I would say just getting the word out there. It’d be really easy to pour a ton of money into it, but we really believe deeply in organic growth and connecting with the right people.
Q: Is being a young entrepreneur an advantage or disadvantage?
A: I look at everything as an advantage. This is a fantastic advantage.
Q: What’s your advice to tech-based startups without a technical co-founder?
A: Get one!
Q: What’s your best overall piece of advice for young entrepreneurs?
A: Focus on the customer.
Q: How many hours do you work a week on internrocket.com?
A: Sometimes it’s 100 hour work-week, sometimes it’s a 20 hour work week. Just trying to do what I need to do on a daily bases and let the chips fall where they may.
Listen to the full interview here: