Learning About GenM
I first heard about GenM on Facebook. Someone from GenM posted on a Shopify Facebook Group asking, “Anyone interested in hiring marketing interns?”
It’s a good use of guerilla marketing and I can see based on the comments on the Facebook post that they must have gotten a lot of leads. It got my attention because I saw other fellow eCommerce owners also commenting on the post #socialproof
So of course I registered too. The next step was to get on a call with someone from GenM where they walk you through the program and what it’s about.
At this stage, I felt a bit like GenM could be a scam for some reason and I started to Google them to learn more about them and didn’t really find much information. What I wanted to see was whether they’re a legit operation, had good candidates for hire and that they were not just some fly by night operation. The way they pitched the need to have a call is to qualify business owners to make sure it’s a good fit but usually it’s to apply sales pressure.
I decided to get on the call anyway so I could learn how it works.
I learned during the call that their core service is matching students in digital marketing and related fields with businesses that need help with these things.
You write your profile, what your business does, and then you will get matched like Tinder with potential candidates. You look at the candidates profile, they do the same with you, and if both click like, then… it’s a match!
While the candidates are meant to be students, the actual applicants were not quite what I had expected for two reasons.
One, I found quite a lot of experienced freelancers that have long graduated and really just looking for employers to give them a shot (on a paid or unpaid basis, depending on the candidate) rather than actual university students. I don’t really mind this too much to be honest since it’s a good way for the applicants to prove their mettle before getting a paid job.
You need to do quite a lot of the filtering yourself. Having said that, they have a ton of candidates in the system and it’s worth having a virtual assistant just to sort through all of the applicants.
Two, they say that 80% of their students come from North America but in actual fact, it feels much closer to 30%. I personally don’t mind but it would be better to set that expectation more closer to reality. You end up seeing a big bulk of applications from Europe and Africa that make up over 50% of the applicant pool.
How Much Does It Cost?
It costs $147 USD plus any taxes per quarter per hire. So if you want to hire 2 interns, then you just pay double that. There’s no additional pay required for the interns unless of course you come to a separate arrangement (which I’m not sure is actually allowed by the system during the period of engagement).
They can work up to 10 hours per week and a total of 3 months. During that period, you as the mentor provide feedback and coaching weekly as the sort of exchange you get for free labor. You also rate the applicant on a weekly basis to the GenM system.
I’d say that the overall quality of applicants is a bit lower than Upwork but you do find a few gems in there which is why having a VA can make a big difference. Since they’re not being paid for the work, your filtering process is even more important in making sure that you find candidates that are properly motivated. There are over 15,000 applicants in the pool as at the time of writing. You can filter by Country, Industry, the Type of Work they do (SEO, eCommerce, Social Media, etc), the Online Tools they use and Languages they’re proficient in.
Having a good profile to attract the right candidates is important and the GenM system forces you to answer a bunch of questions so that candidates can gain a better understanding about what they have to learn from you.
I would say that overall that the cost is very low given what you get. The only thing, as with all things to do with recruiting, is that you need to invest time and effort to find the right person and to ensure that you or someone on the team devote time to coaching and mentoring to get the most of out of the program. I think this is especially good for remote businesses including eCommerce stores (Amazon, eBay, dropshipping, etc.), SaaS, information businesses, etc.