YOUNG MONEY: Tell me about you (age, education, etc)
HIRE INTUITION: John R. Rosser, President, is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in the College of Management. He brings both management and marketing experience from his work at FCS Community Economic Development, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.
A native of Smyrna, Georgia, John has been an avid golfer since youth and played competitive golf four years at Campbell High School. In his spare time, John enjoys writing music and strumming his beloved Martin D-18 acoustic guitar, Honey. Similarly, you might find him on any given weekend playing guitar in local rock band, The Grits. John is 23 years old.
Brad N. Smith, Vice-President, is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in the College of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He brings both management and operations experience from his work at Ambrosi & Associates in Lithia Springs, Georgia.
A native of Roswell, Georgia, Brad has been a dedicated tennis player since age nine. As a ranked player in Georgia, he competed in local and regional tournaments and helped lead Walker High School in winning the 2004 State Championship. In his spare time, he coaches tennis players of all ages ranging from beginning children to adults. On any given weekend, you might find him at the Bill Moore Tennis Center supporting the Georgia Tech team or working out at Georgia Tech’s Campus Recreation Center. Brad is 23 years old.
YM: What is Hire InTuition?
HI: Hire InTuition is a professional placement agency that links Georgia Tech students with Atlanta businesses for the ultimate win-win.
Hire InTuition offers companies a low cost, high quality solution to their human resource needs. At the same time, the agency supplies students with part-time work that enhances their professional experiences, provides competitive wages, and molds around their class schedules.
YM: Where did the idea come from and how did you start this company?
HI: Gaining relevant work experience is very beneficial as college students prepare to enter the “real world.” Both of us participated in work-study programs through Georgia Tech. While the programs are very good, they focus mainly on connecting students with work opportunities that require forty hour per week commitments. Through our work experiences and by talking with our friends, we realized that these workloads oftentimes didn’t require full-time obligations, and that students could complete the same tasks with the same companies while also enrolled in classes. So we thought, why not start a student-run firm that is dedicated solely to connecting other students with flexible, part-time work options?
YM: How did you get funding?
HI: Because it’s strictly a service business, we didn’t need much initial capital. Both of us were able to personally fund the start-up.
YM: How do you market your company?
HI: We learned early on that networking with Georgia Tech alumni would be a vital strategy in marketing our business. Alumni immediately recognize the quality of the students and are typically eager to add them to their company’s staff. We rely heavily on word of mouth referrals that generally come from our past clients and those we meet through our networking efforts. Additionally, we’ve used guerilla marketing tactics such as hanging fliers and distributing informative cards about the business, as well as using social networking websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. We’ve also been lucky to get some publicity, and were recently featured in Atlanta INtown Newspaper’s January edition.
YM: What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
HI: The best thing thus far has been the sense of pride and satisfaction we experience when successfully matching a student with his or her ideal part-time job. It’s always great to see our peers fully utilizing their skills and talents in the workplace. It has also been really exciting to use our Georgia Tech educations and past experiences first-hand in creating the company and making important decisions.
YM: How has the recent economy affected (or how is it affecting) you and your company?
HI: The downturn in the economy has actually had a positive affect on our business. With tightening budgets, companies are seeing value in our low cost, high quality solution to their staffing needs. Additionally, with the current uncertainty in the marketplace, the flexibility that comes with employing a college student part-time has been very attractive to companies that are unsure of their clients’ fluctuating demands.
YM: What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs?
HI: The first thing that we would recommend for young entrepreneurs is to seek advice from those who are wiser and more experienced than they are. It’s been amazing how willing others have been to offer guidance and support as we continue to learn about business and entrepreneurship. The second piece of advice would be to utilize the power of networking as much as possible. Before we started the company, like most students, we did not understand the importance of using established connections to meet others. It is truly amazing how much potential for learning and opportunity there is just by meeting one person. This is because you are not only meeting that individual, but you are also giving yourself the opportunity to meet his or her entire network of friends and associates.
YM: Tell me the most important concrete thing you learned about starting a company (ex: writing a business plan)?
HI: We have learned that paying attention to detail is of utmost importance when starting and running a company. For example, perfecting the grammar, spelling, and punctuation in something as seemingly insignificant as an e-mail shows that you are on top of things. This level of care demonstrates preparation and competence, two important things that are necessary to create and maintain meaningful business relationships.
YM: What are your plans for the future (expansion, etc)?
HI: We envision growing the company after our graduation in May of 2009. Right now, we’re taking our time and nurturing the young venture properly. Our model is very scalable, and it really excites us to think of a future time when Hire InTuition might be bringing college students in other locales together with worthwhile employment across the nation.