It’s been a long time since I was a student – back then we still carried “books” to school and would often enter computer “clusters” where we would do “homework” on “PCs” running “Windows NT” – but I do remember the rush of being trusted with real-world projects by folks who looked at me as a cheap way to get a little work done. That’s what StudentFreelance.com is all about: it lets companies hire students to do work without the rigamarole of Craigslist or a traditional HR route.
Students are the world’s untapped resource. They’re often easy-going, diligent, and they’re excited to learn. Plus they’re inexpensive and mostly responsible. StudentFreelance founder, Michael Talei, see himself as “helping fix America’s unemployment problem.”
“Students graduating today have never been faced with a tougher job market, with StudentFreelance.com students can gain experience and earn an income,” he said. “Businesses love us because they can scale their workforce and hire quality talent.”
It’s basically a job board – students submit your skills (and school) and employers post jobs. The magic happens when the two meet.
Jobs are obviously paid on a freelance basis and since most students don’t need benefits there isn’t much overhead. StudentFreelance is simply the broker between the student and the employer. It’s free to post jobs and resumes right now, although there are plans to monetize on both ends of the transaction, Talei said.
The company has raised a $300,000 friends-and-family round. They’re currently serving a few thousand jobs and students after only a month online.
The site has a distinctly U.S. focus, which Talei, founder of iEscrow and former News Corp VP, believes will help it stand out. “What makes us unique is the quality of talent we have – our users have all studied in American schools. We’re bringing that Made in America quality to the freelance marketplace. Sites like Elance and oDesk will find it difficult attracting the quality of talent that we can.”
“I’ve worked on several projects and have had to use freelancers. I came across a high school student and he did an amazing job – hacking away much better than professionals we’d hire there and even here. I continued hiring more students (college and high school) and was continually impressed, that’s when I decided that there should be a site specific to only student freelancers.”
Obviously the functionality here can be replicated on any other classifieds site out there. However, because of the branding and focus it’s clear that StudentFreelance may have a leg up when it comes to a very specific form of hiring. With so many young adults out of work after graduation, it makes perfect sense to work on their chops on small, easy-to-manage projects in between bouts of beer pong and singing Bob Marley songs on the “quad” in hopes that “ladies” will notice them.