Taking the next step in its own professional development, the millennial-focused intern placement site Intern Sushi has morphed into a new professional job placement and career planning site — Career Sushi.
It’s one of several startups trying to make the job-seeking process a little easier for a new generation of would-be employees and their potential bosses with their attempts to create a new Monster.com for millennials.
Co-founded and led by Hollywood mogul-in-training Shara Senderoff, who studied the business of tinseltown at the feet of mega-producers like Mark Gordon — first as an intern herself working for Scott Rudin and later as an assistant for Mark Gordon. The job at Mark Gordon Co. kicked off a dizzying ascent up the corporate ladder to the position of VP and then founder and head of the new media division within the producer’s eponymous business.
Indeed, Gordon’s money was the first in to help launch Intern Sushi, which is currently in the process of raising an additional $3 million on top of roughly $1 million in initial funding.
“We’re stepping toward the reinvention of hiring,” Senderoff says. “No hiring manager ever said give me a pool of 5,000 resumes that I’m going to search through to find the best candidate.”
The interface for both Career Sushi is incredibly slick. Senderoff’s designers have replaced a static resume-building engine with a more dynamic, highly visual profile — akin to a Facebook or LinkedIn page. “We focus on embracing what [millennials] do on their phone every minute,” says Senderoff. “What we say is build this visually first.”
For the younger generation of job applicants, joining the rat race in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, prospects aren’t looking that great — and neither are the sites they’re using to find jobs.
“This millennial generation doesn’t have a home. Most of them are just daunted and are hitting a roadblock of what they’re able to find in terms of jobs,” says Senderoff. “The big job boards aren’t working.”
Another differentiating feature of Intern Sushi and its new companion site is not just the age of its target customers, but also their educational experience.
As entrepreneurial billionaires like Peter Thiel advocate for career advancement and entrepreneurialism as an alternative to a college education (despite evidence to the contrary), a growing number of potential employees are at least toying with the notion of eschewing college for professional training and advancement.
Sites like Career Sushi, or the Canadian startup Raise Your Flag, offer these would-be young professionals an avenue to get the internships or trade skills they need to pursue jobs without necessarily getting the college degree.
“We’re definitely targeting that group,” says Senderoff. “If you look at Gen-Z, their opinion on going to college is that 60% of them believe they don’t actually need it. That’s the exact market for us. The kid who can say, ‘Look just because I don’t necessarily have a college degree, here are all the skills I’ve gleaned from everything else.'”
Career Sushi uses colleges and universities as a way to generate new users. The site generates its revenue by providing premium services for both job seekers and employers. On the site, users create visual profiles using videos, images and samples of their work in place of the traditional resume. Employers who use the site receive the profiles as applications, giving human resources departments a broader view into a candidate’s professional profile, Senderoff says.
“When you give millennials something that speaks to them and their willingness and motivation to articulate and communicate what they want to be… they totally embrace it,” Senderoff says.