What I know about approaching corporations: Jean-Michel Gauthier

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When Jean-Michel Gauthier talks about unemployment, he does not point to job matching technology as the only solution his company is trying to sell.

Interns ME was founded in 2012 in the UAE, and more recently in Saudi Arabia, to connect job hunters with companies that are hiring. But not in a classic fashion.

Instead of acting as a public career search engine that sporadically connects random candidates with vacancies, InternsME is more of a regulated platform addressing only fresh grads and university students who are looking for internships and jobs. Registered candidates get a personalized evaluation from the team guiding them through the application process.  

In addition to that, recruiting companies do not simply post vacancies they already have. Interns ME approaches and meets with each company to propose the creation of new vacancies.

“If there is a finite number of jobs in the market. We are not helping by just claiming those jobs. We want to go in and promote the kind of thinking that creates new opportunities for young people,” the founder said during an interview with Wamda.

Jean-Michel Gauthier. (Image via Interns ME)

By now, the platform is successfully hosting 100,000 registered students and 800 companies.

The job market is changing. When you zoom out of the micro and look at what’s happening in the region, you’ve got a lot of unemployed youth. However a lot of innovation is entering the sphere which is set to radically change the job market. There are a lot of jobs that will disappear or change. The time to start addressing the challenge is now.

Get the corporation believe in the why. When as a startup you approach a company, you need to convince its members why they need to work with you, how you are different and the value you will bring. This is the fundamental move to get companies on board.

Leave the cookie cutting behind. Every company we cooperate with is different. You don’t necessarily want to go in with a cookie cutter style; the take it or leave it attitude. As a startup you need to showcase the why but then you need to understand the company’s objectives and be flexible to changes. This would resolve the company’s specific need rather than forcing it to adapt to your model, which shows that you are dynamic and hardworking enough to win your business.

Force shouldn’t be necessary. Although you need to be very flexible and lenient when it comes to working with corporations, you do need to specify the extent to which you are willing to compromise; if the cooperation requires you to exceed your limit then you don’t need it. After all, you can adapt to details and logistics but if your vision and mission are not met, there is no need to force a relationship.

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