Bridging the Opportunity Divide

A Hot Commodity on the Job Market: Nerds

December 8, 2014
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A Hot Commodity on the Job Market: Nerds
HourlyNerd connects employers with capable MBAs to work on projects that otherwise couldn’t be funded. Courtesy HourlyNerd
The startup that connects MBA graduates with project jobs.

Looking for a nerd? Although this sounds like a strange commodity, on HourlyNerd.com, they’re abundant and ready to hire for the “odd jobs” of the consulting world. With a tough, changing job market, this startup is connecting employers with capable MBAs to work on projects that otherwise couldn’t be funded.

This idea started back in 2013 when four Harvard Business School students decided to turn a class project into a business. They realized that it was difficult for graduates with MBAs to find work, as well as hard for small businesses to afford consulting advice and help. So the students started a business where MBAs can find jobs in a wide range of areas, including analyses of competitors or starting social media sites for non-profits.

Freelancing and a master in business administration aren’t usually associated, but with the changing work environment, which emphasizes individuals with unique, specific skill sets, it’s not such a crazy notion. With just a year under its belt, HourlyNerd already boasts 32 employees who work with a multitude of businesses to find work for around 8,000 MBA freelancers.

HourlyNerds’ service benefits both employer and employee. The website is a place where MBAs can market their own individual skill sets. Furthermore, the hours are very flexible, allowing workers to create their own schedule. At the same time, employers are receiving valuable work at a low long-term cost.

Services offered by HourlyNerd include interviews with employers to match their needs to specific workers, help creating project proposals and figuring out appropriate prices.  For big projects, there is even a competition which ensures top quality work. Based on skill set and proposals, employers choose the best candidate and work with them to agree on a cost.

Peter Maglathlin is one of the founders of HourlyNerd and cites the flexibility and adaptability of the programs and the workers as a major attraction for employers.

“What we have established is an open marketplace,” Maglathlin tells National Journal. “The cost of bringing on a full-time employee right now is very, very high. Companies are searching for other ways to grow aside from hiring a person full time. We’re giving companies that option.”

MORE: Why More Cities Are Creating Innovation Labs

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