Call it the MSP paradox: You have a growing business but you're not quite ready to hire more full-time employees. As a stop-gap, plenty of managed services providers tell me they would gladly hire temporary help and interns -- if only there was a simple way to find that talent. Perhaps a new web site, called Urban Interns, can help.
Simply put, Urban Interns is "a national marketplace that connects small businesses with people seeking part-time jobs and internships."
The marketplace specializes in virtual and in-person engagements; short-term or ongoing opportunities; college students and seasoned professionals; plus paid or unpaid engagements.
Multiple times, I've told readers to build strong relationships with local colleges and universities, which provide cost-effective talent pools that most people overlook. But I also realize it can take time to navigate a university's internship program. Instead of sending you ripe talent, many universities ask you to fill out multiple online forms. Or worse: The colleges charge you to advertise positions on their web sites.
Another PathI still think you should leverage local college talent. But Urban Interns may be a quick way to build an additional talent pipeline. The marketplace could be a way for you to find the social media, web development and SEO (search engine optimization) talent that you crave -- but haven't had the time to recruit.
Right now, the site seems to cater to talent in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. -- though the system supports Interns from other locations as well.
Does Urban Intern actually deliver good talent? And do the marketplace participants value the temp positions they land? I concede: I don't have firm answers.
But for some anecdotes check out the Inc. magazine article about Urban Talent; the article is how I first heard about the marketplace.