Usually students wonder what to do after graduation as they usually lack the knowledge about companies who are looking for graduates to hire as employee or interns. This is where Vincent found the gap in the recruitment industry and created a platform called Magnet.me where graduate students can apply for jobs and internships; simultaneously employers can find qualified applicants for graduate jobs. In today’s interview, we have Vincent Karremans, Founder and MD of Magnet.me who shares his story and journey as an entrepreneur.
I started out with Magnet.me when I was still a student at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. I had no (real) earlier work experience and just decided to take on the challenge to make it easier for students to find a job or internship they love, at any company, regardless size, industry or recruitment budget.
How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit and did you inherit the trait from family or it started with you?
My family does not have a particular entrepreneurial history, but my mother did have a small side business selling all kinds of creative things for in the house. I guess it must have come from her, since my father is an art teacher and I am really not-so-very-good at painting.
How did you come up with the idea of Magnet.me? What is the current status in terms of achievements, customer acquisition, investments and turnover?
I literally came up with the idea for Magnet.me when I was having drinks with friends. Currently, over 200k students use Magnet.me, we are the biggest career site for students and graduates in terms of opportunities posted in both the UK and the Netherlands and over 1,600 employers use Magnet.me to attract talent.
Who is your competition? What strategies do you apply to stay ahead of your competitors?
Old school job boards. We try to learn faster and be more user focussed than our competitors. Oh and, where possible, work harder, of course.
Struggle follows an Entrepreneur throughout the life. But the initial days of acquiring customers, explaining your idea to customers and investors is almost like hell. How do you keep moving forward in spite these challenges?
Having great partners. I have been very lucky to have Freek and Laurens as my co-founders and partners. Sharing the highs is easy, but sharing the lows is way more important and trust me, we have had plenty of lows.
How many members are there in Magnet.me? What is the figure in terms people you are trying to make in next 3 years? What is your approach in building the next leadership team?
We now have just over 30 people working with us. We are a young and passionate group of people with a lot of ambition, but we do not have an ambition in terms of our team size. Our ambition is help more students to find a job or internship they love. That however does concern building a great team of people. We try to do this by putting an emphasis on personal development of our employees and giving them a lot of responsibility from day one.
What is the usual mindset you carry as a mantra to be successful?
“No guts, no glory” or “Fortune favours the brave”. It all comes down to the same thing: If you want to succeed, you need to try first and get out of your comfort zone.
How important is your website for your business? It is quite clear that not every business runs upon their website or mobile app. In such cases, what other importance do you think a website or mobile app can carry which contributes to a company’s success?
Our website is to us, what Usain Bolt’s legs are to him: it’s the essential part of our business. Our website and mobile apps are also never finished, so you need to keep on investing in them as technology and user needs continuously evolve.
I am always eager to know how an entrepreneur maintains work-life balance. Recently I came across a blog post, which says – “there is nothing like work-life balance, you just need to blend in”. What is your point of view on work-life balance?
I agree. Let’s face it, as an entrepreneur you work a lot and have an endless to do list. And that’s fine as long as you like this and your social environment suffers too much from this, but this is different for every single entrepreneur.
What advice you will give to those who are getting ready for their entrepreneurial journey?
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Have faith in yourself that whatever challenge will come on your path, you will somehow be able to tackle it.