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Why I Built a Hiring Marketplace

Sarah Rumbaugh went to business school wanting to be an entrepreneur, and it didn't take long for her to encounter a problem worth solving: the outdated MBA hiring market.

Sarah Rumbaugh     |     MAR 20, 2016


I consider myself to be an early generation millennial. People in my age group, late 20s to mid-30s, experienced the greatest shifts in technological impact since the creation of the internet and personal computers in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Our Generation X counterparts, those born in the early 1960s, were the first to experience a computer at work as a given and email as an option to communicate. While early millennials, those on the front end of the generation, were introduced to Facebook when they were actually in college rather than elementary school, LinkedIn after they started their career, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat after they already had ways to publicly share their creativity, opinion, and support of friends, celebrities, and politicians. Generation X was introduced to the use of technology in ways that weren’t possible before and Generation Y (the millennials) experience it in ways that make things faster, easier to use, more efficient, and tremendously better.

Generation X is used to the saying, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, and Generation Y demands, let’s use technology to advance our solutions, to progress our scale, and to enhance our everyday experiences.

In looking at tech enabled networks, it’s no surprise that products that did not require involvement from generations prior to create took off quickly. Once again, I’ll point out the big names – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. Environments that are largely run by our neighboring generation predecessors however have a long way to grow.

I experienced this tenfold when I reentered the workforce in 2013 to get my MBA at the Darden School of Business. At this point in my life online networks had become a big part of the way I engage with the world around me. For me, my go-to online networks are Facebook to keep up with my friends and family, LinkedIn to network in a professional setting, Pinterest to find creative craft ideas, Yelp to figure out where I want to eat, and TripAdivsor to plan trips. When I reentered the workforce, namely in an environment with tremendous opportunity and activity (the MBA job matching process consists of a firehouse of opportunities), I was shocked there wasn’t an online marketplace to complement and in many cases, replaced the tremendously expensive and time consuming in-person process.

At top b-school campuses, the recruiting activities (the process of employers and MBA candidates discovering, engaging, and selecting one another) takes up just as much time as academics (if not more) and it’s almost entirely in-person. Hundreds of companies come to campus (on average 5-10 times before the interview process) and MBA candidates spend countless hours at presentations, networking events, and coffee chats to learn about opportunities, prove their value as a potential hire, and narrow their list of “best fit job options”. But they do all of this without a way to effectively search, explore, and narrow options prior to attending endless in-person events for opportunities that simply may not be a good fit, for them or for the companies.

Experiencing these inefficiencies firsthand, we built RelishMBA (the marketplace for MBA hiring) to streamline the MBA hiring process. And here are three reasons why we’re important.

  1. Technology should make things easier. MBA hiring is a resource intensive process. The number of companies hiring MBAs is growing. The out-of-date on-campus way of doing it is expensive and has tremendous operational inefficiencies that could be made easier and more efficient through tech enabled processes.
  2. Time is valuable. MBA hiring is time consuming for companies and for MBA candidates. Given the firehouse of opportunities and the increasingly competitive pursuit for diverse and top talent, effective use of time is vital. Tech enabled efficiencies are a no-brainer.
  3. Opportunity is as good as what is easily discoverable. MBA hiring is a crowded and competitive marketplace. Great opportunity needs to be easily discoverable and easy to digest in order to be valuable. The existence of an MBA hiring marketplace (where one never existed before) will bring the game to a new level.

RelishMBA (www.RelishMBA.com) is the online MBA hiring marketplace enabling candidate discovery and continuous virtual engagement across many candidate pools, allowing companies to allocate their recruiting budgets more effectively, reach a broader candidate pool, and ensure greater applicant diversity and yield. RelishMBA gives MBA employers a hiring competitive advantage through a “match.com like talent sourcing platform” where one never existed before. The venture is bringing value to the hiring/recruiting industry by segmenting the overall market and catering to focused needs, starting with the MBA vertical.

Written by Sarah Rumbaugh - Please submit all responses to jackmara@10Thoughts.com

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