Genm review: My experience with the marketing apprenticeship platform as a business

I do not know about you but me, I always have a lot of stuff to do with my niche websites 🤯 My todo list grows faster than a pile of dirty dishes at the end of a party.

Creating more content. Sending more outreach emails. Getting more followers.

More, more, and more! 😩

To keep my sanity and to actually be able to do everything I need to do, I try to outsource as much work as possible 👷🏻‍♀️👷🏻‍♂️👷🏻‍♀️👷🏻‍♂️

However, of course, outsourcing has its downsides. 

One of them is very obvious: Money 💲💲💲

Where to take money for all these VAs, writers, editors, etc? How to find a balance between cheap outsourcing and the quality of the work they produce? 

That’s why I am always on the hunt for new tools and approaches that would allow me to do more outsourcing for less.

My latest find in this area is GenM.co (an affiliate link). It’s an outsourcing platform connecting digital marketing interns with businesses and allows to hire good talent for almost free 🤯😉

Here’s my GenM review based on my own experience.

What is GenM?🤔

GenM.co logo

GenM.co is a platform that helps everybody who wants to become a digital marketer to achieve that. Businesses who are looking for digital marketers can hire these students for a fee 💸

GenM calls it: Where the world trains talent. 🌐

The company’s stated mission is:

…to enable anyone, anywhere to acquire the skills, experience, and relationships they need to succeed in the job market.

To accomplish that, GenM provides online training courses for students and then match them with businesses who need digital marketing help.

Here’s one of many GenM Testimonials:

They call it an apprenticeship

Each GenM apprenticeship lasts 12 weeks (90 days) and you as a business pay nothing to your apprentice. Instead, you pay a (small) fee to the platform itself.

It’s a win-win for each party involved because:

  • Students get free marketing education and solid experience working for real businesses 👍🏻
  • Employers profit from nearly free labor from enthusiastic students who have the necessary knowledge and are motivated to learn more 👍🏻
  • GenM makes money by collecting a small fee from businesses 👍🏻

You cannot extend an apprenticeship after it ends. You can hire the person but don’t expect them to continue working for you for free. What you can do instead is to find someone else.

How to work with GenM❓

Creating an account 🧾

As a business, you can create a free GenM account here (an affiliate link that gives you $25 off the first contract).

You will need to answer several questions to make sure you understand what the platform is for and what it is not.

Then, complete your profile:

  1. Add your photo
  2. Connect social media
  3. Provide some info about yourself:
    1. Top achievements
    2. Education
    3. Interests

GenM complete your profile

This info is super important. It will be shown to the prospective students and they will decide whether they want to be hired by your business or not. That’s why you should some effort into making it interesting and appealing to the students.

Choosing candidates 👷🏻‍♂️👷🏻‍♀️😓

Once you set up your profile, you will most likely start receiving messages from students right away 📩

You can also search for the candidates using a filter the platform provides.

The filter allows you to specify the country, industry, etc.

GenM candidates filter

Here’s the filter I used for my search:

  • Country: 
    • Canada 🍁
    • US 🗽
  • Industry: 
    • Marketing
  • Type of work: 
    • Social Media
    • Content Marketing
    • SEO
    • Brand Creation
    • Marketing Analytics
    • Market research
    • Graphic Design
  • Tools – no filters here
  • Languages:
    • English eng

You can see only 1 candidate at a time. While this is not super convenient, it really allows you to focus on each profile 👽🐰👾🤖🐵🦊

Pay attention to the right top corner where a link to a CV may appear if the candidate chose to add one. A CV can give you a better understanding of whether you would like to hire this particular person.


To see the next candidate, you can either skip ❌ the current one or select⭐ them. 

If you select ⭐ a candidate, they will be added to the list of the ones you want to send a chat request with an invitation to start a conversation about potential hiring.

If you skip ❌ a candidate, they won’t disappear forever. The platform may and will show them in your search later.

As I mentioned above, you will also be getting chat requests from students you did not contact if your account is marked as discoverable.

This option is on by default:

If during the process of choosing candidates you want to contact, you realized that you need to fix your profile (to make it more attractive, for example), you can go ahead and do it without fearing you lose the list of starred students. The platform will preserve the list.

Sending chat requests 📩

Once you are done with selecting ⭐ candidates, you can send a chat to the ones you selected.

GenM send_a_chat_request

The message you will craft will be sent to all of them. You can write your message or use a sample one (the one on the screenshot).

The platform allows using a field replacement for the candidate name: {{recipient}}.

After sending the requests, wait for their replies

If they like your request and your profile, they will reply.

My chat request template went through multiple rewrites to increase the response rate.

Here’s the latest version that seems to work pretty well:

Chat request template

Hey {{recipient}},

Are you still looking for an apprenticeship?

I am a full-time online entrepreneur. My online empire consists of <bla-bla> niche websites in various industries and I know well how to manage it efficiently.

I am looking for a passionate apprentice who will help me with growing my social media, content creation and marketing, and market research.  The apprentice will get a chance to obtain a unique experience in digital marketing.

Sounds interesting? If so, kindly let me know your availability so we could chat more about it. 

Looking forward to your reply!

Screening candidates 🔍👷🏻‍♂️

Once the chat replies and requests started coming in, start screening the candidates:

  • Review their profile to understand where you want to work with them (click on the user picture to see it)
  • Check out their CV if they have one
  • Decide what’s important for you and try to find this info; for example, for me, it was important to get someone from my time zone.

Reject ❌ the ones u do not want to deal with; you can do it via Reject ❌ button.



Ask questions to the ones who seem to be a good match. You can ask them if they are willing to do the work you have for them. 

Students will be asking you questions as well. In 99% it’s about the work they will be doing. You should be ready for these questions and prepare in advance.

Do not jump right into scheduling a meeting unless you prefer to talk rather than chat. I like chatting better since it’s less time-consuming.

Once you see someone who might be a good match and the student seems to be willing to engage with you, offer to schedule a real interview on the phone. You can do it right in the chat.


GenM.co allows you to set up three slots for a meeting. You can choose the same time for all slots.



However, before scheduling the interview, ask how you can contact the student.

As I mentioned above, GenM has a feature that allows doing voice/video chat, which is very convenient. However, not everybody uses it and some people may expect you to be calling them on the phone they specified in their resume. It happened to me a couple of times and since then, I had always started asking how I can contact them.

Interviewing and hiring an apprentice 🤝🏻

So now you have a bunch of interviews lined up.

I would recommend you to create a document for each interviewee

In the document, you can have an interview question and notes you take during the interview. Having such a document for each interviewee will help you later decide better who you want to hire. 

Also, if you decide to hire another apprentice, you may already have a candidate based on the previous interviews or may avoid the ones who you do not want to talk to again.

Here are some of the questions you may want to ask:

  • What are you looking to achieve through this apprenticeship?
  • What is your experience in the <what you need help with>?
  • Do you currently have another apprenticeship going on or a day job?

Also, if possible, you should ask them to do a test task. Something simple but representable of the future work you want them to do. For example, if you need someone to grow your social media, you can ask them to prepare a plan of how they think they can do it.

Here’s a link to my interview template in Google Docs.

Signing the contract 📝

In each chat, you have a big red button called Apprenticeship.


You press it when you want to hire a candidate. 

Once you do it, GenM will ask you if your candidate knows you want to hire them. This means that you should first get an informal confirmation and only then press the hiring button.


Once you do it, you will get a pop-up with the contract.

Read it and sign it. Your hire will get a notification and will need to sign it as well.


Once everybody signs, the apprenticeship starts 😱😆

After hiring 🤝🏻🕑

Change your GenM settings 📑

If you are done with hiring, you should become Not Discoverable on the platform to avoid being contacted by other candidates.


Onboarding 🛶

Once the contract is signed, you will get an email from GenM about onboarding.

In case you don’t know what onboarding is, it’s the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization.
GenM provides you with a potential 5-item agenda you can follow for onboarding.

onboarding email

I would recommend to set up a 30-45 min video chat with your new hire to show them how you work and your tools. Also, it would be helpful to have an onboarding document that your apprentice could read on their own.

First days 💫

In the first few days, assign your apprentice some easy tasks that they can do on their own easily. 

While it depends on what task you want them to do, it could be something like looking at your social media accounts, reading tutorials, etc.

GenM recommends to set up weekly meetings to discuss the progress.

I prefer to have voice chats much more often, like every 2-3 days. It helps in establishing a better relationship with your apprentice and make them feel supported.

If it does not go well 😫

It may turn out that your apprentice is not as enthusiastic about the work as they seemed to be during the interview. They may start ghosting you by not showing up and not replying to your messages. 

In this case, you have 4 weeks since the beginning of the apprenticeship to cancel and get credit for another one. 

Note that you are not eligible for a full refund anymore. The full refund is only available for businesses that have not yet interacted with apprentices.

Here’s the full info about refunds.

GenM mobile app 📱

GenM has a mobile app. 

It almost replicates the features of the website with some differences.

For example, in the mobile app, when you reject a chat request, you need to specify a reason.


The app is very convenient to reply to messages so you can chat with candidates on the go.

Unfortunately, it does not seem possible to have voice/video chats from the app.

GenM review: Pros and cons 🤹🏻‍♀️

Pros ➕

GenM is a good source of cheap but qualified labor who’s eager to learn, help, and gain more experience.

It’s very cost-effective given that you have good processes to find, onboard, and bring new apprentices up to speed.

Cons ➖

The biggest con is that if you want to get a permanent employee, you will need to hire them after 3 months expire. You cannot have more than one apprenticeship with the same person.

This leads to high turnover and potential burn-out from the constant onboarding of new people.

Also, the platform has some other cons.

The platform is buggy:

  • The web interface has a feature that allows making a call but sometimes, it does not work. It happened to me at least once when I was calling someone but they did not see my call
  • I received text messages about new chat requests even when this kind of notification was turned off in my settings
    • Chat notifications are sent as phone text messages even if the option is turned off in the settings
  • Candidate selection filters do not work properly sometimes.

The mobile app is limited in the features:

  • Meeting requests are not supported
  • Does not seem to be possible to have voice/video chat

Is GenM legit?⚖

Of course, before paying any money to any business, you would like to know if the business is legit.

It seems that GenM is legit.

GenM.co is a Canadian company located in Ottawa, Ontario 🍁

It exists on GlassDoor and has stellar 5-star reviews by its employees. For me, it is always a good sign that means the company is not a scam.

The company has 3 co-founders and one of them, Moe Abbas, actually made the Canadian list “40 under 40” in 2015. Two others, Richard Shaw and Marco D. Tundo seem also be renowned entrepreneurs. 

On TrustPilot, however, the company received a bit less favorable reviews with the underwhelming rating of 3 stars 😨 It also has one review there that is far from being flattering.

I have been using it since June 2019 and my impression has been positive so far. Yes, it does require some adaptation and learning but from my experience (that I got from my day job when I was a developer team lead), a hiring process is never smooth in the beginning. You need to learn how to hire people that would fit well your positions.

Also, pay attention to GenM refund policy to avoid unpleasant surprises.

My experience with GenM 🙋🏻‍♀️

My experience with GenM was a bit rough at the beginning. I hired one apprentice who ghosted me so I asked for the contract termination. After that, I got credit for another GenM apprenticeship and this time, it worked fine.

I managed to hire an apprentice 

How long did it take me to find an apprentice?⏳

It took me about 1 week from registering on the platform to hiring my first apprentice who was a flop.

Then, it took me maybe another 2 weeks to find the next one, who turned out to be good and is still working for me.

During this time, I sent about 130 chat requests and got tons of chat requests/replies.

I scheduled 12 interviews and conducted 10 of them. Two candidates did not show up for the interview. 

In total, I made three offers and only two were accepted.

Who was I looking for?🔍

I needed someone to help me to grow the Twitter accounts of my websites. The person had to be interested in social media marketing; having experience was a plus but not mandatory.

Selling my business better😇

In the beginning, I was sending and sending chats and very few candidates were replying. That was upsetting and puzzling. I felt like the ones who did reply were not the best candidates and just could not find anything better.

I was struggling with that until one of the candidates asked me what he would get in the apprenticeship. 

It made me think: Indeed, what’s in it for them? Why would they choose me and my websites when there are tons of other businesses that look more “professional”?

When I send chat requests, I say nothing about what stands me apart from the rest of the employers and what the candidate would get. 

Meanwhile, I do have a lot to offer! 

So I modified my chat request message in such a way that would put the uniqueness of my business and the value I propose in the spotlight.

After that, the response rate to my chat requests did increase.

You can find the chat request template I used above.


In the beginning, I was basing my hiring decision on the conversation I had with candidates during the interview.

After the first hire that was unsuccessful, I changed my approach. 

First of all, I started giving them a test task

It really helped me to see whether a candidate could be a good fit and also, for the candidates, it was helpful to get an idea of my working style and requirements.

Then, during the voice interview, I mostly focused on trying to understand whether the candidate is a good personal fit for me

Are they as structured as I am? Can they convey their thoughts in the way I can easily grasp? Are they flexible in their thinking? And so on.

My two biggest mistakes with GenM 🤦🏻‍♀️

Hiring an apprentice🤝🏻

I think one of the biggest mistakes I made was taking the whole hiring process way too personal.

It happened a few times to me that candidates did not show up for interviews. Or they did come to the interview, told me how much they would like to work with me… and then just ghosting me or removing from their chat 

It made me feel rejected and upset.

It was also quite tiresome and distracting. 

The negative emotions were hindering my thought process and were making me want to rush through the process and be done with it as soon as possible.

This led to the first failed hire. I did not put too much thought into it and just wanted to be done with the uncomfortable process of hiring.

Finding work for my apprentice 🏗

My first hire on GenM was unsuccessful but not only because I did a bad interview and hired on vim.

I also did not prepare a good enough task for my apprentice.

I wanted him to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that and at the end, it was way too overwhelming. I used the same approach as for a new VA.

However, there are a couple of key differences between a VA and this kind of apprentices:

  • An apprentice is not paid and is spending their time on your project
    Meanwhile, a VA is paid per hour
  • An apprentice, most likely, does not have experience working for an employer; after all, that’s why they agreed to work for you! To get the experience!
    Meanwhile, a VA should already be experienced (but this is, of course, depends on who you hired hehe 😉)

With my second apprentice, I changed my approach by 100%:

  • I chose one single website to work with and one single task (growing Twitter) to focus on
  • I minimized the number of tools he has to work with and introduced new tools only when needed
  • I stopped writing docs with instructions and instead, I explain everything by voice in live video sessions, answer questions, take notes, and then send the notes 
  • I set up regular 1h voice chats (1h is a minimum, sometimes it goes longer) every 2-3 days to make sure we have enough quality time to discuss the task and problems

This approach seems to work much better. 

At least, my apprentice is still with me and our project is moving on 😆

GenM review: Final words❗

So what do you think? Did you like my GenM review?

Can GenM be a good place to take a look at while looking to hire inexpensive talent?

If you decide to give it a shot, you can use my affiliate link. This way, we will both get $25 off the next contract.

As for me, I definitely plan to use it again. I already know what my next apprentice will be doing… 😉

Anyway, if you guys have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below! Or shoot me an email!📧


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