60 second start-up: TheJobCrowd.com

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

TheJobCrowd.com gives students, graduates and other jobseekers access to employees working in a large range of industries and companies, who can provide them with careers advice 'from the inside' - based on first hand experience.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We ask employees the most popular questions that applicants say they want to know (in the form of our reviews). Graduates and other job hunters then use the reviews to learn what different careers and companies are really like. They can also get in contact with the employees if they have further questions - anything from asking for interview advice to asking what the canteen or gym is like.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

We compete with the existing graduate recruitment websites for graduate careers web time, however we are very different to the existing sites.

We put applicants in direct contact with employees while other graduate recruitment resources shy away from this and instead obtain all of their information from the company's recruitment team - which often doesn't give a realistic picture of what the job is really like.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Our reviews are written by employees actually doing the job.

They know what's really involved better than anyone else and are easily the best people to give advice and help jobseekers find a job that will suit them. Plus, we give graduates the facility to make contact with the employees. We think we're combining the best bits from leading sites in other industries (e.g. TripAdvisor's first hand reviews, Facebook's social contact etc.) and applying them to careers.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

It's been self-funded so far, we actually sold our flat and put the profit we made into the business.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

Trying to find the right job! Keren worked as a management consultant and then at innocent smoothies, which both proved to be very different to what he had expected, while Tasha did a series of internships, trying to find her perfect career. Meanwhile we had a stall at Portobello Market on the weekends which really gave us a passion for enterprise.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

Our own experiences.

We both found that existing careers advice was strongly lacking in detail and accuracy. We felt that all we really needed to properly understand a particular job was to have a coffee with someone doing it who could give us the inside story but realised that most people don't know someone in every career and company and so can't do this. So we decided to create a platform to provide this kind of information and connect job applicants with employees.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?
Planning, research and planning!

We spoke to as many people as we possibly could before we started out to ensure that we understood exactly what information graduates felt that they were missing and so that we had already built up quite a following before we launched.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Initially we were really worried about how employers would react to the site so we kept at an arm's length. In fact we've had an incredibly positive reaction from them.

Smaller recruitment teams facing an ever greater number of candidates applying for fewer jobs (all because of the recession) mean that employers have really welcomed the fact that candidates who use our site are invariably better informed and better suited to their roles. We definitely could have realised this earlier and engaged with leading employers sooner than we have done.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

We'd have to say a Kinder Surprise - ok, we know it's not really a biscuit - but, like our career's advice, the inside is full of interesting surprises!

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Wikipedia. Our site relies exclusively on the willingness and generosity of those in jobs to share their experiences. Wikipedia is the ultimate example of what can be achieved solely through people taking a little time to share their knowledge to help others.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Having over 2,000 reviews on the site and building more functionality to better connect employees and applicants, ultimately helping thousands of jobseekers make better career decisions.

We also hope to raise thousands of pounds for Shaw Trust, the UK's leading employment charity, by donating £1 for every review that employees add to the site.

Find out more about TheJobCrowd.com

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