Business Heroes - New Kid on the Block: WikiJob (winner)

The idea behind the business which has clinched the New Kid on the Block title is so simple and obvious you'll wish you'd thought of it yourself.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

This is a career site with a difference: not only is it run by graduates for graduates, but it takes the form of a wiki, so users are encouraged to contribute, collaborate and share their experiences with their peers (albeit on a website instead of a student pub).

The idea for Wikijob was conceived when the two 27-year-old founders, former Epsom College mates Chris Muktar and Ed Mellet, met up for a pint after another unsatisfactory day at work (Muktar as a trainee accountant and Mellet as a graduate recruitment consultant). Mellet was keen to start a magazine about graduate recruitment and Muktar was a dab hand when it came to creating websites. A perfect match. 'The next day we started,' says Muktar. 'And one thing led to another. We just kept going.'

Indeed, it kept going - and growing: 250,000 graduates a month now use the site and that number is increasing all the time. In some ways the offering resembles a job board, in that companies pay to post vacancies on the site. But the founders argue that it's actually more like a social network because it's discussion based. 'People can talk about the jobs they're applying for, the interviews they've had, and what kinds of tests candidates should expect,' explains Muktar.

But it did take a while to reach critical mass, says Mellet. When they started in 2009 (only companies set up within the past two years are eligible), they were contributing the majority of the content themselves. 'We spent days and weeks writing the blogs ourselves to begin with,' he recalls. 'Now we've got hundreds of company profiles on our website - and it's all user contributed these days,' adds Muktar.

The pick-up in the job market has certainly helped their fortunes. 'A lot of our advertisers are banks and accountancy firms, and they are recruiting more than they did last year,' explains Mellet. This should help them get to their half-million turnover goal for the next year. That's not to say that the well-publicised scramble by graduates is over - far from it. 'I think it'll change gradually, and get back to normal over the next couple of years, but it's pretty tough being a graduate right now. I wouldn't like to be one,' he says.

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