Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, February 14, 2007 Interview is a new recruitment phenomenon in the UK. The company is tipped to be a rival to the likes of LinkedIn. Time for an interview with the site's founder Jonathan Phillips.

Where did you get the idea to launch was built out of frustration. We got the idea from friends and family being messed around by recruitment consultants and never getting replies when applying for opportunities on job boards searching for jobs in London, for example. We thought that there must be a better way to match the recruiter with the job seeker – so we built our own.

Who are ebeebo?

Ebeebo was built by Inchima, a UK company founded by Jonathan Phillips and Arif Harbott. Our expertise as a company is building and managing social networking, web 2.0, media sites and Internet recruiting. We conceived the idea for ebeebo at the beginning of December 2006 and within 30 days we had a fully launched site.

Is the site a social network…and if not, how is your site different from social networks?

It isn't a social network be definition as most of the content of the site isn't visible to users. The ebeebo model is based on a dating or matchmaking site where you can find someone with specific skills you need very quickly and accurately. ebeebo isn't a traditional online recruitment
site and although it has been likened to Jobster and LinkedIn the only things it has common with them is its web 2.0 nature.

How can recruiters make use of it - do you have any examples?

Recruiters can find people for permanent roles, project roles or even find people to join them in start-ups. The format is simple – you search for the skills you need, find a match and then start a dialogue. There are no big fees for recruiters, it’s free to search and use the site and just £4.99 (about $9.50USD) per month for unlimited use of the message centre. There are no minimum contracts and you can suspend payment when you want.

There is a difference though – relationships are built on a personal level so good individual recruiters can shine even when their colleagues aren’t so hot. We also have a rating system which is based on speed, accuracy and quality of communication so good candidates and recruiters get ranked higher within searches so the cream rises to the top. There is also a red and yellow card system for inappropriate behaviour which means the site stays clear of time wasters.

How are you funded - will you look to raise cash soon?

So far funding has been raised through the site owners. However, we are now in early talks with potential partners to either joint help manage ebeebo or buy into the business. So, if there is any interest out there we are happy to talk!

Which markets do you cater to specifically (I assume you are for the moment a UK only venture)?

We wanted to start locally in the UK where we are based – but our press coverage has given us a large proportion of US members. The great thing about the model we use is that it can be used cross-border quite easily.

What kind of job seekers are registering mostly?

IT freelancers are registering on a daily basis but we have also had accountants and landscape gardeners as well. We have even had a venture capitalist (and taken note of their details)!

How do you market yourself?

Most members have found the site virally through blogs and emails from friends, family and colleagues. We will be rolling out a more formal marketing programme out shortly.

Can you reveal any numbers (i.e. job seekers, recruiters, companies)?

It is a little early to quote absolute figures as we are only in our second month…but week on week growth is around 700 percent which is very pleasing.

What are your plans for the near future?

We are looking for a partner, preferably with recruiting experience to take the concept forward and help us 'make the way people find work a more pleasurable experience'.

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